Announcing appeal of reaffirmed Roundup-cancer verdict, Bayer develops defense strategy of Monsanto’s flagship product


Bayer AG’s $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto …. made the German drug and chemicals company the world’s biggest supplier of crop seeds and pesticides—and brought it thousands of lawsuits alleging Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide causes cancer.

But Bayer has a history of fighting big-ticket litigation …. So officials are projecting calm, even after a judge [October 22] rejected Bayer’s request to reverse an August jury verdict …. in the first Roundup case to go to trial.

[The company] has developed a reputation for …. pushing to trial when it believes it can win ….  Bayer has argued that glyphosate, the main chemical in Roundup, doesn’t cause cancer and has been reviewed and approved in more than 160 countries. The company said …. it would appeal the verdict.

Related article:  Activists play Agent Orange scare card in hopes of derailing USDA approval of 2,4-D resistant corn and soybeans

Bayer gained attention for its innovative defense approach in the early part of the last decade, when it developed a two-pronged legal strategy involving a cholesterol-lowering drug called Baycol. The company settled with plaintiffs it believed had legitimate injuries …. But it fought weaker claims aggressively.

The common wisdom at the time …. was to settle fast. That allowed companies to avoid putting cases in the hands of unpredictable juries …. But settling product-liability cases had shortcomings. For pharmaceutical companies, “if you just settle them, there’ll be the next one in line, and it’s an endless list,” said John Beisner, a defense lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP ….

Read full, original article: Behind Bayer’s Tough Defense of Roundup (Behind Paywall)

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