The parties to a Monsanto Roundup lawsuit that was scheduled for trial last week in California apparently agreed to delay the proceeding just moments before opening arguments were set to begin.
“The parties have reached an agreement to continue the Caballero case in California Superior Court for Contra Costa County,” Bayer AG said in a statement confirming the delay. “The continuance is intended to provide room for the parties to continue the mediation process in good faith under the auspices of Ken Feinberg, and avoid the distractions that can arise from trials.”
The California trial was just the most recent Monsanto Roundup lawsuit delayed in order to facilitate the ongoing settlement negotiations.
From 1977 through 2018, Kathleen Caballero regularly used two Monsanto Roundup-branded weed killers while operating her landscaping business and a farm where she grew peaches and sugar cane. Like thousands of other Roundup lawsuits plaintiffs, she claims exposure to glyphosate in those products contributed to the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Jury selection for Cabellero’s Monsanto Roundup trial began on January 19th. But Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Barry Goode dismissed the jury on Monday, after thanking members for participating in a “fairly extraordinary selection process.”
Bayer is facing nearly 47,000 Monsanto Roundup lawsuits in courts around the United States, all of which blame glyphosate for causing various forms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The company has lost all three cases presented to juries since trials began in 2018, with plaintiffs awarded verdicts totaling more than $2 billion.
The trial losses have weighed heavily on Bayer’s share price, and the company has indicated it would consider a “economically reasonable” Roundup settlement to escape the massive and costly litigation.
Kenneth Feinberg – the prominent lawyer behind the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund – began leading Monsanto Roundup negotiations last year. Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that Bayer was considering a global settlement in the neighborhood of $10 billion.
The World Health Organization declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen in March 2015, after an independent review conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer linked occupational exposure to an increased risk of cancer – especially non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Bayer denies any association between glyphosate and cancer, and has so far refused to include any cancer warnings on the Roundup label.