Recent reports from Fortune magazine state plaintiff attorneys received a verbal agreement from Bayer for a $10 billion settlement for 85,000 lawsuits in relation to glyphosate. The lawsuits claim the weed killer caused non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“Given that even a summary of the settlement terms has not yet been released by Bayer or the plaintiffs’ attorneys, it is important to be circumspect in commenting on the leaked terms of the Bayer deal, which lack real detail. Although it is likely that individual recoveries are tiered, based on varying case factors, little can be said about what this means for the thousands of plaintiffs whose claims may be at stake without more information,” says Robert King a partner with Korein Tillery, LLC.
Bayer said it would consider a settlement that is “financially reasonable and represents finality [for future and current cases],” according to Liam Condon, president of Bayer Crop Science, in a previous (Aug. 8, 2019) interview with AgWeb.
In regard to the potential $10 billion settlement, which could be finalized as early as June, Bayer provided this statement to Agweb May 28, 2020:
“We’ve made progress in the Roundup mediation discussions under the auspices of Ken Feinberg, but in keeping with the confidentiality of this process, the company will not speculate about settlement outcomes or timing. As we have said previously, the company will consider a resolution if it is financially reasonable and provides a process to resolve potential future litigation.”
For background, Bayer, who bought Monsanto, the inventor of glyphosate, is facing more than 100,000 plaintiffs who claim the product has caused cancer. So far, the company has lost three glyphosate trials—with some pending appeal outcomes.
The lawsuits cite a study by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that labeled glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.” The study by IARC in 2015 found evidence glyphosate can cause cancer in lab animals and stated there is “limited evidence” the product can cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma and lung cancer in humans.
However, IARC’s findings are contested by many research agencies. One example, in May 2019, EPA announced findings from its 2017 human health risk assessment that said there was no public health risk from the chemical.