The Bayer Corporation has seen its market position take a major nosedive since acquiring the albatross that is the Monsanto Company, which caused the German pesticide, GMO seed and drug giant’s stock to plummet about 40% since the deal was closed two years ago.
But last Monday, Bayer stock began to rise again by nearly 5% according to Tradegate, after a major announcement was made regarding the estimated 125,000 United States cancer lawsuits against the company over Monsanto’s controversial Roundup weedkiller product.
If you’ve been seeing a lot of late night advertisements regarding Roundup and cancer, get ready to see a lot less — if any, for the time being, if the deal ends up going through as expected.
Bayer Paying $10 Billion to Settle Cancer Lawsuits, Report Says
According to a report from Fortune.com, Bayer AG has reached verbal agreements to resolve a “substantial portion” of an estimated 125,000 U.S. cancer lawsuits over the use of its Roundup weedkiller.
Bayer is expected to pay $10 billion to end a costly legal battle that has resulted from its purchase of Monsanto, and responsibility to take on the tens of thousands of lawsuits. The deals, which have yet to be signed, are expected to cover an estimated 50,000 to 85,000 lawsuits. Payouts for settled cases will range from a few million dollars to a few thousand each according to the Fortune report, a substantially smaller amount than the first victim to be compensated, terminally ill California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, who received when he won a $289 million settlement in August 2018.
The settlement was later cut to $78.5 million by a judge.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys will no longer be allowed to take on new Roundup/cancer cases as a result of the ruling.
“Under terms of the deals, Roundup will continue to be sold in the U.S., and plaintiffs’ attorneys will agree to stop taking new cases or advertising for new clients,” the article said.
Bayer will also set aside another $2 billion to cover future lawsuits linking the weedkiller to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, people familiar with the talks said according to the report.
The main ingredient of Roundup, glyphosate, was classified as a “probable human carcinogen” by the IARC of the World Health Organization in spring 2015, but Bayer and Monsanto have continued to insist that it is safe based on the rulings of U.S. government health bodies.
Despite these assertions, the lawsuits have continued to pile up over the years from plaintiffs claiming their use of the weedkiller has contributed to or caused their cancer.
Roundup to Continue to Be Sold Without Warning Label
Following the deals, Roundup will continue to be sold in the United States for use in gardens and on farms without any safety warning, as well as on “Roundup Ready” genetically engineered crops that have been created in laboratories to withstand large doses of the chemical.
Meanwhile, gardeners, farmers, school systems and groundskeepers everywhere now have a choice: do they continue to use the controversial weedkiller, or attempt to find other more natural solutions instead?
Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond, Virginia professor who specializes in mass-tort law, said that Bayer’s settlement is designed to send a signal that they will fight tooth and nail against any future claims and refuse to roll over and pay. But many people are still suffering from the health effects of the chemical, he added.
“It says (Bayer will continue to) fight ‘em through the appeals, which can take years to resolve,” Tobias said. “In the meantime, people will be dying.”
Only a handful of lawyers are expected to hold out for larger payouts following the settlement, including James Onder, a St. Louis-based attorney handling more than 24,000 Roundup cases.
Onder said he has rebuffed settlement offers that would leave his clients with as little as $5,000 each according to a report from ClaimsJournal.com.
Bayer’s overtures “have been insulting,” he said in an interview.
He added that he’s preparing for trials in St. Louis next year.
Bayer is attempting “to strong-arm the most vulnerable in our society into accepting minuscule settlements, hoping they will cower in fear to Monsanto’s repeated idle threats of bankruptcy,” Onder said.
Related Reading: Natural Alternatives to Roundup are Quite Easy to Make