Roundup-cancer settlement could include clause that bars plaintiffs’ lawyers from soliciting new clients

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Credit: Reuters

As Bayer AG tries to settle U.S. lawsuits claiming that its weedkiller Roundup causes cancer, the company is considering a proposal that would bar plaintiffs’ lawyers involved in the litigation from advertising for new clients, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The person said that Bayer believes an agreement with plaintiffs’ attorneys to ban advertising would limit the company’s future legal exposure since the “vast majority” of U.S. law firms that would bring such claims would be bound by the agreement.

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In October, Bayer largely blamed law firms’ TV ad campaigns for the more than doubling of U.S. plaintiffs seeking damages to 42,700 within just three months.

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A provision such as the one the company is considering could result in “dramatically fewer claims” so that the litigation is no longer a “big drag on Bayer’s balance sheet,” said David Noll, a professor at Rutgers Law School and expert in mass torts, who is not involved in the litigation.

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