Yesterday, Bayer AG, the German pharmaceutical and chemical giant, had the kind of bad-news day major corporations dread.
On the pharmaceutical side, the company announced, that as of June 30, it has paid some $1.138 billion to settle 3,017 personal injury cases worldwide stemming from its ill-fate cholesterol drug, Baycol, which was pulled from the market in 2002 as a result of serious safety problems.
The settlements have averaged about $378,000 and the company still faces significant exposure in thousands of remaining cases in and outside of the U.S.
On the chemical side, the Justice Department (U.S.) announced that two former Bayer executives have been indicted on charges of participating in a conspiracy to fix the prices of chemicals used in the rubber industry.
Jürgen Ick, former head of Bayer’s Rubber Business Group, is charged with conspiring to fix rubber chemical prices in the U.S. and elsewhere between 1995 and 2001 in an effort to suppress competition. Gunter Monn, former head of marketing for the Rubber Group, is charged with joining the conspiracy in 1997.
According to the Justice Department, the investigation that led to these indictments remains active and is continuing.