April 18, 2019 — After 2 trial losses totaling $160 million, a federal judge has ordered Bayer to enter mediation and begin settlement talks with lawyers for people who developed cancer after using Roundup weed-killer.
After Bayer acquired Monsanto last year, the company assumed responsibility for resolving over 11,200 lawsuits involving Roundup.
Bayer has lost two consecutive trials so far. The federal judge overseeing the litigation delayed the start of a third trial to give lawyers a chance to organize the lawsuits and enter mediation.
Settlement talks in the Roundup litigation could begin in the next few weeks. The judge scheduled a May 22 hearing to discuss mediation efforts and possibly set a new date for the canceled trial.
Analysts predict a settlement could top $5 billion, according to Bloomberg.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria asked lawyers to propose a mediator for settlement talks. If they cannot agree on a mediator, the court will appoint someone.
Mediation may not lead to a settlement anytime soon, but it could allow Bayer to privately resolve the litigation and avoid multi-million dollar headlines from additional jury verdicts against the company.
Since the first trial loss last summer, the legal fight over Roundup has wiped more than $34 billion off the German company’s market value.
In March, Bayer was ordered to pay $80 million to a man with lymphoma who used Roundup. Last summer, another jury awarded $289 million to a groundskeeper with cancer. A state court trial is now underway in California, on behalf of a married couple with lymphoma.
The lawsuit is In RE: Roundup Products Liability Litigation —MDL 2741 in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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