LUIS, MO- According to Reuters.com, the CEO of Bayer stated that the pharmaceutical company was considering entering a settlement in the lawsuits filed against the company’s recently acquired Monsanto. The claims are based on glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup.
However, representatives maintain that they believe that Roundup is safe and not responsible for causing cases of cancer. Werner Baumann, Bayer’s CEO said that the company would consider a settlement from an economic perspective if the costs of litigation were going to exceed the cost of settling.
In August, Bayer lost a claim filed by a California groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who alleged that using Roundup caused him to develop cancer. Johnson suffers from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The jury awarded Johnson $289 million. While the award was reduced by the judge to $78 million, the lawsuit had a major impact on Bayer’s stock. The company’s shares have lost 25 percent in value as a result of the litigation.
There are currently over 8,700 cases pending against Bayer in relation to glyphosate. The massive litigation and the upholding of liability in the California case have led investors to express their concerns about the company.
Bayer has expressed concerns that the jury pool selected in upcoming trials will be biased against the company because of the negative media coverage about Roundup. The company is pushing to change the jury selection process.
Plaintiffs point to the company’s hypocrisy citing a full-page advertisement the company placed in the Washington Post as an example of the company’s attempts to shape the public’s perception of the issue.
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