June 20, 2019

Roundup Weed Killer Litigation Is Kenneth Feinberg’s Next Challenge as Mediator

Roundup Weed Killer Litigation Is Kenneth Feinberg’s Next Challenge as Mediator


A federal judge overseeing about 900 lawsuits that allege Bayer’s Roundup weed killer caused cancer has appointed Kenneth R. Feinberg, a lawyer known for helping to resolve high-stakes litigation, to mediate settlement talks.

Mr. Feinberg has been instructed to meet with lawyers for Bayer and plaintiffs within 14 days, Judge Vince Chhabria of United States District Court in San Francisco said at a hearing on Wednesday. Judge Chhabria, who ordered confidential mediation on April 11, appointed Mr. Feinberg after the parties failed to agree on a mediator.

Mr. Feinberg has led mediation talks over the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal and General Motors ignition switch litigation.

More than 13,400 plaintiffs allege that Roundup, which contains glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that the manufacturer failed to warn about that risk. Most of the lawsuits are pending in state courts.

Bayer, which acquired the manufacturer, Monsanto, in a $63 billion deal last year, denies the allegations, saying studies and regulators have deemed glyphosate and Roundup safe for human use.

The company said in the past that it would comply with Judge Chhabria’s mediation order in good faith, while believing strongly in the “extensive body of reliable science supporting the safety of Roundup.”

Bayer has also said it would defend itself in all cases and await the results of appeals underway in the three cases that have gone to trial.



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