Bayer settles litigation over herbicide Roundup

Bayer settles litigation over herbicide Roundup

Bayer AG signed informal agreements to settle a large portion of an estimated 125,000 cases of cancer in the United States over the use of the Roundup herbicide, according to people familiar with the talks. The deals, which have yet to be signed and cover between 50,000 and 85,000 lawsuits, are part of Bayer’s $10 billion strategy to resolve a lengthy legal battle that the firm inherited when it bought Monsanto in 2018, the people said. Although some attorneys have not yet decided, settled case settlements will range from several million dollars to several thousand dollars each, the people said, who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to talk in public.
In June, people familiar with the talks said Bayer is expected to announce the deals that require supervisory board approval. None of the settlements are signed, but lawyers for the plaintiffs are required to do so on the announcement day, the people said.
Leaving the Roundup drama behind is a priority for CEO Werner Baumann, who oversaw Monsanto’s $63 billion takeover and has since faced legal repercussions. The spike in Roundup’s litigation, together with three major court defeats in the US, dealt a blow to the company’s stock, removing tens of billions of dollars of its market value and leading shareholders to deliver an unprecedented rebuke to Baumann last spring.
But since last summer, the chief executive has kept the business out of further jury trials when engaging in talks about high-risk mediation. It won the 93 per cent annual shareholder vote of confidence last month in the midst of signs that Bayer could find a resolution soon. “A settlement of all US$ 10 billion litigation would give a big boost to Bayer’s stock price,” Baader Bank analyst Markus Mayer said in an email Monday.