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Bayer loses again as U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to Roundup lawsuits

The Supreme Court has rejected Bayer's attempt to dismiss lawsuits from customers who alleged their product, Roundup weedkiller, causes cancer
Photo illustration for Monsanto/Bayer Roundup lawsuits

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — For the second time in as many weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied an attempt by Bayer AG (OTCMKTS: BAYRY) to dismiss lawsuits filed by customers who alleged that its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer.

Justices on Monday said they would not hear an appeal by Bayer of a $86.7 million judgment awarded to a California couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod, whose lawsuit said they developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup for decades.

On June 21, the high court rejected an appeal from Bayer of a $25 million judgment awarded in 2019 to California resident Edwin Hardeman, who also alleged that Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Bayer asked the Supreme Court to hear the two decisions, arguing that lawsuits based on state “failure to warn” laws are pre-empted by federal law. The corporation has said the “weight of scientific evidence and the conclusions of all expert regulators worldwide continue to support the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides and that they are not carcinogenic.”

The high court’s decisions to not hear Bayer’s appeals could lead to potentially billions of dollars in damages against the corporation.

Bayer, the German successor to Monsanto with its crop science headquarters in St. Louis, said Monday it “respectfully disagrees with the Supreme Court’s decision, but the company is not surprised given the Court’s declination in Hardeman just one week ago.” 

A Bayer spokesperson added: “There are likely to be future cases, including Roundup cases, that present the U.S. Supreme Court with preemption questions like Pilliod and Hardeman and could also create a Circuit split and potentially change the legal environment.”

Read the full story on the Saint Louis Business Journal website

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