Bayer-owned Monsanto and law firms representing about 125,000 plaintiffs reached a settlement worth over $10 billion in a suit about the alleged cancer-causing effects of the popular herbicide Roundup.
Weitz & Luxenburg, the first firm to sue Roundup maker Monsanto in 2015 over the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in those exposed to the glyphosate herbicide, announced the agreement on Wednesday in a statement.
“With so many claims against Monsanto scheduled to go before courts around the country in the coming year, and the multiple thousands of cases that would never see trial dates, we feel that this settlement is the best way to ensure that victims receive justice,” Perry Weitz, a partner of the firm, said in the release.
Bayer pledged $10.1-10.9 billion to settle current claims and was setting aside an additional $1.25 billion for future claims, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“As a science-based company committed to improving people’s health, we have great sympathy for anyone who suffers from disease, and we understand their search for answers,” Bayer’s press release said. “At the same time, the extensive body of science indicates that Roundup does not cause cancer, and therefore, is not responsible for the illnesses alleged in this litigation.”
Plaintiffs have previously sued Monsanto independent of the now-settled class action lawsuit, as one couple successfully won $2 billion in damages in a verdict last May.
The deal likely means that Roundup will continue to be sold without warnings about the potential dangers of the product, especially after a decision in California on Monday that barred the state from labeling the product carcinogenic. The product, which was inherited by Bayer when they purchased Monsanto in 2018, is one of the most popular herbicides in the world, used by homeowners, landscapers, and farmers across the U.S.
“We are very pleased that we’ve achieved justice for the tens of thousands of people who, through no fault of their own, are suffering from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after using a product Monsanto assured them was safe,” Robin Greenwald, an attorney at Weitz & Luxenberg, said in the statement following the settlement.