What the glyphosate decision means for Bayer

A US judge has rejected an important part of the multi-billion dollar settlement around the weed killer glyphosate. The Bayer Group must now come up with a new tactic.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann

Dhe agrochemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer has suffered a major setback in its more than $ 11 billion settlement for the glyphosate weed killer Roundup. Because a federal judge in San Francisco has rejected the proposal for an agreement between Bayer and plaintiff attorneys for cancer patients to deal with future lawsuits, the company must now change course. The answers to the most important questions.

Has the comparison broken with that?

No, not completely. Bayer has already reached an agreement with around 96,000 of the more than 125,000 plaintiffs, for which the company is paying around 9.6 billion dollars. Initially, the Dax group does not change its strategy of providing another $ 2 billion to deal with future plaintiffs. However, because of the judge’s decision, Bayer cannot yet draw an end to the legal dispute.

Originally, the agreement provided for medical care for the earliest possible diagnosis of cancer cases and compensation for sick people. For Bayer, however, it was also important that any future plaintiffs could not seek punitive damage, a penalty that is often imposed in addition to actual damages under American law, as was the case in the previous three Roundup court cases.

That’s all off the table. However, the company wants to continue to set up a panel of experts to deal with the question of whether Bayer’s glyphosate product Roundup causes cancer at all. “With the rejection of judge Chhabria we hit a dead end,” said Bayer boss Werner Baumann in a conference call on Thursday morning. Now the company is going a different way. “We are now responsible ourselves and can control how we shape the result,” said Baumann.

Are there any further lawsuits against Bayer?

That is to be assumed. There are still numerous attorneys in the United States who have not joined the previous settlement negotiations. In addition, it usually takes years before the cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, occurs, which is why there may still be users of Roundup in the future who can assert claims because they are ill. Bayer is meanwhile trying to get a decision from the US Supreme Court on two appeals. Bayer expects a verdict in the middle of next year. If the court decides in the interests of the company, this could reduce liability risks because federal law takes precedence and would thus make further lawsuits from lower instances more difficult.

Bayer had been sentenced to high compensation payments in three trials in the USA for cancer after using Roundup. It was only in mid-May that a federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld a conviction of the company to pay around 25 million dollars in damages to a plaintiff suffering from cancer.

Is Bayer taking glyphosate off the market?

No, but the company is changing its strategy in two respects: Firstly, Bayer is applying to the American environmental protection agency (EPA) to allow them to print a link on all labels of glyphosate products, which in turn refers to a page containing scientific findings on the potentially carcinogenic Effect of the herbicide can be collected.