Bayer AG faces a potential loss of millions of dollars in its bid to settle numerous claims by the victims of Roundup. The German chemical giant has been involved in several court cases after one of its California branch groundskeepers, Dewayne Johnson, petitioned in June 2018 to have the company pay for exposing him to cancer. California State law courts handle many similar personal injury cases between employees and employers.
Johnson was initially awarded damages amounting to $289 million, but the amount was later reduced to $78.5 million. This is not the only case that has been tried. In 2019, a California couple was awarded $2 billion, which was also later reduced to $86.7 million.
Bayer has sought to reach verbal agreements with most of the Roundup victims, but a significant number of cases remain unsolved. The company has made several court appeals to have potential payouts limited and the incentives awarded in new lawsuits substantially reduced.
The costly legal battle that Bayer inherited from Monsanto continues to drag on two years after the first case was filed. Three court cases have already been lost to Roundup victims, and reports suggest more petitioners are contemplating filing similar cases if Bayer won’t settle all pending claims.
The primary argument advanced by Johnson was that Bayer failed to disclose the risk of cancer on a warning label, which resulted in the groundskeeper being exposed to the chronic disease. This claim is based on California law, but Bayer has repeatedly attributed the lack of a warning label to the failure to obtain the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval.
A personal injury lawyer may help a client gain compensation for injuries caused by a failure to include appropriate warnings, including cases in which multiple people are affected, resulting in mass tort litigation. Attorneys may negotiate with the negligent party for an out-of-court settlement or file a case on behalf of their clients seeking compensation orders.