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Bayer trial postponed as talks of $10 billion settlement continue

Company is facing multiple lawsuits alleging the weed killer Roundup causes cancer
Credit: PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images
The logo of German chemicals giant Bayer is seen on flags during the company's annual results press conference on February 28, 2018 in Leverkusen.

ST. LOUIS — Plaintiffs suing Bayer after they say they contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from a popular weed killer didn’t get their day in a St. Louis courtroom Friday, but are reportedly close to a settlement close to $10 billion.

The company, formerly Monsanto, is facing thousands of lawsuits filed by people who allege the weed killer, Roundup, causes cancer. Bayer acquired Roundup as part of its takeover of Monsanto in 2018.

NBC News reported the company is close to a $10 billion settlement for all of its weed killer cases -- $8 billion to resolve current cases and $2 billion for potential future claims.

The case in St. Louis’ 22nd Judicial Circuit was to include opening statements Friday. Jury selection took place Tuesday and Wednesday.

At about 1 p.m., a court clerk told reporters the case had been continued as the parties continue to negotiate, but did not know when it would resume.

Bayer issued a statement Friday afternoon, “The parties have reached an agreement to continue the Wade case in Missouri Circuit Court for St. Louis. The continuance is intended to provide room for the parties to continue the mediation process in good faith under the auspices of Ken Feinberg, and avoid the distractions that can arise from trials. While Bayer is constructively engaged in the mediation process, there is no comprehensive agreement at this time. There also is no certainty or timetable for a comprehensive resolution. ”

The case involves cancer patients who claim Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, and, in particular, the chemical glyphosate, caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a blood cell cancer. They say Monsanto covered up the risks.

While similar cases have unfolded across the country in recent months and years, this is the first to take place in St. Louis, the former hometown of Monsanto, and the first multi-plaintiff case.

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