Bayer, an agrochemical and pharmaceutical group, has suffered a setback in a U.S. legal dispute over the alleged risk of cancer caused by the herbicide glyphosate. The U.S. government instructed the Supreme Court on Tuesday (local time) against accepting a key case. This practice could have a signal effect for many US cases. For the Leverkusen-based Dax Group, this includes billions worth of legal risks.
In particular, it was about a review of the verdict in favor of plaintiff Edwin Hartman, who blamed Bayer-acquired Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing products for his cancer. In 2019, after a court case, he was eventually awarded $ 25 million in damages. Bayer hopes the Supreme Court will overturn this decision.
However, it is not yet clear whether the case will be handled by the US Supreme Court. In December, the judges announced that the US government’s opinion had at first appeared to be a sign of interest and therefore favorable to Bayer. But now the recommendation of the Ministry of Justice is available – it will take the side of the plaintiff. The government did not accept Bayer’s argument that federal law precludes claims for damages in individual U.S. states.
Glyphosate Process: Bayer will allocate $ 4.5 billion
“We continue to believe that the Supreme Court has good legal reason to reconsider the Hartman case and reverse the verdict,” Bayer said in a statement. Several reports submitted to the court confirmed this. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has repeatedly stated that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and do not cause cancer.
If the Supreme Court does not want to deal with the glyphosate case or eventually decides against Bayer, the company has paid $ 4.5 billion over the summer. The money will be used to set up a plan to deal with new plaintiffs’ claims over the next 15 years. Bayer accepted the problems related to the glyphosate herbicide round in 2018 by buying Monsanto for more than $ 60 billion.
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