March has proven to be a pivotal month for Bayer as the company secured another round of legal victories concerning its controversial Roundup weed killer amid ongoing litigation over the product’s disputed safety.

On March 5, a trial in Philadelphia ended in a win for Bayer while a separate trial in California resulted in the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissing their case against the pharmaceutical giant and its glyphosate product. These outcomes follow the news that trials in Arkansas and Delaware concluded on March 1 with verdicts in favor of the Germany-based corporation and in a mistrial, respectively.

“We continue to stand behind the safety of Roundup and will confidently defend the safety of our products and our good faith actions in any future litigation,” Bayer wrote in a March 6 statement following the latest verdicts.

Bayer acquired Monsanto, the original maker of the glyphosate herbicide, in 2019. Since then, the company has been forced to defend against mounting litigation claims that the weed killer caused serious health problems for users who were not warned of the risks.

Bayer Wins in Philadelphia

A retired Pennsylvania postal worker’s product liability lawsuit against Bayer ended on March 5 in favor of the company. Plaintiff Carl Kline alleged he developed Non-Hodgkin lymphoma from using Roundup weed killer, according to Reuters.

Kline’s lawyer, Scott Love, told Reuters that the jury was not allowed to hear evidence from a World Health Organization study that linked glyphosate as a possible human carcinogen. 

The decision in Philadelphia comes on the heels of a massive verdict in the same state. In January, a single case was awarded $2.25 billion. Bayer will likely appeal the decision.

“Bayer has now won three consecutive victories at trial, and 13 of the last 19 cases where judgments were entered at trial, validating the Company’s strategy of taking cases to trial based on strong scientific and regulatory evidence,” Bayer wrote in the March 6 statement. “The plaintiffs could not prove that Roundup was the cause of the injuries alleged in these cases, consistent with this science.”

California Couple Withdraws Case

Plaintiffs in the latest California Roundup case voluntarily dropped their trial while it was underway in Sonoma County. Farmer Michael Meyer had claimed Roundup caused him to develop cancer. It’s unclear why Meyer and his wife, Bobbie, sought the dismissal two days into the trial that was expected to last up to six weeks, the Press Democrat reported.

The case was permanently dismissed and that means the Meyers cannot file another claim of the same type against the company.

Bayer Faces Mounting Litigation

Despite these recent legal victories, Bayer faces mounting economic pressures highlighted by a 52% decline in stock value over the past 12 months. 

The agrochemical giant still faces over 4,200 pending cases in a federal MDL and tens of thousands more Roundup lawsuits, raising concerns from investors about the company’s ability to manage its legal liabilities while protecting its value.

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