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Bayer’s $2billion deal to finalize future Monsanto Claims

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Bayer has proposed a $2 billion settlement that includes benefits to future plaintiffs exposed to Roundup

San Francisco, CATo resolve future claims that Monsanto’s Roundup causes cancer, Bayer is coughing up a $2 billion settlement that includes benefits for people—mainly farmers and gardeners-- who were exposed to Roundup and develop the cancer in the future.

The $2 billion settlement will be provided by Bayer over four years as compensation and to cover outreach and diagnostic assistance. Future claimants could receive between around $5,000 and $200,000 each who contract non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup.

Bayer struck this deal in early February 2021, about eight months after its $9.6 billion settlement to resolve the bulk of U.S. lawsuits that claimed Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Last November, Bayer said it had reached deals with 88,500 of the roughly 125,000 claims in that camp, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ added that, if approved by the court, “individuals who believe Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma can apply for a settlement from a $1.33 billion pot of money, with the offers dependent on age, health, proof of Roundup use and other factors. Those who opt out can still pursue litigation on their own, with the prospect of convincing a jury to award higher, punitive damages not available to class members.”

Unresolved claims were part of the Bayer/Monsanto $9.6 billion deal (originally $10.9 billion proposal) the company announced in June 2020. Bayer said the settlement would bring closure to about 75 percent of the current Roundup litigation, including an “allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.”

Roundup and the EPA

Bayer asked the judge to allow for a panel of experts to review cancer claims and determine whether a causal connection exists. But U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria rejected this idea. Bayer/Monsanto has been in talks with plaintiff lawyers since. 

Inexplicably the U,S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still on Bayer’s side. “This is how a captured agency behaves,” said Beyond Pesticides community resource and policy director Drew Toher. “When EPA’s decision making repeatedly reflects the exact wishes of the chemical industry, public trust erodes, and we must look to new policy mechanisms that support the protection of health and the environment.”  

Beyond Pesticides sent a number of comments to the EPA, including:
“EPA’s myopic review and response to the dangers posed by glyphosate does a disservice to American farmers, farmworkers, and commercial landscapers wishing to use least-toxic products that do not put them at risk of health impacts, and consumers aiming to make the safest choice in regards to what to feed their family and how to manage their yards.”

Bayer’s Appeals

Taking into consideration these billions of dollars, it seems that Bayer is nickel-and-diming its pursuit of appeals in the three cases that went to trial, including the award to California groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson that has already been whittled down to $20.4 million, from an initial $289.2 million.

Another California man won the second case. Edwin Hardeman had used Roundup since the 1980s to spray weeds around his property. He was diagnosed with  non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2014 and $5.27 million, while his punitive damages were reduced from $75 to $20 million. The third major glyphosate trialwas brought by a California couple that had used Roundup for more than 30 years, also to kill weeds on their property. They were initially awarded an incredible $2.055 billion by the jury in 2019, which was reduced to $87 million.

The Cost of Monsanto

Bayer has to be regretting by now its purchase of Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. Not only is it getting hammered with litigation; the wide-reaching, multinational pharmaceutical company reported a bleak outlook for 2021 in part due to weaker demand by farmers, according to Reuters.

Bayer still denies any link between Roundup and cancer. 


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