The hoped-for release for Bayer did not materialize: the Supreme Court rejected the company’s appeal. This means that the long-term conflict over damage claims continues.
The Bayer Group has failed in a groundbreaking legal dispute over the alleged cancer risks of herbicide glyphosate with an appeal to the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court announced Tuesday in Washington that it would not deal with the case, which is crucial to many other US proceedings. For Bayer, the hope of a release in the ongoing conflict over legacy legal issues that the agrochemical and pharmaceutical company had backed with its $ 60 billion purchase of US seed giant Monsanto in 2018 is dying.
In particular, the appeal to the Supreme Court concerned the revision of a ruling in favor of the actor Edwin Hardeman, who accused Monsanto products containing glyphosate of cancer. In 2019, after a court case, he was awarded a whopping $ 25 million in damages. Bayer vehemently denies that glyphosate causes cancer. The company claims with regulatory approval and studies designed to show that herbicides like Monsanto’s controversial Roundup are safe when used as directed.
The US government had informed the court
Bayer had high hopes that the Supreme Court would overturn the decision. This would have been a signal effect for numerous other glyphosate lawsuits in the United States, on which billions of dollars in legal risks for the Dax Group depend. But the US Supreme Court’s decision not to accept the Hardeman case comes as no surprise. President Joe Biden’s administration previously advised the Supreme Court against taking the case. It was a nice turnaround: under Donald Trump, Washington initially supported Bayer.
The Leverkusen company had already paved the way for a defeat at the Supreme Court. Bayer made an additional $ 4.5 billion provision last summer for this case. The company wants to use this money to set up a program to address potential new plaintiffs in the United States over the next 15 years. The numerous lawsuits Bayer is facing in the United States are based in particular on an assessment by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. In 2015, it classified Monsanto’s herbicide as “possibly carcinogenic” to humans.