[In June] Bayer agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle close to 100,000 U.S. lawsuits [alleging its Roundup herbicide causes cancer.]
That included $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation. That part of the settlement requires court approval.
“The Court is skeptical of the propriety and fairness of the proposed settlement, and is tentatively inclined to deny the motion,” Judge Vince Chhabria said in a filing with the United States District Court, Northern District of California.
Bayer had planned on creating an independent panel of scientific experts to help assess whether glyphosate caused cancer.
Editor’s note: Chabria elaborated in his order:
Even if it were lawful to delegate this function to the panel, it’s unclear how the delegation proposed here would benefit a class of Roundup users who either have cancer but have not yet sued Monsanto or have not yet developed cancer. Thus far, judges have been allowing these cases to go to juries, and juries have been reaching verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding significant compensatory and punitive damages. Why would a potential class member want to replace a jury trial and the right to seek punitive damages with the process contemplated by the settlement agreement?