A trial in St. Louis involving a plaintiff who alleges exposure to Roundup caused her non-Hodgkin lymphoma has been delayed indefinitely, leading to speculation that Bayer and plaintiffs’ lawyers need the time to work out a settlement.
But at this point, it’s just speculation.
In a brief statement, Bayer did not address settlement negotiations, but said, “With the change in the trial schedule and no trial dates set through the rest of the year, the appeals of the three completed trials will be a significant focus of the litigation in the months ahead.”
Three trials in California — one in federal court and two in state court — resulted in jury awards to the plaintiffs totaling more than $2 billion, though they were reduced by judges in those cases to about $200 million.
Well-known mediator Kenneth Feinberg was appointed earlier this year by U.S. District Judge Vincent Chhabria as a mediator in the litigation, now involving more than 18,000 plaintiffs nationwide.
At Bayer’s recent conference in Germany, Bayer crop science president Liam Condon told reporters the company “entered those discussions in good faith” but added a settlement “only makes sense if it’s financially reasonable and if it’s final. And of course, we need to make sure the product remains available for growers.”
Estimates of the amount of money needed to settle have ranged from the low billions to $20 billion, but in August, Feinberg called “fiction” a news report in August saying Bayer was willing to pay $8 billion.
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