Numerous US lawsuits for alleged cancer risks from weed killers with the active ingredient glyphosate have brought Bayer into a serious crisis. The group rejects the allegations and contested the previous judgments. The lawsuit is now entering the next round: the first hearing before the Court of Appeals will take place on Tuesday (in San Francisco). Bayer plans to have the guilty verdict it suffered in the first glyphosate trial in the United States lifted there.
Monsanto was a big mistake?
August 10, 2018 was a dark day for the DAX company: the jury of a court in San Francisco ruled that the US seed producer Monsanto, which recently became part of the Bayer Group, had to pay the cancer victim Dewayne Johnson a total of $ 289 million in damages . Bayer suddenly stood with his back to the wall, even though the court quickly reduced the sum to $ 78 million. The ruling suddenly revealed the high risks the group had taken on with the already controversial Monsanto takeover.
Claimant Johnson, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2014, had blamed Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup for his fatal condition and accused the company, which is now part of Bayer, of hiding the dangers. After a four-week trial, the jury largely followed the plaintiff’s reasoning. It was a huge mess for Bayer, the Leverkusen company had only recently bought Monsanto for around $ 63 billion – and thus also assumed the legal burdens. These were now increasing rapidly, because the harsh judgment called many more plaintiffs on the scene.
Bayer is struggling with mediator Kenneth Feinberg to find an affordable solution to the glyphosate litigation. Recently, new rumors flared up that an agreement is near.