Managing the Roundup™ Litigation

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Bayer continues to make progress on its five-point plan to manage and mitigate the risks of Roundup™ litigation in the U.S. We settled most of the claims in this litigation and have appropriately provisioned for the remaining claims. Having won trials, the company will continue to try cases based on decades of science and worldwide regulatory assessments that continue to support Roundup’s safety and non-carcinogenicity. 

Five-point plan at-a-glance:

A favorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the federal preemption question could largely end the Roundup™ litigation. The main question here is whether state-based failure-to-warn claims are preempted by federal law, since the EPA concluded glyphosate does not cause cancer and approved the Roundup™ label without a warning. We have progressed in seeking appellate review of our arguments on federal preemption with two cases awaiting decisions. The first is Carson, pending in the Eleventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. The second appeal is Schaffner, pending in the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.

113,000 of approximately 170,000 claims have been resolved or deemed to be ineligible. Having proven that we can win in court, the company is fully confident in its legal strategy and will continue to defend cases at trial. We will consider settling individual cases only if it provides clear economic advantages for the company to do so.

To further reduce future litigation risk, we have transitioned  the manufacturing of our glyphosate products for the U.S. residential L&G market to new formulations that have different active ingredients. We have taken this action exclusively to manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns. The vast majority of claims have come from residential L&G users, so this step largely eliminates the primary source of future claims. This action does not impact any of our glyphosate-based agriculture or professional products.

Bayer had developed a voluntary claims administration program, which would have addressed eligible individuals directly avoiding plaintiffs’ law firms. Having proven that we can win trials and given our general commitment to keep trying cases, the company will not implement this systematic settlement program. We will consider settling individual current and future cases only if it provides clear economic advantages for the company to do so.

A webpage (EPA's Review of Glyphosate Safety | Global (bayer.com)) that hosts links to scientific safety studies on our glyphosate products ensures more transparency and information.

