U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said during a hearing [August 27] he’s concerned Bayer has “manipulated” the [$11 billion] settlement process since announcing its plan in June to resolve 125,000 cases alleging that the herbicide causes cancer. He said he will revisit in a month whether to keep the litigation on hold for settlement talks to continue or to let more trials proceed.
If the deal Bayer announced in June were to break down, settlements of many cases would likely move forward. Lawyers representing those plaintiffs expressed confidence in the negotiations.
“My concern is that if I leave the stay in place, am I complicit in whatever shenanigans are taking place on the Bayer side?” the judge said. “We’ve got a bunch of cases we could send out to other jurisdictions.”
Bayer said it remains optimistic about finalization of the deal.
“A mass tort settlement of this size and complexity can take significant time before it is fully executed …. but we remain confident that a comprehensive settlement will be finalized and executed.”