USA- Hoosieragtoday.com writes that while Bayer has discussed possibly settling claims against Monsanto’s weed killer, Roundup, the company is primarily focused on defending glyphosate against allegations that the chemical causes cancer.
Bayer recently bought Monsanto in a $63 billion deal. Bayer’s CEO stated that the company would look at the possibility of settling from an economic perspective, explaining that if the cost of defending the chemical outweighed the cost of settling the claims, then the company would consider a settlement. The settlement would not be an admission that the weed killer was responsible for causing cancer.
Bayer lost a lawsuit in California in which a school groundskeeper claimed that he developed terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of his exposure to Roundup as a part of his job. The initial award was for $289 million, but the judge later reduced the punitive damage and lowered the amount to $78 million. The plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, agreed to the reduced sum because he wanted the case “resolved in his lifetime.”
Johnson worked with glyphosate for many years and mixed and sprayed hundreds of gallons of the chemical.
While the award was ultimately reduced, Bayer is fighting against the court’s decision that the evidence was enough to say that Bayer’s Roundup was responsible for causing Johnson’s cancer. The lawsuit has made other similar lawsuits more likely, and now the company is facing thousands of claims. In the wake of the initial decision, Bayer’s stock dropped. When the sum was reduced, but the decision on liability was permitted to stand, the company’s stock valuation dropped again, this time by 8 percent.
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