Energy & Environment

Bayer agrees to $10 billion settlement in Roundup suits

Bayer will pay more than $10 billion to resolve nearly 100,000 lawsuits filed by people who claimed to have gotten cancer from its weedkiller Roundup.

The complex settlement includes cases from more than 25 law firms representing clients ranging from homeowners to farmers who claimed to have suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma stemming from Roundup use. The claimants will receive varying amounts.  

Bayer has repeatedly maintained Roundup is safe. The settlement will resolve three-fourths of the outstanding Roundup cases and sets aside $1.25 billion to address future litigation. The company still faces 25,000 claims from those who were not part of the settlement.

“The Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” Werner Baumann, chief executive officer of Bayer, said in a statement.

“It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multi-year litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business,” he added.

Bayer bought Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, for $63 billion in 2018.

The company has lost several lawsuits from parties claiming they were hurt by the product.

A California jury in May of last year awarded a couple $2 billion in damages, though that was later reduced to nearly $87 million. The case that is still working its way through court and was not included in the settlement.

In that case, Bayer argued that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had found glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, posed no major health risks.

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in 2019. 

Earlier this year, the agency reapproved the use of glyphosate, saying there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that glyphosate plays a role in any human diseases.”

The EPA has been sued at least twice over the reapproval.

Rachel Frazin contributed to this report, which was updated at 3:48 p.m.

Tags Andrew Wheeler bayer Monsanto Roundup

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