Bayer AG Chairman Werner Wenning is leaving the German drugs and chemicals company before his term expires. He leaves with the ill-advised Monsanto acquisition and tens of thousands of lawsuits over its Roundup weedkiller pending in courts around the U.S. Wenning will be succeeded in April by Norbert Winkeljohann who joined Bayer’s supervisory board in May 2018 just before the Monsanto deal closed. Reportedly, the $63 billion purchase was the brainchild of Wenning and Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann, who was censured by shareholders at last year’s annual meeting.
Bayer bought Monsanto in order to solidify its hold on the lucrative agro-chemicals and seeds market. But the transaction has saddled Bayer with suits claiming the Roundup herbicide causes cancer.
Major investors – including U.S. billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. – pushed Bayer toward settlement talks with at least 42,700 Plaintiffs who claim that Roundup causes cancer. Bayer agreed to postpone further trials and to give mediation a chance for a global settlement. This came after Bayer lost three California cases that resulted in combined damages of $191 million. At least a half-dozen trials scheduled to start in February and March have been put on hold.
Beasley Allen lawyers are currently representing thousands of clients who have been exposed to Roundup and developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Our Roundup Litigation Team would welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding a potential claim. For more information, contact one of the members of the Roundup Litigation Team: John Tomlinson (who heads up the team), Michael Dunphy, Danielle Ingram, or Rhon Jones, all lawyers in our Toxic Torts Section.
This story appears in the March 2020 issue of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.