In addition to the 125,000 lawsuits Bayer had faced over claims that exposure to Roundup herbicide caused plaintiffs to develop non-Hodgkin’s’ lymphoma, the pharmaceutical giant and Monsanto owner faced a separate class action lawsuit centering around the misleading labelling of the popular weed killer. Yesterday, class action attorneys announced that Bayer resolved Lisa Jones et al. v. Monsanto for $39.5 million, The Defender reported.
Bayer will also make changes to Roundup’s product label. Members of the class took umbrage with a statement on the label that reads that glyphosate, the main active ingredient in the herbicide, and one that the World Health Organization’s main cancer research organization classified as a probable human carcinogen, “targets an enzyme found in plants but not in people or pets.” That statement, class members claim, is false and misleading.
During litigation of the class action, plaintiffs’ attorneys were successful in getting Monsanto to admit that glyphosate can alter the bacteria population of the human gut. Thus, the claim on Roundup’s label that the product does not affect human health was not accurate.
The settlement will help class members receive compensation not for bodily injury caused by exposure to glyphosate. Rather, the compensation will represent a partial amount of the amount of money class members paid to purchase Roundup.
According to The Defender, class members will receive up to half of the average retail price of the Roundup products they purchased. A maximum payment amount of $53.15 is expected. The class had also alleged that Monsanto engaged in illegal marketing, distribution, promotion and sale of Roundup products.
In July, Bayer announced it will remove glyphosate-based herbicides for residential use by 2023. The company plans on replacing glyphosate with another active ingredient or ingredients. Roundup will still be available for agricultural purchases, which accounts for a far greater proportion of sales than does residential use.
The class action was formed in 2015, the same year glyphosate was classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Last year, Bayer resolved 95,000 of 125,000 Roundup cancer claims for nearly $11 billion. But the company’s plan to resolve future claims for an additional $2 billion has been rejected twice by a federal judge.