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Several months ago it was announced that there was an imminent 11 Billion dollar settlement of the many tens of thousands of RoundUp ™ weed killer cancer cases. Monsanto, had recently been acquired by Bayer and, unlike Monsanto, Bayer has a history of settling cases and trying to keep its nose (relatively) clean. Monsanto is practically a four-letter word to anyone who has read the news for the last 20 years. They have been the subject of 60 Minutes specials and numerous news reports about such tactics as suing poor farmers who refuse to buy their seeds. Monsanto, and their chemicals have been blamed for everything from environmental pollution to cancer-causing glyophosate in trace amounts in everyday foods like Cheerios™. Bayer bought Monsanto for 63 Billion dollars in 2018 while the RoundUp™ cancer cases were just starting to get to trial. Bayer, a very logical and scientifically minded company, felt that since governments around the world had agreed and published that RoundUp™ doesn’t cause cancer, that that was the end of the story and the litigation would not be a problem. Bayer has since discovered that it greatly underestimated the price tag for the RoundUp™ litigation. The trials had likely been poisoned by the reputation of Monsanto. In any event, several large verdicts created severe anxiety in the large German shareholders in Bayer. It was clear that they came to fear the American jury system and wanted to put an end to the risk to their 157 year old and well-respected company. Settlement discussions ensued but the company does not have unlimited resources.
After months and months a deal was struck to settle the known cases, with the idea that there would be a fund created from which future cases would received settlement. Unfortunately, this idea of capping future losses is not really possible because you cannot tell someone who brings a new claim that they have settled already without their consent. The rejection of that capping of future claims threw the settlement into disarray as it was Bayer’s desire to buy their peace (even though they staunchly hold fast to the idea that their product does not cause cancer).
Today, Wednesday, September 16, 2020, it was announced that Bayer had reached binding settlements in thousands of the cases with the lawyers that had taken cases to trial. The other cases currently remain unresolved. What’s the strategy here? To remove the trial threat. Bayer took the lawyers off the board who have the financing, resources, and experience to take them to trial. That leaves the tens of thousands of other clients left to take lesser settlements because they do not have those resources and Bayer knows it.
One of the lawyers involved in the new settlement said “with trial counsel out of the way, I think they are in an excellent position to find a way to resolve the remaining claims quickly.”*
It is expected that the clients of the “other lawyers” will end up “forced” to settle for far less money than was paid to the clients of the “lead lawyers”. It is a growing trend in pharmaceutical / chemical litigation for the company to make a deal with the lead plaintiff lawyers so that they can put the screws to everyone else once the lead victims lawyers are out of the picture. This is an emerging feature of this high stakes drug litigation. It takes tens of millions of dollars to take on a giant company like Bayer. 99.99% of lawyers cannot do it. Those that have that level of resources get paid to leave the rest of the victims and less-resourced lawyers to fend for themselves with no chance to stand up to the power of Big Pharma.
We have been representing victims of defective pharmaceutical products for over 20 years and have seen this trend growing more and more in the recent years. While we believe it is unfair to treat victims differently, this is the way it is. That is why TheLawFirm.com partners with the lead trial lawyers in the litigations it pursues. That ensures that if the pharmaceutical company employs this strategy, our clients are included in the first round premium settlement. We wish it was not this way. We think it is wrong but it is the way it is. Until something changes, we have to look out for those who retain our firm and will continue to do so.
Legal Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to be used as medical information or diagnosis. The sources of the information presented in the article have been researched and are linked within the article. Please seek out medical advice from a licensed medical professional if you are experiencing a problem with any of the drugs or devices mentioned in this article.
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TheLawFirm.com is a group of award winning attorneys, paralegals and associates from the legal profession who’s main goal is to educate and represent their clients with the utmost expertise, respect and trust.
We also work closely with a large group of experts from the medical profession so we can draw upon their expertise, in order to present as much accurate information relating to various mass tort and personal injury lawsuits as we can.