Bayer AG, headquartered in Germany, faced a significant legal defeat as a federal appeals court in the United States rejected its appeal in a Roundup lawsuit. A doctor from Georgia filed the lawsuit, claiming that Bayer’s Roundup herbicide caused his cancer. The court sided with the doctor.
“Bayer continues to stand fully behind its Roundup products, as the weight of scientific evidence and the conclusions of expert regulators worldwide continue to support the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides and that they are not carcinogenic,” the company said in a statement.
This decision adds to Bayer’s mounting legal challenges and economic pressures from Roundup lawsuits, raising concerns among the company’s stockholders about the company’s future.
Roundup Lawsuit Appeal Adds to Bayer’s Legal Strain
The 11th Circuit Appeal Court ruling dealt a serious blow to Bayer’s legal defense strategy. The court rejected Bayer’s assertion that federal pesticide approval shields it from state Roundup lawsuits.
Federal pesticide regulators do not require a warning of cancer risks on Roundup’s labels. But several states do. Bayer has argued that the federal labeling requirements should take precedence over state labels. Bayer argues that since the federal regulations contain no warning, the company had no duty to warn about cancer risks. This would make Roundup lawsuits’ “failure to warn” complaints moot.
According to the company’s website, this has been the core of Bayer’s five-point legal defense in Roundup litigation.
The appellate decision underscores the broader implications for Bayer and other companies facing similar litigation.
Bayer has maintained Roundup’s safety, even though the company settled more than 50,000 similar claims for up to $10.9 billion in 2020. However, with this recent ruling, Bayer’s legal battles are far from over. The decision highlights the complexities of navigating state and federal regulations concerning consumer safety and corporate accountability in the context of pesticide litigation.
Economic Pressures Intensify Amid Stock Decline
In addition to the legal challenges, Bayer is also grappling with significant economic pressures. The appellate decision has intensified the company’s struggle to address the more than 4,000 pending legal actions related to Roundup. This legal uncertainty has further compounded economic pressures, as evidenced by a notable decline in Bayer’s stock prices.
The day following the court ruling, Bayer’s shares fell by as much as 1.7%, bringing their decline over the past 12 months to 52%. This sharp decline heightens investor concerns over the company’s ability to effectively manage its legal liabilities and maintain shareholder value amidst ongoing legal battles.