The Supreme Court rules the Bayer glyphosate case | Free press

Plaintiffs blame the chemical company Bayer for cancer. Now the US Supreme Court is deciding whether to hear a landmark glyphosate case.

Leverkusen / Washington / Kansas City.

The US Supreme Court is expected to make a decision by Monday on whether to hear a landmark case in the Bayer glyphosate dispute. Nine judges held their debates on Thursday, according to court documents.

The result is usually announced the following Monday, but publication on Friday is possible. Although there is no sign that the judges will hear the case at the moment – a surprise is possible, as well as a delay if the judges need more time to find out.

Bayer had to pay compensation in 2019

In the case of plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, Bayer was convicted in 2019 and sentenced to pay good damages of $ 25 million. Hardeman blames the controversial glyphosate-containing cancer on the Roundup weedkiller of the US agricultural chemicals group Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018. The Dax Group dismisses the allegations and argues for the approval of many product regulators and with research to show that glyphosate-containing products are harmless when used correctly.

In an application to the Supreme Court, Bayer argues with the so-called “Federal Preemption.” The company’s position is that claims for compensation for allegedly inadequate cancer risk warnings cannot exist under state law if they are contrary to federal law. In addition, the group is of the opinion that the admission of experts as plaintiffs’ witnesses did not meet federal standards in this trial.

Bayer is prepared from $ 4.5 billion

If the Supreme Court were to overturn the 2019 decision, that would send a signal to future plaintiffs. Bayer hopes to then be able to essentially tick off the cause of the glyphosate. The US government, represented by the so-called Solicitor General spoke out against the negotiations in mid-May. While not binding on the Supreme Court, it makes trial unlikely. However, it should be noted that only four of the nine judges need to consent to be accepted, so no majority is required.

However, acceptance would come as a slight positive surprise to Bayer investors. Because in the event that the Supreme Court refuses to deal with the proceedings or ultimately rules against Bayer, the group created additional reserves of $ 4.5 billion (€ 4.2 billion) last summer. The company then plans to use this money to develop a program to deal with claims from potential new claimants in the US in the next 15 years.

End glyphosate in Roundup by 2023

However, if negotiations are held and a judgment is passed in favor of Dax, the rules may be partially waived. If the proceedings were rejected, not much would change with the rules already established for potential lawsuits. Bayer is looking to reduce the risk of future lawsuits by no longer containing glyphosate for private buyers of Roundup weedkiller in the US from 2023.

The fact that the group won the current hearing in Kansas City, Missouri this Thursday, makes the group very optimistic. The jury found that the herbicide was not responsible for the claimant’s cancer. “This conclusion is in line with 40 years of research and regulatory assessments around the world that Roundup is safe to use and non-carcinogenic,” a company spokesman said. Bayer welcomed the verdict, but at the same time expressed sympathy for the plaintiff.

The Leverkusen team is dealing with many other similar lawsuits in the US. While the group has won three glyphosate lawsuits in a row in the US, it has also lost three consecutive lawsuits. (dpa)

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