Bayer to pay more than $10B to settle weedkiller cancer lawsuits

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Bayer has agreed to pay up to $10.9 billion to settle tens of thousands of claims that its weedkiller, Roundup, causes cancer, the drugmaker said June 24. 

Bayer, a drugmaker based in Germany, acquired agrochemical and agricultural biotech company Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, along with its weedkiller, Roundup. 

Thousands of people have alleged that Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, The New York Times reported. 

The settlement includes $1.25 billion for potential claims from people alleging Roundup caused their cancer, which will be applied to a class-action lawsuit filed in San Francisco. It also includes $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve about 95,000 current cases. It doesn't include  admission of liability or wrongdoing. 

The settlement is complex because it includes separate agreements with 25 law firms whose clients will each receive different amounts, from $5,000 to $250,000, according to the Times

The settlement is very large compared to other out-of-court product liability settlements from drugmakers, such as Merck's $5 billion deal to end litigation over its Vioxx painkiller. 

Bayer still faces at least 25,000 claims from plaintiffs who have not agreed to be part of the settlement, the Times reported. Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer who oversaw the settlement mediation process, told the Times he expects most plaintiffs to eventually join the settlement and that he'd be surprised if there were any future trials. 

Bayer maintains that Roundup is safe and said it will continue selling it without a warning label, according to the Times

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