Glyphosate trial: Bayer only has to pay 400 million instead of two billion in damages

Glyphosate trial: Bayer only has to pay 400 million instead of two billion in damages

Significantly less is still too much: A US court drastically reduced the damages of two billion dollars in a glyphosate case, but Bayer still wants to challenge the decision.

A court in the US state of Pennsylvania has significantly reduced the amount of damages imposed on Bayer subsidiary Monsanto in a glyphosate lawsuit from more than two billion dollars to 400,000 dollars. After the decision, the chemical company nevertheless announced that it would appeal. “The proceedings were characterized by serious errors that can and must be corrected,” the Leverkusen-based company explained in its justification.

Plaintiff blames “Roundup” for cancer

In January, a jury in Philadelphia sentenced Monsanto, a company acquired by Bayer, to pay billions in damages for the glyphosate-containing weed killer “Roundup.” However, according to Monsanto, Judge Susan Schulman reduced the $2.25 billion (almost €2.1 billion) damages awarded to the plaintiff, John McKivison, who suffers from cancer, to $400,000. McKivison blames “Roundup” for his cancer, a so-called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Bayer wrote in its statement that the jury in the case had been “deceived and incited”, which also explains the “unconstitutionally excessive amounts of damages”. The company denies that glyphosate is carcinogenic. The issue has been controversial in science for years. In November, the EU Commission extended the approval of the weed killer by ten years.

Monsanto: expensive takeover

Bayer took over the “Roundup” manufacturer Monsanto in 2018 for 63 billion dollars and has since been embroiled in court cases relating to “Roundup”. The company was ordered to pay damages in a number of glyphosate rulings, but was acquitted in other cases. Settlements were reached in numerous cases. Bayer says it has set aside provisions of 16 billion dollars for the glyphosate proceedings.

“Although the court has reduced the unconstitutionally high amount of damages, we do not agree with the court’s decision on the matter,” the company said on Wednesday. The proceedings were marked by serious errors. These can and must be corrected. Bayer also points out that the company has prevailed in court in 14 of the most recent 20 cases. In addition, most of the lawsuits have been settled, it said.

Bayer brought the problems surrounding the glyphosate-containing weed killer “Roundup” into the company in 2018 with the takeover of the US company Monsanto for over 60 billion dollars. The same year, a first judgment against the DAX company followed. This set off a wave of lawsuits in the USA.

Glyphosate lawsuits cost 13 billion euros

In 2020, Bayer launched a billion-dollar program to settle the majority of the lawsuits without admitting liability. A good portion of the lawsuits have been settled, but risks remain. At the end of January, around 54,000 of around 165,000 cases were still open. The wave of glyphosate lawsuits has already cost Bayer 13 billion euros.

Source: Stern

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