Bayer says it has settled another 15,000 lawsuits alleging its Roundup weed killer causes cancer, according to news reports. The news comes just two weeks after Bayer was accused of “welshing” on a $10.9 billion deal it had made in June to settle tens of thousands of the lawsuits.
After Bayer announced its plans to settle back on June 24, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who is overseeing the multidistrict litigation, imposed a 90-day stay on the litigation so the parties could work through details of the settlement. But in August, after receiving “several” confidential letters from plaintiffs’ attorneys accusing Bayer of reneging on its end of the deal, Judge Chhabria threatened to lift the stay and schedule more cases for trial.
The judge also expressed surprise at learning Bayer had, as its attorney stated, hit “a speed bump” in settlement negotiations, which stalled the process. Referencing Bayer’s June settlement announcement, Judge Chhabria said “I took all of that to mean the MDL is settled … maybe there was no deal in the first place.”
Judge Chhabria gave a Sept. 24 deadline for attorneys to either work out a settlement or come up with an alternative plan for litigation. Bayer likely didn’t want to face more trials considering it lost the first three, totaling more than $191 million in damages.
The latest cases to be settled add to the roughly 32,000 that were previously disclosed. The company has estimated it faces a total of 125,000 Roundup cases, some of which have yet to be filed.
Rhon Jones, who along with John Tomlinson and Jere Beasley of Beasley Allen, is part of the firm’s Roundup litigation team, had been skeptical about the deal from the start. “We did not resolve cases for our clients at the time Bayer announced this settlement back in June because it lacked transparency and we felt Bayer was not serious about resolving cases for our clients,” he said. “The hearing [in August] confirmed this.”
Beasley Allen lawyers are currently representing 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.