Bayer (BAYRY) - Get Bayer AG ADR Report, which markets the weedkiller Roundup, is in talks to create what might become a $10 billion settlement of tens of thousands of lawsuits claiming that the product causes cancer, a media report says.
People with knowledge of the negotiations told Bloomberg News that in some of the talks, the company said it would set aside $8 billion to resolve current cases and $2 billion for future claims.
The news service also said that the figure was not fixed and could change.
The talks are taking place between Bayer’s lawyers and individual groups of plaintiffs’ attorneys, Bloomberg reported.
Kenneth Feinberg, who is leading the mediation for the cases involving Roundup, told Bloomberg that any reported details of a possible agreement right now are simply speculation.
Media reports a week ago said that Bayer might be close to a settlement. Feinberg told Reuters at the time that he was “cautiously optimistic that a settlement will ultimately be reached.”
Three jury verdicts awarded plaintiffs $2.5 billion, which pressured Bayer to settle the larger groups of claims, Bloomberg reported. Courts have cut those damages to $191 million, but Bayer is nonetheless appealing the verdicts.
Bayer, the Leverkusen, Germany, maker of products for pharma and health care, crop science, animal health and more, has said that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, does not cause cancer.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said that the product does not require a cancer warning.
Plaintiffs on the other hand note research that shows that the chemical can cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma and multiple myeloma, Bloomberg reported.
Bayer acquired Roundup when it bought the herbicide’s producer, Monsanto, in June 2018.
Bayer American depositary receipts closed Thursday up 4.1% at $21.59.