Winston v. Monsanto was scheduled to start in October of 2019. Like the cases that came before it, the plaintiff was waiting to argue that they’d developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a direct result of their use of Roundup. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in the popular weed killer, has been linked to the disease and is suspected by many to be carcinogenic.
While the original development of glyphosate was conducted by Monsanto, the agri-corporation was purchased by Bayer in June of 2018 for some $63 billion. Bayer, however, has been adamant in its defense of Roundup and denials that neither it nor Monsanto had done anything wrong in the creation or marketing of glyphosate or Roundup.
Juries have rejected that notion. The corporation has yet to win a Roundup cancer verdict in its favor and, instead, has only succeeded in getting judges to reduce the billions of dollars in jury awards that have come with those losses. It should come as no surprise then that Bayer has been exploring settling the lawsuits for quite some time.
As settlement talks continue, the next Roundup cancer trial that was set to start last year has been postponed for a second time. Initially moved from October to February, Winston v. Monsanto has been postponed in an agreement with the plaintiff’s lawyers. “While Bayer is constructively engaged in the mediation process, there is no comprehensive agreement at this time,” the corporation said in a statement. “There also is no certainty or timetable for a comprehensive resolution.”
Those involved with the negotiations have had little contact with the media and the details that have leaked have been unclear and, at times, in direct conflict with other statements. While mediator Ken Feinberg says that there are some 75,000 Roundup cancer plaintiffs waiting to take on Bayer, Bayer has countered and said that less than 50,000 such plaintiffs exist. In addition, claims that Bayer had approached the negotiations with an initial offer of up to $8 billion to settle the litigation were immediately refuted by Feinberg who said that there “have been absolutely no discussions to date of dollars or what the compensation would be for a global resolution.”