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Bayer smashed with massive "Roundup" verdict. OMG!

You know the next time someone tells you to buy Monsanto, the parent that owns Roundup...don't. Haha.


Bayer Told to Pay $1.56 Billion After Losing Roundup Case

Missouri jury finds in favor of plaintiffs as verdicts seesaw in trials

By Doug Cameron, and Patrick Thomas, WSJ

Updated Nov. 18, 2023


Bayer has spent years in legal battles over Roundup following its acquisition of Monsanto, which developed the herbicide. PHOTO: ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS

Bayer BAYRY 2.45%increase; green up pointing triangle faces a payout of $1.56 billion after a Missouri jury found in favor of the plaintiffs who blamed its Roundup weedkiller for causing their cancers.


The decision is the fourth in a row to go against Bayer during a roller-coaster five-year legal battle over Roundup, the world’s most popular weedkiller, which included nine straight victories for the company, as well as earlier losses. The cases represent tens of thousands of claims from farmers and gardeners.


The mounting charges from cases tied to the herbicide come against the backdrop of Bayer’s restructuring efforts. The overhaul could lead to the separation of its health business and its agriculture unit, which includes the U.S.-based Monsanto operation that developed Roundup. Analysts said how any Roundup-related liabilities are divided would affect the potential valuation of the two businesses.


Bayer maintains that Roundup and its main ingredient, glyphosate, is safe to use and has cited reviews by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators that have determined it doesn’t pose a cancer risk. The European Union said in recent days that it would extend glyphosate’s use for 10 more years.


Bayer has acknowledged that the legal status of Roundup litigation remains a hangover. “The challenge has been around some confusion about the safety of glyphosate,” Chief Executive Bill Anderson said recently at a conference in Washington, D.C. “We think the evidence is super clear, this is a very safe and very important agricultural chemical.”

Jurors in state court in Jefferson City, Mo., disagreed in a decision released Friday. They awarded the plaintiffs Dan Anderson, Jimmy and Brenda Draeger and Valorie Gunther a combined $61.1 million in damages and another $1.5 billion in punitive awards. The plaintiffs maintained that years of Roundup use in their gardens caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.


“We have strong arguments to get the recent unfounded verdicts overturned,” a Bayer spokesman said in an email.


Jay Utley, co-founder of Forrest Weldon, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said it was the largest financial award against Bayer among the Roundup suits. The court case was earlier reported by Bloomberg.


Bayer lost the first trial over Roundup’s alleged cancer risk in August 2018, shortly after the company completed its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, which developed Roundup as well as genetically engineered crops designed to withstand the herbicide.


Write to Doug Cameron at Doug.Cameron@wsj.com and Patrick Thomas at patrick.thomas@wsj.com



Roundup is a weedkiller and Jay Utley is lead counsel for the plaintiffs. Earlier versions of this article incorrectly referred to the herbicide in one instance as a fertilizer and described Utley as the lead counsel for the defendants. (Corrected on Nov. 19)

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