Bayer Earmarks $2 Billion for Future Roundup Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Claims

Bayer has revised its original Roundup settlement agreement to resolve future cases filed over the potential link between exposure to the glyphosate-based weed killer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, increasing the settlement amount to $2 billion. The class-action settlement for future Roundup cancer claims was initially announced by Bayer last summer, but the proposed agreement was ultimately rejected by the court overseeing the Roundup multidistrict litigation (MDL), which prompted the parties to re-enter negotiations and come up with an alternative resolution that better suited the class members. If you were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer after using Roundup weed killer, you may be entitled to damages, so don’t wait to speak to a knowledgeable Roundup cancer attorney about your legal options.

History of the Roundup Cancer Settlement

Bayer announced last June that it would pay more than $10 billion to resolve the bulk of the existing Roundup cancer claims pending against the company. At that time, the company indicated that it would earmark roughly $1 billion of the total settlement amount for future claims brought by Roundup users who allege that the weed killer caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, the federal judge overseeing the Roundup litigation expressed concerns about the “propriety and fairness” of binding potential claimants not yet diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to the proposed class-action settlement, thus limiting their right to pursue claims against Bayer in the future. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria informed the parties at that time that he was “tentatively inclined to deny” preliminary approval of the settlement, which prompted the parties to withdraw the proposed settlement and start over.

New Roundup Class-Action Settlement

After six months of subsequent negotiations, Bayer has agreed to increase the compensation it will set aside to resolve future Roundup non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma claims by up to $2 billion to cover the first four years of future litigation, a 60% increase from the amount proposed in the previous settlement. The new Roundup settlement was announced in a motion for preliminary approval filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on February 3. Under this new agreement, should class members decide not to accept the compensation proposal under the settlement, they will not lose their right to file a lawsuit and seek resolution through the tort system. Furthermore, according to the motion, after the initial four years, the parties can seek to extend the Roundup compensation with additional funding beyond the $2 billion “if, based on experience with the program and the state of the science, the Parties are able to negotiate extension terms.”

In addition to providing additional compensation for class members diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the new settlement offers several other benefits, including the following:

  • Providing free legal assistance and representation to help class members navigate the terms of the settlement;
  • Creating a diagnostic program to test for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma;
  • Expanding outreach efforts to bring class members in to the diagnostic and compensatory programs;
  • Requiring Monsanto to seek approval from the EPA to include “a reference and link to information regarding whether exposure to Roundup causes NHL” on the weed killer label; and
  • Creating a Research Funding Program to improve non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis and treatment.

Potential Cancer Risk from Exposure to Roundup

Roundup weed killer was first introduced as an herbicide in 1974 by Monsanto, an agrochemical company that Bayer acquired for $63 billion in 2018. Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, quickly rose in popularity among farmers looking for ways to control weeds without harming their crops. Today, glyphosate is the most widely used broad-spectrum herbicide in the world, with more than 18 billion pounds sprayed globally since 1974. Unfortunately, glyphosate is also a probable human carcinogen, according to a 2015 finding by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which means people who use Roundup may face a greater risk of developing cancer. In fact, research shows that exposure to glyphosate may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by as much as 40%.

Plaintiff Wins in Roundup Bellwether Cases

Confronted with more than 125,000 product liability lawsuits brought by former Roundup users diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers, Bayer faced considerable pressure to negotiate Roundup settlements, especially in the wake of three significant losses returned by juries in the first three bellwether cases to go to trial in the Roundup litigation. After reviewing evidence and testimony presented by both parties, including internal memos and documents illustrating Monsanto’s failure to disclose the potential cancer risks associated with glyphosate, each of the juries in those bellwether cases returned multimillion-dollar verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs. Throughout the various stages of negotiation that have taken place in the Roundup litigation, the number of Roundup cancer claims brought against Bayer has continued to grow. To find out whether you are eligible to file a claim against Bayer for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer, contact us today.