Roundup settlement gets re-jigged

Bayer has hit a snag with the part of its $10 billion Roundup settlement that applies to future legal claims of the common herbicide causing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The massive settlement announced on June 24, 2020 not only addressed thousands of existing court claims regarding Roundup, but it also included a deal regarding future litigation and the creation of an advisory panel to establish a verdict on the carcinogenic level of the herbicide. That portion of the settlement had to be approved by a judge.

As of July 8, Bayer says it has agreed to withdraw the pending motion for preliminary approval of the class agreement.

This withdrawal will “enable the parties to more comprehensively address the questions recently raised by Federal District Court Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California who presides over the federal Roundup litigation,” the company says in a statement.

“Even with the consent of both sides, it’s questionable whether it would be constitutional—or otherwise lawful— to delegate the function of deciding the general causation question (that is, whether or not and at what dose Roundup is capable of causing cancer) from judges and juries to a panel of scientists,” said Chhabria in a court filing on Monday.

Bayer says it remains “strongly committed to a resolution that simultaneously addresses both the current litigation on reasonable terms and a viable solution to manage and resolve potential future litigation.”

Bayer shares were down Tuesday, July 7, following the judge’s comments.

The settlement does not apply to class action litigation in Canadian courts, and Bayer says it is not contemplating a settlement of the Canadian cases related to Roundup.

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