Texas residents have filed numerous lawsuits against Bayer over the popular weedkiller Roundup. The allegation in the lawsuits is that the active ingredient in Roundup is a carcinogen. After several massive jury verdicts were handed down, Bayer has settled nearly all of the legal claims against it for $12 billion.
Ironically, Bayer was not the company that developed and sold Roundup. However, the company is on the hook for the legal liability because it bought Monsanto in a $63 billion transaction. The agreement caps lengthy settlement negotiations between the plaintiffs and the company. For Bayer, settling the lawsuits became a corporate priority since the fears of its liability had sunk the share price.
In addition to settling about 75% of the thousands of lawsuits filed against it, Bayer will set up a $1.25 billion fund to settle future lawsuits. While this reduces Bayer’s legal risk, it does not fully eliminate it. There are still 30,000 outstanding lawsuits that have not been settled. Juries have shown some distaste when they have seen evidence of Monsanto’s corporate behavior and have punished the company harshly as a result. In addition, there are $191 million of total jury verdicts that are on appeal right now that were not included in the settlement. Thus, Roundup lawsuits will continue to be a focus for current and future plaintiffs with claims.
Even though many cases have settled, those who have possible claims against Bayer may still file lawsuits if they are within the applicable statute of limitations. They should consult with a product liability and mass torts lawyer to learn more about how they can file their own lawsuit against the company. The lawyer could advise them whether it is best to proceed all the way to trial or to work toward a settlement of their case.