No one is authorized to speak about it, but sources familiar with the matter say that a settlement may be getting closer as Bayer looks to fend off the onslaught of lawsuits claiming that Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The corporation has gone to court three times to defend its flagship weed killer Roundup. Each appearance has been met with a loss as three separate juries linked long-term exposure to Roundup’s key ingredient glyphosate to the eventual development of the lethal form of cancer. As the losses stacked up and Bayer’s stock price tumbled, conversations quickly turned to settlement.
Well-known mediator Kenneth Feinberg was appointed to lead and manage negotiations between Bayer and the multitude of law firms representing tens of thousands of plaintiffs who have Roundup cancer cases pending. Those negotiations have been going on since last summer, although information about the course of the negotiations has been scarce.
With a draft settlement now reportedly in the works, it appears as though Bayer will likely be allowed to settle the cases for approximately $10 billion and insulate itself from any further legal action on the matter. Such protections are highly likely to be a nonnegotiable cornerstone of any agreement Bayer would be willing to sign.
While $10 billion might seem punitive to some, the reality is that the amount would be viewed as a bargain by Wall Street for what Bayer has been accused of causing. In fact, according to reporting by Bloomberg News, shares in the corporation “would probably surge if Bayer can close the Roundup headache for as little as $10 billion.”
A bargain settlement, insulation and protection from future litigation, and the resolution of a “headache” that has cut lives short and caused families unimaginable pain. Add in the fact that the product will likely remain on shelves to make Bayer even more money, and one has to wonder where exactly the punishment is in any of this.