OMAHA (DTN) -- A last-minute continuance on Friday paused the most-recent court case against Bayer AG claiming its Roundup herbicide causes cancer. According to news reports and a Bayer statement, both sides agreed to the continuance as parties discuss a potential settlement.
The St. Louis, Missouri, case was near completion and about to be turned over to the jury to decide whether glyphosate, and specifically Roundup, led to the non-Hodgkin's lymphoma suffered by the three plaintiffs. This is the first multi-plaintiff case and the fourth case to reach the courtroom around the carcinogenic potential of the widely used herbicide.
Bayer has lost all three previous cases.
The company acquired Roundup brands as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto. Bayer has continued to maintain glyphosate's safety, regularly pointing out that the Environmental Protection Agency and many other country regulatory agencies support glyphosate's continued use.
A Bayer spokesperson released the following statement to DTN.
"The parties have reached an agreement to continue the Wade case in Missouri Circuit Court for St. Louis City. This continuance is intended to provide room for the parties to continue the mediation process in good faith under the auspices of (court-appointed mediator) Ken Feinberg and avoid the distractions that can arise from trial. While Bayer is constructively engaged in the mediation process, there is no comprehensive agreement at this time. There also is no certainty or timetable for a comprehensive resolution. "
Estimates of the number of potential plaintiffs in the United States are from 50,000 to 75,000. Media reports have put a possible overall settlement cost in the range of $8 billion to $12 billion.
DTN staff can be reached at Talk@dtn.com