Bayer's Monsanto Scores Legal Victory as $185M Verdict Overturned

Zinger Key Points
  • This decision highlights broader legal battle over PCBs and alleged cancer-causing effects of glyphosate, also found in Roundup weed killer.
  • Bayer faces approximately 200 similar claims from the school, alleging various health issues due to PCB exposure. 

Bayer AG’s BAYRY BAYZF Monsanto unit secured a significant victory. A Washington state appeals court overturned a $185 million verdict against the company over chemical contamination at a Seattle-area school. 

This marks the second major legal win for the company in recent weeks. The original lawsuit, brought by three teachers who claimed they suffered brain damage from exposure to now-banned chemicals called polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dates back to 2021 when Monsanto spinoff Pharmacia was found liable.

The state Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court improperly applied Missouri laws, where Monsanto is based, Reuters highlights, allowing the claims to be filed decades after the company ceased PCB production in 1977. 

Also Read: German Conglomerate Bayer Goes Johnson & Johnson Way To Tackle Its Cancer-Related Lawsuits.

This decision highlights a broader legal battle over PCBs and the alleged cancer-causing effects of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

The U.S. government banned PCBs in 1979 after discovering their link to cancer, yet litigation over their effects has persisted, impacting Bayer’s shares significantly. 

Bayer argued that Washington law limits liability for exposure outside a product’s useful lifespan, typically 12 years.

Despite the victory, the case will return to the lower court to determine if a new trial is necessary. 

Bayer faces approximately 200 similar claims from the school, alleging various health issues due to PCB exposure. 

The company views the appeals court’s identification of multiple errors as highly significant and is considering its legal options regarding this ruling and its potential implications on future trials.

The ruling is part of a series of legal battles inherited by Bayer following its acquisition of Monsanto in 2018, including lawsuits alleging Roundup’s cancer-causing properties. 

Financially, Bayer’s exposure in PCB contamination claims could surpass $2.5 billion, with over $650 million already paid in settlements over waterway pollution lawsuits, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Read Next: Google Partners With European Conglomerate Bayer For New AI-Powered Solutions For Radiologists.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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