Judge Rejects Bayer’s $650 Million Settlement For PCB Pollution, Paving The Way For More Lawsuits By U.S. Cities & States

Legal News

Bayer AG may best be known as of late for its historic $10-plus billion Roundup Weed Killer settlement

The company, in acquiring the Monsanto Corporation two years ago for $63 billion inherited not only the Monsanto product line but also the lawsuits against the reviled entity. 

This includes Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide products as well as another ingredient in herbicides, dicamba. Another chemical lawsuit Bayer faces is over a group of 200 cancer-causing chemicals invented by Monsanto decades ago known as “PCBs.” 

Over 2,500 cities, counties, port authorities and other municipal entities in the U.S. have filed PCB lawsuits. Bayer, the German pharmaceutical and life-sciences giant wanted to settle these claims for $650 million. 

But a federal judge in Los Angeles rejected the settlement. The reason? If the settlement would have been approved, it would have given Bayer a broad scope release of liabilities. 

This would mean that individuals and other entities besides the U.S. cities, etc., would not be able to file future claims. 

According to ClaimsJournal.com, an email statement from Bayer says the company is committed to working with the plaintiffs to resolve the judge’s concerns. Moreover, the company is confident that it will revise the agreement and file it before the end of the year.

In addition to the approximately $12 billion Bayer will have to pay to settle current and future Roundup litigation, the company will have to pay hundreds of millions more to settle other chemical lawsuits. Bayer also faces thousands of Roundup federal lawsuits that are not included in the $10 billion settlement. 

And even after Bayer proposes a settlement that gets approved for the 2,500 PCB lawsuits, future claims may be filed by other states, counties and local government entities. ClaimsJournal.com reports Attorneys General from 21 states raised concerns with the judge that had the settlement been approved, it would have hampered their efforts to pursue legal action against Bayer. 

PCBs manufactured by Monsanto have been used for over 40 years, to cool heavy-duty electrical equipment. Some of the U.S. cities that have filed PCB claims against Monsanto include: San Diego, Seattle, Portland, OR, and Oakland, CA.

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