332 million dollars in damages – that is the verdict of the jury in a court in California. Bayer, however, is convinced that it can prevail in an appeal process.
Bayer has suffered its third consecutive defeat in US litigation over cancer allegations about weed killers containing glyphosate. Jurors in a California state court in San Diego awarded a 57-year-old a total of $332 million (314 million euros) in damages. Bayer said it was convinced it had strong arguments to prevail in an appeal.
Bayer had won nine US cases before losing three. It was only on Monday that the company announced that it wanted to challenge the two previous defeats.
Bayer also emphasizes that it remains convinced of the safety of glyphosate. The San Diego trial awarded $7 million in compensatory damages and an additional $325 million in punitive damages.
Bayer called the verdict unfounded and the amount of damages unconstitutional. There were also legal errors in the process. In the United States, juries often award large sums to plaintiffs, which judges often later reduce.
Bayer brought the problems surrounding the weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, into its own hands in 2018 with its $60 billion takeover of Monsanto. In the same year, the first judgment against the DAX group followed, which set off a wave of lawsuits in the USA. In 2020, Bayer launched a billion-dollar program to settle the majority of the lawsuits – without admitting liability.
Bayer has already processed the majority of the lawsuits. In the spring, when the business figures for 2022 were presented, it was said that of the total of around 154,000 claims registered, around 109,000 had been compared or did not meet the comparison criteria. In addition, Bayer can – as of the end of 2022 – build on a cushion of $6.4 billion, which the group has set aside for settlements of existing and future glyphosate lawsuits.