The US Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday an appeal filed by German chemical giant Bayer to overturn a landmark ruling linking the weedkiller Roundup with cancer. The company faces thousands of similar claims, which have plagued it since it acquired Roundup manufacturer Monsanto in 2018.
The US court declined to review the case of a man from California, Edwin Hardeman, who was awarded $25 million in damages. He used Roundup for 26 years at his home before being diagnosed with a form of lymphoma. He succeeded in making the case for a causal relationship between the two, with his claim upheld by an appeals court in May 2021.
The Supreme Court decision has scotched Bayer’s plan to mitigate compensation payouts in thousands of similar cases. The German firm, which acquired Monsanto for $63 billion, has over 30,000 claims outstanding after resolving more than 100,000, it said in its yearly report in March.
Last year, Bayer set aside $4.5 billion to pay possible damages in addition to the $11.6 billion it reserved for litigation previously. It largely put on hold the settlement of claims, pending a decision on the appeal, which it filed in the US Supreme Court in August last year.