Bayer Agrees to Resolve Legacy Monsanto Litigation

Cindy Zimmerman

Bayer announced a series of agreements reached on Wednesday that will “substantially resolve major outstanding Monsanto litigation, including U.S. Roundup™ product liability litigation, dicamba drift litigation and PCB water litigation” adding that the agreements “contain no admission of liability or wrongdoing.”

The main feature is the U.S. Roundup™ resolution that 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 multi-district litigation (MDL) or the California bellwether cases, and those representing approximately 95% of the cases currently set for trial, and establish key values and parameters to guide the resolution of the remainder of the claims as negotiations advance. The resolution also puts in place a mechanism to resolve potential future claims efficiently. The company will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup™ litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.

In a nutshell, Bayer will pay somewhere between $10.1 billion to $10.9 billion to resolve current and address potential future Roundup™ litigation, settles dicamba drift litigation for payment of up to $400 million and most PCB water litigation exposure for payment of approximately $820 million. Bayer had a win earlier this week when a federal judge reaffirmed his earlier decision that the state of California cannot require a cancer warning label on glyphosate-based products such as Roundup under its Proposition 65 law.

Bayer held an investor call Wednesday to announce the agreements, followed by an international press call. Participating were CEO Werner Baumann, CFO Wolfgang Nickl, Liam Condon, Member of the Board of Management and President of the Crop Science Division, and William Dodero, Global Head Litigation of Bayer.

Bayer settlement press call (42:29)

During the investor call making the announcement, Liam Condon said the dicamba drift litigation settlement is unrelated to the Ninth Circuit Court ruling this month halting sales of dicamba products, but allowing current stocks to be used until the end of July.

However, Condon says they are feeling more confident about the re-registration process for Bayer’s XtendiMax and similar products from BASF and Corteva. “So we continue to expect a new registration for XtendiMax in the fall of this year.”

Condon also comments on commodity market trends in the U.S. and crop conditions that indicate a “plentiful harvest.”

Bayer settlement Liam Condon (2:41)

Agribusiness, Audio, Bayer