Legal challenges facing Bayer for health concerns allegedly caused by the use of glyphosate more than doubled in the last quarter, the company has disclosed to investors.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said the number of lawsuits rose from 18,400 in the second quarter to 42,700 in the third quarter, a 132% increase over a three-month time period. But he also said the increase “is actually not that surprising” when considering an increase in advertising by attorneys in order to attract new plaintiffs. Their ad spending jumped from $6 million in in the second quarter to $51 million in the third.

So far, three lawsuits in California have resulted in jury awards of more than $2 billion to plaintiffs claiming glyphosate — sold commercially as Roundup — caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Those totals were later reduced by judges to about $200 million.

Baumann said Bayer is currently “constructively engaging in the mediation process” and the company is “planning for litigation of further cases in 2020.”

In the meantime, he says the company “would only consider a settlement if it is financially reasonable and will bring reasonable closure to the overall litigation.”

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