Additional Claims Filed against Bayer Regarding Roundup as Mediation Slows during COVID-19 Pandemic
The number of plaintiffs involved in lawsuits against Bayer related to its glyphosate-based weed-killing product continues to rise. This is despite the slow-down in mediation due to the coronavirus. According to Bayer, there are currently lawsuits from approximately 52,500 plaintiffs as of April 14, which is an increase from approximately 48,600 plaintiffs within the last several months of 2019.
According to the lawsuits, exposure to Bayer’s Roundup weed killer causes cancer. Bayer continues to maintain the product is safe and that there is no danger posed by the glyphosate that is an ingredient in the product.
Bayer has also reported that it continues to "engage constructively in the mediation process and had made progress" before things slowing down amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The virus has resulted in shutdown orders and recommendations by health authorities to “social distance” and postpone in-person meetings, including court and legal proceedings. Many involved in legal battles have moved their business online, which includes mediations being conducted virtually. This allows for court proceedings to continue, even though people are not able to or willing to meet face-to-face during the health pandemic. Bayer has made no indication it is doing this or intends to do so soon.
According to Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer, "The Company will continue to consider a solution only if it is financially reasonable and puts in place a mechanism to resolve potential future claims efficiently. Against the background of a looming recession and looking at, in part, considerable liquidity challenges, this applies now more than ever.”