A large number of lawsuits from plaintiffs claiming to have been exposed to glyphosate-based products manufactured by subsidiary of Bayer, Monsanto, have been served on Monsanto in the United States.
Bayer anticipates additional lawsuits.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in several Monsanto herbicides, including Roundup brand products.
The plaintiffs allege personal injuries resulting from exposure to those products, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and multiple myeloma, and seek compensatory and punitive damages.
Among other things, the plaintiffs allege that glyphosate-based herbicide products are defective and that Monsanto knew, or should have known, of the risks allegedly associated with such products and failed to adequately warn their users.
Most of the plaintiffs have brought actions in state courts in Missouri and California. Cases pending in United States federal courts have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of California for common pretrial management.
In 2020, Monsanto reached an agreement in principle with the plaintiffs, without admission of liability, to resolve most of the current Roundup litigation and establish a mechanism to resolve potential future claims.
As of February 1, 2022, Monsanto had settled and/or was close to settling a substantial number of claims.
Because it now has greater visibility into the number and quality of claims filed, Bayer believes that of the approximately 138,000 total claims that have been filed, approximately 107,000 have been resolved or are ineligible for various reasons.
The three adverse verdicts, Johnson, Hardeman and Pilliod, are not covered by the settlement.
In August 2021, the California Court of Appeals ruled against Monsanto on Pilliod’s appeal.
Then, in November 2021, the California Supreme Court denied review of the appeal.
Bayer is considering its options regarding seeking review by the US Supreme Court.
Johnson’s case concluded with the payment of the final judgment of US$20.5 million plus interest in March 2021.
In May 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against Monsanto on Hardeman’s appeal.
The company petitioned the US Supreme Court for a review on Hardeman. In December 2021, the Supreme Court invited the United States Attorney General to file a brief on the matter setting out the government’s views.
In light of the Supreme Court’s request for government opinions, Bayer will not consider further settlement discussions with plaintiffs’ attorneys at this time.
Bayer is convinced that the verdicts are not supported by the evidence of the trial and the law and therefore intends to pursue the appeals vigorously.
In October 2021, the jury in another trial, Clark, returned a verdict in favor of Monsanto. The jury found that Roundup did not cause the plaintiff’s child’s lymphoma.
Clark’s trial took place in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles.
In December 2021, the jury in another trial, Stephens, returned a verdict in favor of Monsanto. The jury found that Roundup did not cause the plaintiff’s lymphoma. Stephens’ trial took place in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Bernardino.