Shares of Bayer AG experienced its highest jump in a decade this week after the company announced that it had hired an external attorney to advise its supervisory board and had set up a committee to help settle mounting lawsuits accusing its herbicide Roundup of causing cancer.
The announcement comes about a year after Bayer acquired agribusiness Monsanto for $63 billion, and about a month after an Oakland, California, jury ordered the company to pay an elderly couple $2 billion after finding glyphosate contributed to both of their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnoses. The verdict – the eighth-largest products liability verdict in U.S. history – was the third loss in a row for Bayer.
Last August, a California jury awarded $289.2 million to a school groundskeeper with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His award was later reduced to $78 million. A second trial, which ended in March, resulted in an $80 million verdict in favor of the plaintiffs. The Roundup manufacturer faces more than 13,700 lawsuits claiming its widely used weed killer causes cancer.
Following the announcement, shares in Bayer’s German group, which had suffered a 20% drop since the second verdict was handed down, rose 8.7%.
Analysts speculate that a global Roundup settlement could reach as high as $5 billion. But some investors expect the company to face more litigation in hopes of better leveraging itself before a settlement is announced.
Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit was filed against Bayer in Kansas City, Missouri, by consumers who purchased Roundup alleging the company violated Missouri law by falsely advertising its herbicide. Bayer called the claims meritless, adding advertising for its weed killers is consistent with EPA standards.
Our firm is currently representing hundreds 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 these cases. Contact John Tomlinson, Andrew Banks or Grant Cofer for more information.