Ever since its acquisition of Monsanto for $63 billion back in 2016, Bayer AG has found itself defending an exhausting war of attrition against claims that its weed killer product, Roundup, caused thousands of users to get cancer. At first, Bayer was determined to defend the safety of Roundup in the courtroom. But the first handful of Roundup trials in 2018 and 2019 resulted in spectacular losses with 3 verdicts totaling almost $3 billion.
These crushing verdicts essentially forced Bayer to change its strategy and start the long process of settling out large blocks of pending Roundup cases. So far almost $10 billion has been paid out to resolve over 90,000 cases and last month, Bayer earmarked another $4.5 billion to cover future Roundup claims.
In the meantime, Bayer has also been pursuing appeals seeking to overturn the gigantic verdicts in the Roundup test cases. Earlier this week, however, a California appellate court thoroughly rejected the most significant of these appeals and accused Bayer of having no regard for consumer safety.