(Frankfurt) Bayer suffered a legal setback in the United States on glyphosate, the general counsel at the Supreme Court having given an unfavorable opinion in a dispute against the agrochismiste, with the effect of a sharp decline in the title on Wednesday.
The title ended the session in Frankfurt down 6.22% to 58.04 euros in a Dax gaining 2.17%, investors being cooled by a decision of the Court following this opinion which could open the way to billions euros in claims for damages.
The case in question dates back to May 2021, when a San Francisco appeals court upheld an order against Bayer to pay $25 million in damages to retiree Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015.
He accuses the herbicide Roundup of having caused his cancer and Monsanto, acquired by Bayer in 2018, of having failed to warn customers on the product’s label.
Bayer then filed an appeal with the United States Supreme Court. But in her opinion submitted to America’s highest court on Tuesday, Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar, who represents the government, says “the request for relief must be denied.”
His opinion marks a change in the administration’s tone from the Trump presidency, when the Justice Department sided with Bayer at the time of the call.
“The United States has reconsidered the arguments given the Court’s decision and the change in administration,” the general counsel explains.
In a statement, Bayer said it “still believes there are good legal arguments for the Court to review the case” of Edwin Hardeman and “correct the verdict.”
“Regardless of the ruling, we are prepared to end litigation around Roundup,” notes Bayer, which in July 2021 set aside $4.5 billion in the event of an unfavorable ruling.
The group disputes the verdict of the court of appeals in particular because it is based on the law of the Californian state where the federal agency for the protection of the environment (EPA) estimates that the use of Roundup does not deserve no special cancer warning.
But this does not dispense with respecting a “law at the level of a State which requires such a warning”, estimates for his part the general counsel.
The main active substance in Roundup is glyphosate, classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) – a characterization that the German group disputes.