Faced with thousands of lawsuits alleging that its Roundup weed killer causes cancer, Bayer, the largest seed and pesticide manufacturer in the world, announced today that it would pay more than $10 billion to settle the vast majority of the pending claims. Since acquiring Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, in 2018, Bayer has faced increasing pressure to negotiate Roundup settlements in lawsuits over the company’s alleged failure to warn about the potential link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, the company has repeatedly maintained that Roundup is safe for consumer use and has refused to include any cancer warnings on the weed killer label. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup, contact an experienced Roundup cancer lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
First introduced by Monsanto in 1974 under the brand name Roundup, glyphosate quickly became the world’s most widely used herbicide. Today, glyphosate is sprayed on nearly every acre of cotton, corn and soybean crops grown in the United States, as well as on fields and orchards and home lawns and gardens, which has raised serious concerns about the potential health risks of glyphosate exposure. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, a finding that triggered product liability lawsuits from farmers and agricultural workers exposed to glyphosate at work as well as homeowners who routinely applied the chemical to their own properties. Bayer currently faces an estimated 120,000 lawsuits filed over exposure to glyphosate in Roundup, each involving similar allegations that Monsanto simultaneously ignored warnings that its best-selling weed killer contained carcinogenic chemicals and failed to disclose the potential risk of cancer from Roundup to consumers.
Bayer suffered significant losses in three of the first Roundup cancer trials, which set the tone for the years of litigation that followed. In August 2018, shortly after Bayer completed its acquisition of Monsanto, a California jury awarded $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with cancer after years of using Roundup on the job. In a second Roundup cancer trial in March 2019, a homeowner who used Roundup on his property was awarded $80 million in federal court after the jury concluded that the weed killer was a “substantial factor” in causing his cancer. Two months later, a California jury awarded a staggering $2 billion in damages to a husband and wife who were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup on their property for decades.
According to the terms of the Roundup settlement, Bayer would pay between $8.8 billion and $9.6 billion to resolve an estimated 95,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits currently pending against the company, which leaves at least 25,000 other claims from plaintiffs who are not taking part in the settlement. Another $1.25 billion would be set aside in a compensation fund designated for potential future claims filed by consumers who used Roundup and may be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the years to come. According to reports, part of the $1.25 billion will also be used to establish an independent expert panel tasked with determining whether glyphosate is, in fact, a carcinogen. If the panel concludes that glyphosate causes cancer, Bayer will be barred from arguing otherwise in future Roundup cases. However, if the panel concludes that glyphosate does not cause cancer, plaintiffs’ attorneys will be similarly barred.
In announcing this new Roundup settlement agreement, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said, “The decision to resolve the Roundup litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of health care and food. It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.” Notably, the settlement does not include any admission of wrongdoing or liability on the part of Bayer. Still, if you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and you believe exposure to Roundup to be the cause of your cancer, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance from a knowledgeable Roundup cancer lawyer. Monsanto and Bayer are accused of failing to warn consumers about the potential risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from glyphosate, and you and your loved ones could be entitled to compensation for your Roundup-related losses.