Bayer shares fall after losing Roundup trial
Bayer’s shares fell by 5% on Monday after the German company was ordered to pay $2.25bn to a Roundup user who maintains that his use of the weed killer caused him to develop cancer.
A jury in Philadelphia awarded the claimant, John McKivision, $2bn in punitive damages and a further $250mn in compensatory damages after concluding that his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma resulted from his exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide.
McKivision’s attorneys welcomed the ruling, saying in a joint statement that ‘The jury’s punitive damages award sends a clear message that this multi-national corporation needs top to bottom change.’
Bayer, meanwhile, stated that it disagrees with the verdict, which, it claimed, ‘conflicts with the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence and worldwide regulatory and scientific assessments.’
The company said that it will appeal the court’s decision, expressing its belief that it will be able to get the verdict overturned and the ‘unconstitutionally excessive damage award eliminated or reduced.’
In 2020, Bayer settled most of the lawsuits it was facing from Roundup users by negotiating block settlement arrangements with plaintiffs’ lawyers. However, according to the Reuters news agency, more than 50,000 cases remain open.
Although the German company insists that Roundup, which was originally developed by Monsanto, is safe, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’.
While Bayer has stopped selling Roundup for home use in an effort to forestall future lawsuits, it continues to sell glyphosate-based weed killers to farmers.