Consumers representing a nationwide class that filed claims against Monsanto for failing to disclose cancer risks of Roundup weed killer, asked a federal court in Delaware to greenlight an up to $45 million resolution, which Monsanto has agreed to pony up, in order to resolve labelling suits.
The suits are different than the more media-heavy personal injury lawsuits, three of which have gone to trial, netting all three plaintiffs multi-million-dollar awards. Bayer AG, which inherited Monsanto litigation when it acquired the company in 2018 for $63 billion, has resolved approximately 100,000 personal injury lawsuits with a nearly $11 billion settlement.
Roughly 30,000 personal injury lawsuits have not been resolved, and Bayer’s plan to settle any future Roundup personal injury suits has been rejected twice by a federal judge.
The consumer claims against Monsanto, Law360.com reports, stem from Monsanto’s failure to add a warning label to its glyphosate-based herbicide/pesticide line of Roundup weed-killing products.
Monsanto has insisted that Roundup is safe and should not come with a warning label because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has previously concluded that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. Therefore, claims filed at the state level should be preempted by federal law; a cancer warning label would, in legal effect, be considered illegal misbranding due to EPA’s ruling.
How Much Will Roundup Consumers Receive Under The Plan?
Unlike Bayer’s proposal to resolve future personal injury claims, in which class members would receive up to $200,000 each for their potential medical problems, this plan to resolve fraudulent marketing claims would net consumers in the class 20% of the average retail price of Roundup products they purchased, which would range between 50 cents to $33, depending on the size of the products, Law360.com reports.
The settlement fund is listed at between $23 million and $45 million.
The deal needs preliminary approval. If approved, it would put an end to a proposed class action filed by eight plaintiffs in August 2020. Consumers’ complaints maintain that they would not have purchased the product had they known of the potential risks posed by glyphosate and other ingredients in the weed-and-grass killer.
Per Law360.com, Monsanto said in a statement Monday that it denies any liability, but the proposed settlement is fair and should be approved.
After having its plan to resolve future Roundup personal injury suits for $2 billion rejected for the second time a couple weeks ago, Bayer announced that it was considering removing glyphosate-based herbicides from the U.S. marketplace, for residential use.