US judge casts doubt on Bayer’s USD10B settlement

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – German chemical giant Bayer said yesterday it had hit “bumps in the road” in efforts to settle United States (US) lawsuits blaming its glyphosate weedkiller for causing cancer after a California judge raised concerns over the settlement.

Bayer announced an agreement in June worth more than USD10 billion (EUR8.4 billion) to settle some 125,000 claims in the US over the Roundup weedkiller it acquired after buying American agrochemical group Monsanto for USD63 billion in 2018.

At a hearing on Thursday, US District Judge Vince Chhabria said he was concerned that Bayer had “manipulated” the settlement process, according to Bloomberg News. As a result, he threatened to allow the plaintiffs’ litigation process to restart, putting the whole deal at risk of collapse.

According to Bloomberg, the judge said he was concerned that by keeping the lawsuits on pause.

“Am I complicit in whatever shenanigans are taking place on the Bayer side?”

He is expected to make a decision over the next month.