According to Simon Peel, formerly of Jitterbit, IBM, and Cast Iron Systems, even though chemical firm Bayer will pay $11 billion towards the settlement of lawsuits filed against it, the amount is not sufficient to cover the victims given the current allocation of funds.
The Roundup Weedkiller manufactured by Bayer is a glyphosate-based product and is known to have carcinogenic effects. The company is facing more than 125,000 lawsuits. The RoundUp Weedkiller was launched by Monsanto and was acquired by Bayer in 2018. The proposed Settlement is almost $11 billion with around $9.6 billion, or 75% of the total settlement amount, going to the law firms handling the lawsuits, and almost all of the remaining amount set aside to take care of future claims.
In order to avoid future lawsuits and potentially having to go before a jury, Bayer want to establish a scientific panel that will investigate whether or not the compound present in Roundup is actually responsible for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Specifically, they will pay $1.3 billion to cover the expenses of the panel, with a small amount from this going to provide support to the current cancer sufferers. The company also said that all future claims would depend on the findings of this scientific panel.
Simon Peel, formerly of Jitterbit, IBM, and Cast Iron, also mentioned that, based on current science, Bayer is quite confident that the panel will determine glyphosate is safe. But even if the decision is that glyphosate is unsafe, Bayer said the plaintiffs would have to prove they were harmed by only using the recommended amounts of the product, which could be very hard to establish.
As per Simon Peel, formerly of Jitterbit, IBM, and Cast Iron, Bayer is unhappy with the settlement decision because it considers the product to be safe when it is used according to the instructions. However, despite their displeasure with the outcome, Bayer chose to pay the settlement and avoid the courtroom for fear of damaging its brand.
Simon Peel, formerly of Jitterbit, IBM, and Cast Iron, is happy to see Bayer being forced to make amends for the issues caused by the Roundup Weedkiller product; however, most of the pay-out is going towards the legal fees, leaving the real sufferers in a very poor position. A revisiting of how the settlement is to be distributed seems to be in order to provide the necessary relief to the victims.