Dhe pharmaceutical and agrochemical group Bayer has failed in its attempt to have a glyphosate lawsuit reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court on Tuesday denied plaintiff Edwin Hardeman’s motion for revision. For the Leverkusen-based Dax group, the chance of being able to draw a line under the years of legal disputes surrounding the controversial weed killer has disappeared.
“We cannot understand the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Hardeman case,” Bayer said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. The decision undermines “the reliability of regulatory decisions for companies” because it allows different usage instructions for the product for each individual state in the United States, Bayer said. The company’s stock price initially fell more than 4 percent after the Supreme Court’s rejection.
A few weeks ago, the price of the Dax company fell by a good 10 percent in one day after Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar, who represents the American government before the Supreme Court, advised the court against accepting the application.
No glyphosate to private customers
Bayer had hoped that the application to the court would remove the basis for possible further processes in lower instances with a judgment. Now, however, the company is threatened with further lawsuits relating to the allegedly carcinogenic effect of the herbicide containing glyphosate. Because lymph gland cancer only breaks out after five to ten years, it could go on for a long time. However, Bayer already launched a five-point plan in July last year, which includes, among other things, that the company set aside a total of $6.5 billion before taxes and depreciation to cover the costs of future settlements or court cases.
Bayer emphasizes that this program for dealing with future claims does not include any admission of guilt. “We expect the program to be successful, but we are also prepared to take legal action in court in the event of disproportionate claims,” Bayer said again on Tuesday. Bayer had won the most recent four lawsuits over the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup. The company now only wants to consider possible comparisons if they are “strategically advantageous” for Bayer.
Bayer has already settled around 107,000 of the 138,000 lawsuits filed or announced and paid $9.6 billion for them. Bayer had lost the first three negotiated cases relating to Roundup, which Bayer got into its portfolio with the $63 billion takeover of the American seed group Monsanto, and the court cases were always followed by a significant increase in class action lawsuits against the company.
A final settlement, which included how future lawsuits would be handled, failed at a California judge. Because the Supreme Court does not accept the application either, Bayer is left with its own plan B. This also includes no longer selling glyphosate to private users by 2023, but replacing these products with formulations with alternative active ingredients. 90 percent of sales of the herbicide come from professional users such as farmers, while almost all lawsuits come from private individuals.