  • On June 4, 2024, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas reduced the original $2.25 billion verdict from January 2024 in the McKivison case to $400 million. The company will still seek an appeal. Full statement
  • On March 15, 2024, the court in the Anderson case reduced the damages to $611 million total. In November 2023, the jury in this case decided in favor of the plaintiffs awarding $61.2 million in compensatory damages and $1.5 billion punitive damages. We will still file an appeal. Full statement
  • On March 5, 2024, a jury in the Kline trial reached a defense verdict in Philadelphia. This is Bayer’s third consecutive trial victory. Full statement
  • On March 5, 2024, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed with prejudice the Meyer case in the Superior Court of California for Sonoma County. This means that this case cannot be refiled.
  • On March 1, 2024, the jury in the Cody case issued a verdict in our favor which validates our strategy of taking cases to trial based on strong scientific and regulatory evidence. This is the 11th win in the last 17 cases. Full statement
  • On March 1, 2024, the judge in the Cloud trial ordered a mistrial which reflects the plaintiff’s failure to meet their burden to prove their case. Full statement
  • On February 26, 2024, the court in the Dennis case reduced the damages by over 91% to $28 million total. In October 2023, the jury in this case decided in favor of the plaintiff awarding $7 million in compensatory damages and $325 million in punitive damages. We will still file an appeal. Full statement
  • On February 5, 2024, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of the plaintiff in the Carson case and concluded that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) does not preempt the plaintiff’s failure-to-warn claim. We will consider our legal options in this case and continue to seek ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. Full statement
  • On December 22, 2023, the jury in the Jones trial issued a verdict in our favor which is consistent with the evidence that Roundup™ does not cause cancer. Monsanto has now won ten of the last fifteen cases. Full statement 
  • On December 5, 2023, a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas found in favor of the plaintiff in the Martel trial in a divided verdict and awarded her $500,000 in compensatory damages and $3 million punitive damages. We will appeal this decision. Full statement
  • On October 27, 2023, the jury decided in favor of the plaintiff in the Caranci trial (divided verdict) and awarded him $25 million in compensatory damages and $150 million punitive damages. We will appeal this decision. 
  • On October 20, 2023, the jury in the Durnell trial found in our favor on two of three questions, awarding the plaintiff $1.25 million in compensatory damages and no punitive damages. We will seek an appeal of the adverse decision, which relates to product labelling.
  • On September 28, 2023, the judge ruled in favor of our motion for a directed verdict in the McCostlin trial. This outcome is consistent with the extensive body of scientific research as well as the assessments of the EPA and other leading health regulators worldwide and is the nineth consecutive trial win for Monsanto.
  • On September 1, 2023, the jury in the Evard trial issued a verdict in our favor and determined that neither Roundup™ nor PCBs were responsible for the injuries. This is the eighth consecutive trial win for Monsanto.
  • On May 23, 2023, the jury in the Gordon trial issued a verdict in our favor and determined that Roundup™ was not responsible for the injuries. This is the seventh consecutive trial win for Monsanto.
  • On November 9th, 2022, the jury in the Ferro trial issued an unanimous verdict in our favor and determined that Roundup™ was not responsible for the injuries alleged by the plaintiff. This is the sixth consecutive trial win for Monsanto.
  • On September 1st, 2022, the jury in the Alesi trial issued an verdict in our favor and determined that Roundup™ was not responsible for the injuries alleged by the plaintiffs. This is the fifth consecutive trial win for Monsanto. The trial took place in Missouri. 
  • On June 27, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court communicated not to accept the Pilliod case.  Bayer respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision, but the company is not surprised given the Court’s declination in Hardeman just one week ago. There are likely to be future cases, including Roundup™ cases, that present the U.S. Supreme Court with preemption questions like Pilliod and Hardeman and could also create a Circuit split and potentially change the legal environment.
  • On June 21, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court communicated that it does not accept the review of the Hardeman case. Here is our statement.
  • On June 17, 2022, the jury in the Johnson trial issued an unanimous verdict in our favor and determined that Roundup™ is not the cause of Mr. Johnson’s cancer. This is the fourth consecutive trial win for Monsanto. The trial took place in Oregon.
  • On June 9, 2022, the jury in the Shelton trial issued a verdict in our favor and determined that Roundup™ is not the cause of Mr. Shelton’s cancer. This is the third consecutive trial win for Monsanto, following favorable verdicts in Clark and Stephens. The trial took place at the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri at Kansas City.
  • On May 23, 2022, we filed another brief regarding the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Hardeman: “The company continues to believe there are strong legal arguments to support Supreme Court review and reversal in Hardeman, as its petition and the many amicus briefs filed in support of the petition underscore. The company has filed a final brief regarding its Petition for a Writ of Certiorari and looks forward to a decision from the Supreme Court. The U.S. EPA has consistently found that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and are not carcinogenic, in line with leading regulators worldwide. If the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Hardeman is left standing, it would undermine the ability of companies to rely on official actions taken by expert regulatory agencies and to meet today’s pressing food security and environmental challenges.” The full brief can be found here.
  • On May 10, 2022, the Solicitor General filed a brief recommending that the Supreme Court deny review of Hardeman and disagreeing with our arguments in the case. “The company continues to believe there are strong legal arguments to support Supreme Court review and reversal in Hardeman, as its petition and the many amicus briefs filed in support of the petition underscore. Indeed, the expert U.S. agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, has consistently found that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and are not carcinogenic. Therefore, a cancer warning would be false and misleading and would be preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).” 
    “The decision to accept or deny review rests with the Supreme Court, which will consider the views of the parties – including an additional brief to be filed by the company – as well as the brief from the Solicitor General. Regardless of the final outcome at the Supreme Court, the company is fully prepared to move forward with its five-point plan, manage litigation risks and bring closure to the Roundup™ litigation.”
  • On March 17, 2022, we filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court in our appeal of the Pilliod verdict. The California state court’s decision in Pilliod warrants review by the U.S. Supreme Court because the state-based failure-to-warn claims at the center of the case are preempted by federal law and the punitive damages award is excessive and violates the U.S. Constitution. The petition is the first Roundup™ case to challenge the constitutionality of a punitive damages award in the U.S. Supreme Court. The petition explains that the award here is unconstitutional both because it is impermissibly high (four times the substantial compensatory damages award) and because no punitive damages award is proper, as the company acted in accordance with the scientific and regulatory consensus regarding the safety of its product. The petition in Pilliod follows a similar filing in Hardeman.
  • On December 13, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order in Monsanto Co. v. Hardeman requesting the views of the Solicitor General on behalf of the United States.  We are encouraged by the Supreme Court’s Call for the Views of the Solicitor General in Hardeman and believe there are strong legal arguments to support Supreme Court review and reversal, as its petition, and the many amicus briefs filed, in support of the petition underscore. Indeed, the U.S. expert agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, has consistently found that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely and are not carcinogenic, and has stated that a cancer warning would be false and misleading and misbrand the product. As previously announced, we have been very selective in our settlement approach since filing our Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Hardeman. Now that the Supreme Court has requested input from the Solicitor General in this case, we will not entertain any further settlement discussions with plaintiff lawyers that are representing a substantial number of Roundup™ claims.
  • On December 9, 2021, the jury in the Stephens trial issued a verdict in our favor and determined that Roundup™ is not the cause of Ms. Stephens’ cancer. The outcome of this case follows a favorable verdict in Clark and the plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal in Jimenez and marks the third positive development in the Roundup™ litigation in recent months. The trial took place in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Bernardino.
  • On October 5, 2021, the jury in the Clark trial issued a verdict in our favor. The jury determined that Roundup did not cause the illness of the plaintiff’s child. This verdict brings the Clark trial to a successful conclusion. The Clark trial took place in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles. This was the fifth case to go to trial. We are fully prepared to go to trial when, as in this case, the demands of hold-out plaintiff firms are unreasonable.  

We stand fully behind the safety of our glyphosate products

Our five-point plan does not include any admission of liability or wrongdoing. Rather, the actions we are taking are a result of the mass tort system in the U.S.

 

We have great sympathy for anyone who suffers from disease, and we understand their search for answers. At the same time, the extensive body of science continues to show that our products are not responsible for the illnesses alleged in this litigation.

 

For 50 years, leading health regulators around the world have repeatedly concluded that our glyphosate products can be used safely, and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. This includes recent conclusions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EU’s Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and the leading health authorities in Germany, Australia, Korea, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan.

 

Glyphosate-based herbicides are one of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, which is one reason so many growers and others continue to rely on these products to help them safely, successfully, and sustainably control problematic weeds.

We are investing and innovating to develop additional weed-control solutions

Growers need to control weeds in order to successfully grow crops. There is no single solution – instead, growers use a range of tools and practices to control weeds. While glyphosate will continue to play a key role in our herbicide portfolio and in agriculture overall, we are leading the way in developing additional tools and advancing integrated weed management (IWM).

 

We invest over $2 billion in R&D for farming solutions every year. We recently announced over $5 billion of that investment will go to furthering IWM over the next decade. As part of these efforts, we also recently announced the discovery of a new breakthrough herbicide molecule, the first of its kind in more than 30 years.

 

As a leader in agriculture, we know we have a heightened responsibility and the unique potential to advance farming for the benefit of society and the planet. We are committed to living up to this responsibility, and our five-point plan to end the U.S. glyphosate litigation will enable us to reach our full potential.