April 18, 2019 — After two consecutive trial losses, a federal judge has ordered Bayer to start settlement talks with lawyers for over 11,200 people who developed cancer after using Roundup weed-killer.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria canceled a third trial that was scheduled to begin next month. Instead, he asked lawyers to choose a mediator and begin settlement talks.
Mediation might not lead to a settlement, but it would give Bayer an opportunity to quietly resolve the litigation and avoid negative headlines from additional multi-million dollar jury verdicts.
Bayer’s market value plunged by $34 billion after the first trial loss last summer, when a jury awarded $289 million to a groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using Roundup.
In March, a jury in California ordered Bayer to pay $80 million to another man who developed lymphoma after using Roundup. There is also an ongoing trial in Oakland, California, involving a married couple who both developed cancer after using Roundup.
According to Bloomberg, analysts are predicting that a settlement could top $5 billion.
Judge Chhabria scheduled a hearing for May 22 to discuss settlement and mediation efforts, and possibly re-schedule the canceled trial.
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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