Bayer loses third appeals case over weedkiller

(Reuters) — Bayer lost a third appeal of U.S. court verdicts that awarded damages to customers blaming their cancers on the use of its glyphosate-based weedkillers, leaving the German drugs and pesticides group to pin hopes for legal relief on the U.S. Supreme Court.

A California appeals court late Monday upheld an $86 million verdict that found Bayer was responsible for a couple’s cancer.

They had used Bayer’s glyphosate-based Roundup product against weeds.

Bayer in February 2020 filed an appeal, saying the verdict could not be reconciled with sound science or with product clearance from the federal environmental regulator.

Roundup-related lawsuits have dogged the company since it acquired the brand as part of its $63 billion purchase of Monsanto in 2018.

Bayer reaffirmed plans to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court this month to review a similar Roundup case that went in favor of Roundup user Edwin Hardeman.

Bayer struck a settlement deal in principle with plaintiffs last year. But it failed to win court approval for a separate agreement on how to handle future cases.

Bayer has indicated it intends to keep the product on the market.

Among measures to contain the legal damage, it plans to replace glyphosate in weedkillers for the U.S. residential market with other active ingredients.

It will continue to sell the herbicide to farmers.

This article was first published in Business Insurance.

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