In wake of courtroom defeats and $11 billion settlement, investors sue Bayer over slumping stock

Legal News

In 2016, the German pharmaceutical company, Bayer AG, made moves to acquire the crop- and seed-sciences monolith, Monsanto Corporation. By the time the acquisition was completed two years later, for $63 billion, Monsanto would lose the first of three RoundUp cases that have thus far gone to trial. The trials centered around the harm caused by the ubiquitous line of weed and grass killer, which contains the active ingredient, glyphosate. Plaintiffs allege that RoundUp caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare cancer that attacks the lymph nodes and suppresses the immune-supporting action of white blood cells. 

All three trials resulted in multi-million-dollar awards for plaintiffs. In the first trial, a former groundskeeper, Dwayne Lee Johnson, who is currently still alive with advanced non-Hodgkin’s, and is thus not expected to live much longer, won an initial $289 million award. (The reward has been reduced twice; the current award is $20.5 million.)

Bayer, facing over 125,000 lawsuits, announced a settlement in June last year to resolve the bulk of the cases for $11 billion. Recently, the company announced that it would have to pay an additional $2 billion to resolve future RoundUp lawsuits. 

Since the first RoundUp verdict was announced, that of Johnson’s in August 2018, Bayer’s shares have declined 45%.  

According to a Reuters report, Bayer is being sued by two law firms. The lawsuits seek compensation for Bayer shareholders. The plaintiffs allege that Bayer’s management “should have warned of the risk of lawsuits over the Roundup weedkiller when Bayer acquired Roundup maker Monsanto.” 

In response to the lawsuits, Bayer said it would defend itself against what it described as ‘unfounded claims.’

A Bayer spokesman said in a statement, via Reuters: “Bayer conducted appropriate due diligence regarding the acquisition process. This has also been confirmed by the studies of independent experts.”

Should the shareholder lawsuits go to trial, the trial is not expected to begin until next year. 

Tags: ,

Related Articles

How Are 3M Lawsuits Different From Class Action Lawsuits?
Proposed Talc Baby Powder Class Action Lawsuit Dismissed