Plaintiffs’ lawyers withdrew their request that U.S. District Judge
The proposal will be retooled to address legal questions Chhabria raised, including concerns about the creation of a science panel to determine whether glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is a carcinogen,
“Bayer remains strongly committed to a resolution that simultaneously addresses both the current litigation on reasonable terms and a viable solution to manage and resolve potential future litigation,” Loder said.
The judge’s misgivings about how future claims are handled won’t derail Bayer’s plan to deal with the current ones. The company agreed to pay as much as $9.6 billion to resolve 95,000 of the 125,000 lawsuits by Roundup users claiming the weedkiller caused their cancers. The figure also includes a set aside to cover settlements in the remaining 30,000 cases.
Bayer shares fell 0.7% to 63.29 euros on Wednesday in Frankfurt, extending yesterday’s decline of 5% on news of Chhabria’s concerns.
Roundup users blamed the popular weedkiller, made by Bayer’s
Plaintiffs’ attorneys who opposed Bayer’s plan said it isn’t designed to negotiate settlements of future Roundup suits, but instead gives the company another shot at having glyphosate cleared from being considered a carcinogen without having to go before individual judges and juries. Bayer officials said the $1.25 billion would provide funds for Roundup cancer patients in financial distress, but wasn’t a settlement vehicle.
By pulling their approval request, backers of the proposal “recognized the legal infirmities the proposed class suffered,”
Chhabria, based in San Francisco, specifically cited problems with the class’s impact on the jury-trial rights of future Roundup plaintiffs and the difficulty in giving notice to potential claimants during a five-month window for opt outs, said Elizabeth Burch, a
“I don’t think they are ever going to be able to provide proper notice to all potential future plaintiffs,” Burch said. “The class is too diverse, and it will be extremely difficult to reach everyone who could potentially file a cancer claim in the future.”
That differentiates the Roundup proposal from a class created to deal with future brain-injury claims from National Football League players, Burch said. The $765 million concussion settlement --
The appellate courts
The case is In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2741, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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