Bayer's Exposure to Thousands of Cancer Lawsuits Persists as Victims' Lawyers Vow to Continue the Fight
Rather than pursue a comprehensive resolution framework that would have addressed all pending lawsuits, Bayer's strategy has been to negotiate separately with hundreds of law firms.
Trial lawyers opposed to the deal say that is an attempt to reduce liability and cost exposure and kick the can down the road, all for the sake of pleasing shareholders. In addition, courthouse delays caused by the pandemic have put additional pressure on cancer victims to agree to less-than-favorable resolutions. The settlement strategy also muddies the waters regarding the company's liability to future lawsuits.
According to published reports, law firms that were appointed to leadership in the federal multidistrict litigation already reached separate agreements that were higher and materially disproportionate to settlement offers for thousands of lawsuits that are still pending.
"Bayer is trying to turn its back on thousands who became gravely ill after being exposed to Roundup," said Dallas attorney
Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate, has been linked in published reports to the development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and other forms of cancer. Before announcing the proposed partial settlement, juries in three separate trials heard the evidence and returned multimillion-dollar verdicts against Bayer, which acquired the ownership rights to Roundup in 2018.
Trial lawyers opposed to the settlement have also voiced criticism of a related lawsuit filed by class-action lawyer Elizabeth Cabraser because going forward, it would limit the rights of personal injury victims to pursue damages based on their individual injury claims. Bayer continues to sell Roundup, and individuals who are exposed to the product in the future and then fall ill should be allowed to pursue legal action.
"Bayer's lawyers have seen what happens when juries hear this evidence. They think they can get away with this treatment because the pandemic has delayed the ability for cancer victims to go to trial," Mr. Nachawati said. "We will not let that happen without a fight—plain and simple. We will continue to oppose any effort to limit the rights of each individual claimant to get to trial."
SOURCE Fears Nachawati Law Firm