Despite initial indications of a settlement had been reached in litigation surrounding Roundup weed killer and its role in causing cancer, the judge in the case is now indicating that the agreement is in jeopardy after plaintiffs’ attorneys accused the company of going back on its promises.
At issue is an $11 billion deal that had been promised to 125,000 Roundup cancer victims. According to U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, there are concerns that the process was manipulated. Saying, “My concern is that if I leave the stay in place, am I complicit in whatever shenanigans are taking place on the Bayer side?” he now questions whether the company was truthful in its assertions throughout the process. He plans to revisit the question of whether to let litigation proceed or keep it on hold.
Some Roundup Cancer Settlements May Proceed While Questions Are Addressed
While some Roundup cancer victims are quietly moving forward and settling their cases, those who want to return to the court system will remain on hold until Judge Chhabria makes his decision. Much of what is at issue has to do with how future lawsuits that have not yet been filed will be resolved. Roundup’s attorneys are maintaining an upbeat position, releasing a statement that read in part, “A mass tort settlement of this size and complexity can take significant time before it is fully executed, and we are still early in this process. There are often some bumps in the road in implementing a resolution of this magnitude, but we remain confident that a comprehensive settlement will be finalized and executed.”
But attorneys for Roundup cancer victims take a less positive outlook, having told the judge
“there is no settlement” after finding that many of the terms that had been agreed to may not have been authorized or have been reneged on. He and other plaintiffs’ attorneys sent the judge letters detailing what has been happening, and Judge Chhabria has indicated that he may release the contents of those letters, saying that if the weed killer’s manufacturer is “going back on its deal and the deal it announced in June, that seems to me something that should not be kept confidential.”