Facing an estimated 95,000 lawsuits accusing their product of causing Roundup cancer, seed and pesticide maker Bayer has announced that it has reached a settlement with victims. The company has agreed to pay more than $10 billion, some of which will be used to resolve lawsuits that have not yet been filed. Legal experts are expressing surprise at the large amount, with professor of Stanford University Law School Nora Freeman Engstrom telling The New York Times, “It’s rare that we see a consensual settlement with that many zeros on it.”
According to a statement issued by the company, the settlement includes language that acknowledges that there are likely to be future claims filed by people who have used Roundup in the past and who may develop Roundup cancer in the future. That group of litigants will be eligible to receive a portion of a $1.25 billion amount that will be set aside specifically for them.
Bayer Pays the Price for Monsanto’s Roundup Cancer Liability
Though Bayer is not the company that originated the carcinogenic product, it became legally responsible for Roundup cancer when it purchased the pesticide’s manufacturer, Monsanto, back in 2018. That $63 billion purchase led to the ownership of the world’s most popular weedkiller, along with the legal ramifications of the use of the product having been linked to users’ diagnosis with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Both Monsanto and Bayer continue to insist that the product is safe.
The settlement agreement will address existing Roundup cancer lawsuits that are currently being handled by dozens of law firms. Different victims will receive different amounts based upon a complex series of eligibility qualifications. There are approximately 95,000 separate cases, most of which have been filed by homeowners, landscapers, and groundskeepers. Though the product is popular for this type of local use, the majority of Roundup sales come from farmers.
Though the $10 billion settlement will resolve most of the Roundup cancer cases, there are still another 25,000 claims that were not part of the agreement. The resolution of those cases is unclear, as those plaintiffs are also deserving of justice.