Bayer or­dered to pay $2 bn in Roundup trial

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Business - Bloomberg feed­[email protected] n

Bayer AG was or­dered to pay more than $2 bil­lion in dam­ages to a Cal­i­for­nia cou­ple that claimed they got can­cer as a re­sult of us­ing its Roundup weed­killer for about three decades, rais­ing pres­sure on the com­pany to set­tle thou­sands of sim­i­lar law­suits.

It’s the largest jury award in the US so far this year and the eighth-largest ever in a prod­uct-de­fect claim, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by

Bloomberg. The ver­dict prompted an­a­lysts to boost their es­ti­mates on the value of a set­tle­ment.

Bayer’s third Roundup court loss comes two weeks af­ter share­hold­ers dis­avowed chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Werner Bau­mann at a meet­ing in Ger­many, lam­bast­ing his han­dling of the $63 bil­lion Mon­santo Co. ac­qui­si­tion.

The ver­dict puts the onus on Bayer to al­ter its de­fence course and con­sider a set­tle­ment: lit­i­ga­tion con­cerns have eroded Bayer’s value by more than 40% since the deal was sealed in June. The stock de­clined 2.3% on Tues­day af­ter ini­tially drop­ping to a seven-year low.

“The com­pany has got to come to the ta­ble with a vi­able plan to re­solve these cases, or the losses are go­ing to mount,” Micah Dortch, man­ag­ing part­ner at the Potts Law Firm in Dal­las who has filed dozens of Roundup cases, said by email. “This outcome should make Mon­santo re­al­ize the se­ri­ous­ness of these claims and how a jury per­ceives the ev­i­dence.”

Bayer vowed to chal­lenge Mon­day’s rul­ing, call­ing it “ex­ces­sive and un­jus­ti­fi­able.” Bayer has de­fended the safety of Roundup’s ac­tive in­gre­di­ent glyphosate since in­her­it­ing the prod­uct from Mon­santo.

The ver­dict “con­flicts directly with the US En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s in­terim reg­is­tra­tion re­view de­ci­sion re­leased just last month,” Bayer said.

“The con­sen­sus among lead­ing health reg­u­la­tors world­wide that glyphosate­based prod­ucts can be used safely and that glyphosate is not car­cino­genic.”


Bayer chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Werner Bau­mann.

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