Bayer to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle cancer claims over Roundup
The German chemicals and pharmaceutical giant Bayer has reached a settlement worth up to $10.9 billion for tens of thousands of claims that the weedkiller Roundup caused cancer, hoping to put an end to years of litigation that has weighed on Bayer’s stock price.
Bayer acquired Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion and inherited the claims against Roundup in the process.
Plaintiffs allege that glyphosate, a herbicide that is Roundup’s key ingredient, causes cancer; Monsanto and now Bayer have maintained that the weedkiller is safe.
Bayer said in a press release that it has earmarked $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to settle current claims, with another $1.25 billion set aside for potential future claims.
The settlement covers approximately 95,000 cases, according to the press release, but Bayer still faces 25,000 more claims from plaintiffs who did not agree to be a part of the settlement.
The New York Times reported that the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered courts across the country, may have contributed to the settlement being reached.
Shares of Bayer perked up Wednesday on the settlement news, rising almost 2.5%.
“It’s rare that we see a consensual settlement with that many zeros on it,” Stanford University law professor Nora Freeman Engstrom told the Times.
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