A federal judge in Missouri has denied Bayer AG’s motion to delay a Monsanto Roundup lawsuit scheduled to go to trial in St. Louis Circuit Court later this year.
In seeking to delay the Roundup trial, attorneys for the German company argued that discovery in the case was incomplete. But according to a Case Management Order dated August 9th, the Court concluded “that the parties have made substantial progress in completing discovery and that the discovery and motion practice outstanding does not impact the trial date nor does it interfere with the revised pretrial deadlines” in the case.
The Monsanto Roundup trial is tentatively scheduled to begin on October 15th. The case will be the first such lawsuit to go before a jury in Missouri, where Monsanto is headquartered.
More than 18,000 Roundup lawsuits that blame the glyphosate-based herbicide for causing cancer are pending in courts nationwide. The litigation began to grow shortly after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen in March 2015.
Three Roundup trials have been convened by state and federal courts in California since last August. So far, every jury has ruled in favor of plaintiffs, granting initial awards of $289 million, $80 million, and $2 billion. However, the judges presiding over those cases eventually reduced the verdicts after finding that punitive damages were excessive.
Bayer denies that glyphosate causes cancer and is appealing all three Roundup lawsuit verdicts. However, the company is also participating in court-ordered mediation, and its CEO recently indicated he would be open to a “financially reasonable” settlement.
Earlier this month, judges in St. Louis and San Francisco agreed to delay upcoming Roundup trials at the request of the parties. That led to speculation that they were closing in on an agreement.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Bayer was willing to pay up to $8 billion to resolve the litigation, but the company later denied reports that it had made a Roundup settlement offer.