Bayer recently announced that it will pay more than $10 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits involving the weedkiller Roundup. However, the process of finalizing the settlement is currently on hold, as the judge overseeing the Roundup lawsuits has indicated that he may reject a portion of the settlement.
Roundup is an herbicidal weedkiller originally developed by Monsanto, which was purchased by Bayer in 2018. Tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Bayer since then. The lawsuits allege that Roundup increases the risk of developing cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for farmers, gardeners, landscapers, and other individuals who used the popular herbicide.
Although Roundup had become the most widely used herbicide in the world in the decades since it was first developed, concerns about the side effects of Roundup began to emerge in 2015, when the World Health Organization (WHO) published a study showing that exposure to Roundup could increase the risk of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Many countries, states, and cities around the world banned or restricted the use of Roundup in response to these findings about the cancer risk associated with glyphosate.
Bayer Faces Lawsuits Over Roundup Lymphoma Cases
In the wake of the WHO study, thousands of lawsuits were filed against Bayer and Monsanto by individuals who developed lymphoma or other cancers after using Roundup. Many of these lawsuits were filed by or on behalf of homeowners and groundskeepers who developed cancer as a result of glyphosate exposure.
By 2020, tens of thousands of Roundup lawsuits had been filed against Bayer. Following a series of bellwether trials that resulted in multimillion dollar verdicts against the company, Bayer began settlement negotiations with the lawyers who were representing the thousands of Roundup plaintiffs.
The proposed settlement would pay more than $10 billion in damages to settle roughly 95,000 lawsuits that were filed against Bayer over Roundup. Plaintiffs would receive between $5,000 to $250,000 as part of the settlement, depending on the strength of their case.
In addition to the damages that would be paid to the current Roundup plaintiffs, the settlement would also include roughly $1.25 billion to pay towards future claims filed by Roundup users who are diagnosed with lymphoma after using the product.
Part of this $1.25 billion reserved portion of the settlement would also be used to create an expert panel to help determine the minimum level of exposure to Roundup and glyphosate that may cause cancer. Depending on the panel’s findings, Bayer would not be able to argue that Roundup does not cause cancer in future legal proceedings.
Judge Raises Questions About Proposed Roundup Settlement
However, it was the reserve portion of the settlement that raised the concerns of Judge Vince Chhabria, the U.S. District Court judge who is overseeing the Roundup litigation. After reviewing the proposed settlement, Judge Chhabria raised concerns about the decision to appoint a panel to determine once and for all whether Roundup increased the risk of cancer.
Because of his concerns that it may be unlawful to appoint a panel with such broad authority — and because he was concerned that the panel’s findings could be overturned later — Judge Chhabria appears ready to reject the $1.25 billion reserve portion of the proposed Roundup settlement.
However, regardless of Judge Chhabria’s decision, at least 30,000 Roundup users who filed lawsuits against Bayer have refused to join the proposed settlement. As a result, even if the settlement is approved in close to its current form, Bayer will continue to face tens of thousands of lawsuits filed on behalf of Roundup users with lymphoma or other cancers.
Roundup Users Diagnosed With Cancer May Qualify to File a Claim
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or cancers after using Roundup, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit or receive a settlement. The first step in learning more about your legal rights is to speak with an experienced product liability attorney who can guide you through the first steps in taking action.
For more information about filing a Roundup lawsuit and to learn whether you may qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend to receive a free legal consultation. You can contact our law firm by calling us toll-free at 1-866-806-8117, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located on the right side of this page.