After entering into a previous settlement that covered current claims, Bayer entered into a $2 billion deal that would settle any future claims related to its weedkiller Roundup. Bayer had struggled for months to reach a settlement of claims that Roundup was linked with cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer. Bayer inherited the business and the legal claims when it acquired Monsanto in 2015.
Legal claims involving a link between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have relied on a number of scientific studies. Bayer continues to claim that its product is safe to use despite having knowledge of the cancer link. Roundup is widely used by farmers in the United States and other countries as an effective weedkiller. However, it is not only consistent long-term use that has been connected to the cancer risk. A regular household user of Roundup may also develop cancer.
Bayer has lost a number of different lawsuits, and plaintiffs have been awarded millions of dollars in compensation for cancer they developed as a result of Roundup exposure. In 2018, a groundskeeper was awarded $289 million for his claim regarding his cancer diagnosis. In 2019, two other multi-million verdicts were handed down in favor of injured plaintiffs.
The settlement agreed to by Bayer would cover future claims by users of Roundup that developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to the weedkiller. The settlement also includes benefits for those individuals who were exposed to Roundup and developed cancer in the future. Under the proposed plan, Bayer will pay $2 billion over a four-year period as compensation and cover diagnostic assistance and outreach. Future claimants could be eligible to receive up to $200,000 in compensation. The company would also create a science advisory panel whose findings could be used as evidence in potential future claims. Bayer agreed to work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase transparency regarding the dangers associated with the use of Roundup. They would add a reference link on the labels that would lead consumers to scientific studies.
Many plaintiffs are unhappy with the settlement believing that it is a one-way street in favor of Bayer. For claims that are filed later, plaintiffs will be restricted to a multi-tiered system and will be unable to pursue a class action or punitive damages. In addition, plaintiffs are concerned that Bayer will be able to continue marketing Roundup which could lead to even more claims down the line.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers are also currently arguing over the distribution of the $800 million in attorneys fees included in the settlement. Lawyers who were part of the process early on in the litigation are arguing that they should receive a greater percentage of the fees than lawyers who came along after things had already started. Some lawyers are arguing that those that entered the litigation earlier have already been adequately compensated.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after exposure to Roundup, you should have your case evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping the victims of dangerous products for over 25 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.