Loss for Bayer – US Court of Appeals reopens glyphosate lawsuit | News

New York / Frankfurt (Reuters) – Bayer is a long way from settling its expensive glyphosate lawsuit in the US Supreme Court.

After a pharmaceutical and agrochemical group has failed in two appeals to the Supreme Court, Bayer must now bury the last hope that the court will take care of it. As a federal appeals court on Tuesday resumed the case of Georgia plaintiff John Carson, which Bayer had already won in first instance in late 2020. A court in Montgomery, Alabama, rejected Bayer’s argument that federal law protects the company from state lawsuits like Carson. Bayer explained that it could not understand the court’s decision and is now exploring other legal options.

Bayer shares lost more than two percent on Wednesday and were one of Dax’s biggest losers in a weak market. “In our opinion, with this decision, options beyond resolving the remaining cases appear to be settled,” said Jefferies analysts. However, this was foreseeable after the Supreme Court rejected Bayer’s previous appeals.

The company hoped the Court of Appeals would re-rule in its favor in the Carson case, confirming that Bayer should not have warned of a cancer risk with Roundup herbicide products containing glyphosate, which is prohibited by relevant federal law. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency itself has banned warnings about possible cancer risks and concluded that glyphosate-based herbicides are not carcinogenic. Bayer had counted on this and hoped that other appellate court jurisprudence could still form the basis for a Supreme Court review – which could limit the company’s liability in thousands of lawsuits.


However, the Court of Appeal overturned the judgment in favor of Bayer and remitted the case. The company is now considering whether to appeal. “Bayer remains fully behind Roundup products as science and regulators around the world continue to confirm that glyphosate herbicides are safe and non-carcinogenic.” Carson credits his 2016 cancer diagnosis to years of Roundup use. The company should have warned about the risk of cancer on the product label.

A wave of lawsuits in the United States caused Bayer to acquire the multi-billion dollar acquisition of Roundup producer Monsanto. Recently, contracts were still pending for approximately 31,000 of the 138,000 pending glyphosate lawsuits filed. The group has so far lost three lawsuits with millions in damages and has suffered setbacks in all previous appeals. Bayer has since failed in two of these cases before the Supreme Court. However, in addition to Carson, Bayer also won four cases.

The group has already made provisions for failure before the Supreme Court and made additional provisions of $ 4.5 billion last year. With the vast majority of plaintiffs using Roundup products for private weed killing, Bayer is no longer willing to sell glyphosate-containing products to private customers as of 2023.

(Report by Brendan Pierson and Patricia Weiß; Edited by Sabine Wollrab. If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at berlin.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com (for politics and economics) or frankfurt.newsroom@thomsonreuters.com (for companies and markets).)

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