Bayer to pay $11B to resolve outstanding litigation — mostly involving Roundup

Bayer has agreed to pay approximately $11 billion to substantially resolve major outstanding Monsanto litigation, including Roundup product liability litigation, the company announced Wednesday.

Bayer, which has its U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh, has a major presence in Whippany.

The company, in a release, said the main feature of the settlement is Roundup resolution, which will bring closure to approximately 75% of the current Roundup litigation involving approximately 125,000 filed and unfiled claims overall.

The resolved claims include all plaintiff law firms leading the Roundup federal multidistrict litigation or the California bellwether cases, and those representing approximately 95% of the cases currently set for trial, as well as establish key values and parameters to guide the resolution of the remainder of the claims as negotiations advance, the company said.

The company said the resolution also puts in place a mechanism to resolve potential future claims efficiently.

In addition, the company said the agreements contain no admission of liability or wrongdoing.

The company said the resolutions were approved unanimously by Bayer’s board of management and supervisory board with input from its special litigation committee.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann, in a statement, said the settlement is “the right action at the right time,” and will bring a long period of uncertainty to an end.

“It resolves most current claims and puts in place a clear mechanism to manage risks of potential future litigation,” he said. “It is financially reasonable when viewed against the significant financial risks of continued, multiyear litigation and the related impacts to our reputation and to our business.”

Baumann said the resolutions will allow Bayer to look ahead.

“The decision to resolve the Roundup litigation enables us to focus fully on the critical supply of health care and food,” he said. “It will also return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”

Kenneth Feinberg, the court-appointed mediator for the settlement talks, said the Roundup agreements are designed as a constructive and reasonable resolution.

“The separate, independent settlements of the current claims are unique and a tribute to Bayer,” he said. “The significant progress made to date — which exceeds the initial participation rates of other claims resolution proceedings — provides a robust framework that will enable the parties to bring closure to the current Roundup litigation in due course.”