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Bayer Keeps Losing Roundup Trials, Making Future Lawsuits Stronger & Stronger

man spraying plants with weed killer

In recent months, Bayer has lost a series of Roundup weedkiller trials, each with plaintiffs that allege the glyphosate-based weedkiller caused them to develop cancer. Across four separate cases, juries have sided with plaintiffs and awarded them more than $2 billion in damages. Not long ago, the corporate giant agreed to a $10 billion settlement for other Roundup weedkiller claims—without ever admitting liability or that Roundup used carcinogenic substances—but tens of thousands of claims weren’t covered in that settlement and are still waiting their days in court. Reportedly, another $6 billion in Bayer’s funds have been set aside to pay for future litigation, which investors don’t think will be nearly enough.

One problem that Bayer seems not to have acknowledged yet is that it will only get more and more difficult for the corporation to defend itself in court as it continues to lose more and more trials. In mass torts like the Roundup weedkiller lawsuits, the evidence, testimonies, and statements from a prior trial can be used to build the next case due in court. In other words, if one plaintiff succeeds in trial thanks to certain pieces of evidence and arguments, then the next plaintiff can try to use the same evidence and arguments in their trial, assuming there are no circumstances that would prevent such a strategy.

Every time Bayer loses a Roundup lawsuit in court, which has happened repeatedly in recent months and years, including a $1.5-billion jury award from a Missouri court in November 2023, the odds tip more in favor of the plaintiffs. Yet the corporation is not backing down because it insists that the weedkiller is safe for use and noncarcinogenic. It hopes to win the long game by finding a way to refute the findings of previous juries and appeal any past award, possibly eliminating those awards. Currently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) considers the glyphosate in Roundup as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the product was not carcinogenic.

Why is Bayer Liable for Roundup Lawsuits?

Roundup weedkiller was once owned and manufactured by Monsanto. However, only a few years before Roundup weedkiller cancer lawsuits really took off and caught the public’s attention, Bayer bought Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018. Even though Bayer was not the original formulator of Roundup, with one business deal, it had become responsible for the product and its sales, reputation, and safety, for better or worse.

Since the corporate purchase and merger were announced and Roundup lawsuits began to pile up, Bayer’s stock prices have plummeted. The company’s market shares are now valued at roughly half of what it paid to buy Monsanto. Such financial woes are not just concerns for shareholders and company executives but also Roundup weedkiller plaintiffs. If the corporation struggles enough financially, it could try to dodge paying out Roundup awards and settlements through bankruptcy. It would not be the first time a corporate giant tried to escape liability this way; Johnson & Johnson recently failed to use the controversial “Texas two-step” bankruptcy strategy as it tried to avoid compensating plaintiffs who alleged the brand’s famous talc-based baby powder caused them to suffer from ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

What Roundup Trials Has Bayer Lost in the Past?

Bayer’s Roundup litigation troubles officially began in July 2018 – only one month after the corporation officially bought Monsanto – when a federal judge ruled that there was enough scientific and medical evidence to prove that Roundup was carcinogenic. One month later, a California jury awarded close to $300 million to a man who said using Roundup directly caused his cancer. To make things worse for the corporation, that jury determined that Bayer should have known that Roundup could be carcinogenic yet did not do anything to warn consumers.

In the following two years, Bayer would lose several more important lawsuits that it forced into litigation. At that point, the corporation offered an unusual settlement agreement: it would pay $10 billion to settle the claims of thousands of plaintiffs in exchange for being able to keep selling the weedkiller without a cancer warning added to the label. For the next three years, Bayer would keep offering settlements to close cases quickly and win a handful of trials, but the overall atmosphere around the Roundup lawsuits was one that gradually favored the plaintiffs.

By late 2023, Bayer would lose four more important trials, including three with multimillion-dollar awards and one with a $1.5 billion award. In the most prominent of the recent cases, the jury was convinced by evidence that argued Monsanto developed its glyphosate-based weedkiller across 50 years of research and development and, throughout those decades, ignored clear indicators that it would be dangerous to humans.

What’s Next for Bayer & Roundup Lawsuits?

Thousands of Roundup lawsuits are still pending, each one potentially growing stronger with each successful trial before it. Bayer will find itself in court again soon to defend its product in some of the more newsworthy lawsuits.

However, the corporation isn’t comfortable banking entirely on its odds in civil court. Bayer has also turned to the United States Supreme Court in a rare attempt to have the highest Court in the country block any future Roundup lawsuits. When that attempt was unsuccessful, Bayer reportedly tried to press Congress to do the same, which also failed.

As for American consumers, the consensus among health experts is to use alternative weedkiller products. For people who continue to use Roundup, it is recommended that users first talk to their doctors about its potential health risks.

See If You Can File a Roundup Lawsuit – Call Now

For anyone who believes their use of Roundup has caused them to suffer serious health consequences like cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the next step should be to talk to a legal professional soon. With Bayer struggling to defend itself and its product in court, there might be no better time than now to see if you should be among the next plaintiffs that challenge them to demand compensation and justice.

Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. in South Florida is here to help you explore your legal options if you think you have a Roundup weedkiller case to begin. We have deliberately built our law firm to withstand the strengths and pressures of any defendant in product liability cases, including massive corporations like Bayer that have billions of dollars at their disposal. When our highly experienced and resourceful attorneys handle your case, you can even the scales with a powerful legal team of your own.

Achievements that should make us your first choice for representation against Bayer/Roundup include:

  • We have recovered more than $165 million in recent settlements and verdicts for product liability clients.
  • We have brought successful product liability claims against major defendants, including automakers and Big Tobacco.
  • We are a legacy law firm with more than 70 years of practice experience handling all types of injury claims and class action lawsuits.
  • We are trial attorneys who are committed to seeing every case to its conclusion, which means litigating and appealing when necessary.

Get more information about Roundup lawsuits and see if you can file one by connecting with Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. today. Call (954) 467-8800 to get a FREE case review.

Useful Resource

“Years After Monsanto Deal, Bayer’s Roundup Bills Keep Piling Up” (The New York Times)
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