Cancer victims are calling for Bayer AG CEO Werner Baumann to step down, citing failed leadership and the mishandling of thousands of cancer claims against company subsidiary Monsanto for its Roundup weed killer.
Monsanto is facing several multimillion-dollar jury verdicts regarding Roundup and the harm it’s caused. On Monday, August 9, a California appellate court upheld an $87 million award for a couple diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma after exposure to the herbicide. Alberta and Alva Pilliod were awarded $2 billion in punitive damages after jurors found that Roundup was likely a significant cause of their disease. Alameda Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith later reduced the punitive damages to $87 million but said it was “reprehensible” that Bayer would try to impede scientific inquiry into the dangers of the chemicals used in the weed killer.
To date, three jury trials have produced multimillion-dollar verdicts against Monsanto, finding that Roundup exposure is linked to cancer. All three verdicts have now been upheld on appeal. In May, U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria, who is overseeing the Roundup multidistrict litigation (MDL), rejected terms of a proposed settlement and ordered the parties to return to negotiations.
Bayer’s mounting courtroom losses and inability to reach a fair resolution with cancer victims is a massive failure of leadership within the pharmaceutical giant, said trial lawyer Majed Nachawati, co-founder of Fears Nachawati Law Firm.
“Three juries and three appellate courts have considered Bayer’s claims and seen the scientific evidence,” said Nachawati, whose firm represents thousands of individuals who developed cancer after exposure to Roundup. “Bayer continues to hide behind its corporate legal armies—it is time for Werner Baumann to show some leadership on this or step aside.”
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