Pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG announced plans to settle about 75% of the current claims against them alleging Roundup weed killer caused users to develop cancer. Currently Bayer and its subsidiary Monsanto company face over 125,000 product liability lawsuits in a massive Roundup herbicide litigation.
On June 24, Bayer revealed in a company statement that the Roundup lawsuit settlement will include payments ranging from $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the litigation. In addition, they plan to establish a $1.25 billion fund to address future claims from individuals alleging their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancer diagnoses were caused by exposure to Roundup.
“First and foremost, the Roundup™ settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” said Bayer AG’s Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann. “It resolves most current claims and puts in place a clear mechanism to manage risks of potential future litigation.
Even after this Roundup lawsuit settlement, 25,000 claims will be left unresolved. These claims may require additional funding to resolve, potentially several billions in funding. Additionally, many expect that Bayer will face more Roundup lawsuits in the upcoming years as users find their cancer diagnoses were caused by exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate.
Over the last few years increasing studies have found exposure to Roundup’s active ingredient can increase the risk of developing cancers, like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Glyphosate, an ingredient common to many of the popular herbicides on the market, was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” by the World health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Since IARC’s announcement, government agencies all over the world have banned herbicides containing glyphosate, Roundup included. In the United States, many long-term users of Roundup have discovered their cancer diagnoses were caused by exposure to glyphosate in Roundup. Claims brought forward by these users allege Monsanto Company, the original manufactures of Roundup, knew about the severe side effects of glyphosate for decades and failed to let users know about the cancer risks.
These Roundup cancer claims were consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria oversees these lawsuits, and parts of the Roundup lawsuit settlement still await Judge Chhabria’s approval.