Bayer Will Pay $10 Billion to Resolve Tens of Thousands of Roundup Cancer Claims

Bayer, the maker of the highly controversial Roundup weed killer, has announced a plan to settle most of the Roundup cancer lawsuits currently pending against the company, as well as possible future claims, for more than $10 billion. The announcement came on June 24, 2020, after years of litigation from farmers, agricultural workers, groundskeepers, homeowners and other Roundup users who claim that they developed cancer from exposure to the carcinogenic chemical glyphosate. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer and you believe Roundup to be the cause, our consumer advocates at the Leading Justice can help. We are committed to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by dangerous products and we can help put you in touch with an experienced and compassionate Roundup cancer attorney today.

Risks of Roundup Exposure

Roundup is the brand name of a broad-spectrum weed killer that contains glyphosate, which kills plants and grasses by preventing them from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. Not only is glyphosate routinely sprayed on fruit and vegetable crops and “Roundup Ready” crops, which are genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate, the herbicide is also popular among homeowners who use it to control weeds on their home lawns and gardens. If you use Roundup at home or at work, you could be exposed to glyphosate by breathing in the chemical or getting it on your skin. Your risk of exposure is higher if you eat or smoke after applying Roundup without first washing your hands or if you touch plants that are still wet with Roundup.

Lawsuits Alleging Cancer from Roundup

Roundup weed killer has been around for decades and Monsanto has repeatedly claimed that its active ingredient, glyphosate, does not cause cancer. However, in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and that same year, a Monsanto executive wrote in an email that an EPA official had offered to help quash another review of glyphosate’s safety, saying “If I can kill this, I should get a medal.” In fact, there is a collection of documents known as the “Monsanto Papers,” which collectively suggest that Monsanto knew that Roundup exposure could cause adverse health consequences in users, yet failed to disclose this information to the public.

When Bayer acquired Roundup maker Monsanto in 2018, it also inherited lawsuits claiming that Monsanto failed to properly warn consumers about the potential risk of cancer from glyphosate, which is the world’s most widely used herbicide. Of the estimated 125,000 Roundup lawsuits filed in state and federal courts nationwide, only three have gone to trial so far, and in each of the three trials, jurors decided in favor of the plaintiffs, finding that Roundup exposure was a significant contributing factor in causing their cancer and awarding tens of millions or even billions of dollars in damages. Although judges later reduced the award amounts, the considerable losses likely played a role in Bayer’s decision to reach a Roundup settlement agreement. The $10 billion settlement announced by Bayer will resolve roughly 75% of the Roundup lawsuits currently pending against the company, as well as any future claims that may be brought by Roundup users who are diagnosed with cancer in the coming years.  

Bayer Stands by Safety of Roundup

If you thought that Bayer’s decision to resolve the Roundup litigation was a step in the direction of the company finally admitting that Roundup poses serious health risks, you would be mistaken. Bayer stated that the settlement agreements “contain no admission of liability or wrongdoing.” In fact, the company will continue selling Roundup with no added warnings about the weed killer’s possible safety risks because it stands by previous claims that glyphosate is safe when used as directed. “First and foremost, the Roundup settlement is the right action at the right time for Bayer to bring a long period of uncertainty to an end,” stated Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer, in the announcement. “It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multi-year litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.”

Contact a Roundup Cancer Attorney for Help

The $10 billion Roundup deal is one of the largest settlements ever in the history of U.S. civil litigation and it still only addresses three-quarters of the pending Roundup litigation. Bayer still faces at least 30,000 Roundup claims from plaintiffs who have not agreed to participate in the settlement, plus any future claims. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Roundup, which may include an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, do not hesitate to seek legal help from a qualified Roundup cancer lawyer. A growing body of evidence suggests that glyphosate exposure causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that Monsanto knew about the potential cancer risk from Roundup and deliberately kept this information from consumers. With a knowledgeable product liability lawyer on your side, you can determine whether you qualify for a Roundup cancer lawsuit.

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