Roundup Herbicide: US Supreme Court Upheld Bayer’s Conviction

The United States Supreme Courts refused this Tuesday to attend a German Bayer group resource, owner of Monsanto, with whom he sought to challenge thousands of complaints that his herbicide Roundup causes cancer; opening the door to millionaire compensation.

Since it decided not to intervene, the high court upholds a previous court ruling that condemns the group to pay US$25 million (23 million euros) to a retireeEdwin Hardeman, who attributes his cancer to this glyphosate-based herbicide.

According to the usual practice the Supreme Court did not justify his decision, which may have serious consequences for bayer, subject of more than 31,000 similar complaints, in addition to those for which it reached an agreement. And the number could increase.

The German company has already earmarked US$6.5 billion to deal with new proceedings (US$2 billion initially and then an additional US$4.5 billion after a settlement was rejected).

“Bayer respectfully disagrees with the decision of the Supreme Court“, but “is fully prepared to face the legal risk associated with possible future claims in the United States”the group said in a statement.

The Supreme Court of the United States

The company says it “admits no fault or liability” and “continues to support its Roundup products, a valuable tool for efficient agricultural production around the world.”

Millionaire compensation

Edwin Hardmandiagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2015, was one of the first to sue Monsantostating that his illness was due to the herbicide he used on his property for 25 years.

It accused the group of misleading users by claiming that glyphosate was harmless and of not including warnings on its labels. He filed a civil lawsuit in 2016.

in 2019 Bayer was sentenced to pay $25 million for damages, a decision upheld on appeal in 2021.

The company then appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, challenging the sentence alleging that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, for its acronym in English) considers that the use of Roundup does not deserve a special warning against cancer.


Lawsuits claim herbicide contains glyphosate

The attorney general representing the government asked in May for the group’s appeal to be dismissed, marking a change in the tone of President Joe Biden’s administration from that of his predecessor Donald Trump, whose Justice Department had sided. Bayer at the time of the appeal.

The main active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, classified as “probable carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

But Monsanto insists that no study has concluded that Roundup, which has been on the market since the 1970s, and glyphosate are dangerous.

Bayer bought the American Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion (59.6 billion euros). Since then he has been involved in multiple lawsuits related to herbicides in the United States.

In June 2020, it signed a US$10 billion settlement with plaintiffs’ representatives. The parties agreed to add $2 billion to settle future claims, but a California judge rejected this addition in May 2021.

the herbicide

The herbicide would have caused cancer, as indicated in the lawsuit

In an attempt to permanently put an end to all denunciations, the group presented a five-point plan in May 2021 that foresees that, in the event of a defeat in the Supreme Court in the Hardeman case, it would enter into negotiations on claims not included in the 2020 settlement.

On Tuesday, Bayer announced that it was “fully prepared to defend cases in court where plaintiffs’ expectations are unreasonable.”

The German company stresses that several sentences related to the herbicide have recently been issued in its favor and recalls that the Supreme Court must rule on another case that has appealed: a ruling that awards $87 million (82 million euros) to Alva and Alberta Pilliod, both with lymphoma after using Roundup for years.

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