FRANKFURT | Ten to eleven billion dollars: this is the amount impressive of the agreement, the German giant of the chemistry Bayer is poised to sign for the compensation of complainants of americans, in order to lead to over 100 000 disputes concerning especially the Round’Up, the pesticide glyphosate, marketed by its subsidiary, Monsanto.
This agreement “will put an end to about 75% of disputes” involving the Round’up, “which cover approximately 125 000 complaints in total”, whether or not they have been saved by the courts, said Bayer in a press release Wednesday evening. The complainants americans accuse this pesticide have caused the cancer from which they suffer.
“This settlement is important for our clients, as it is a long battle and difficult and it does justice to our customers,” responded to AFP a lawyer of the victims, Jennifer Moore.
“No admission of liability”
Bayer shall make a payment ranging from $ 8.8 billion to $ 9.6 billion, to resolve the dispute Roundup in progress, including an allowance intended to cover the unsolved cases, and$ 1.25 billion to support an “agreement class” distinct “in order to resolve potential disputes in the future”.
The German giant, however, specifies that these agreements, as well as others of lesser financial importance, “does not contain any admission of liability or fault.”
This agreement Roundup “comes at a good time for Bayer to put an end to a long period of uncertainty”, rejoiced in the news Werner Baumann, president of the management board of Bayer, judging it to be “financially reasonable in relation to the significant financial risks involved in a litigation current over several years”.
In addition, it “puts in place a clear mechanism to manage the risks of potential future litigation,” and hopes to Baumann, “it will also give the discussions on the safety and usefulness of herbicides containing glyphosate in the arena of regulatory and within the framework of the science”.
This should not in any case not extinguish the controversy regarding the Round’Up, ranked in 2015 “probable carcinogen” by the international agency against Cancer (Iarc), an agency of the WHO, and glyphosate.
“Bayer, which continues to market the Round’Up and other glyphosate products, Monsanto and the denial of their carcinogenic, agrees to pay $ 10 billion to set procedures with 100 000 complainants americans, all is well”, has responded to the association Attac France, on his Twitter account.
“Previous great for the other victims and all those who fight against glyphosate, and those who allow it”, commented on the same network, lawyer and former minister of the Environment French Corinne Lepage.
Bayer states that “the three cases which have been the subject of a lawsuit will continue through the appeal process and are not covered by the settlement agreement. It is important for Bayer to pursue these cases, because the calls will provide legal precedents relevant for the future”.
Dicamba and PCB
In addition, Bayer has also announced two agreements transaction of lesser importance, the one on the dicamba, a product accused of causing damage to nearby crops from those where it has been applied, to the tune of 400 million dollars for “the campaign for agricultural 2015-2020”.
“Applicants will be required to provide evidence of the damage to crop yields and evidence that these were due to dicamba in order to benefit from the compensation,” says Bayer, who “is waiting for a contribution from his co-defendant, BASF, to this agreement”.
The other agreement relates to the litigation of PCBS in the water”, manufactured by Monsanto until 1977, for which Bayer expects to pay a total of $ 650 million for the group share, plus $ 170 million for the States of New Mexico, Washington, and the District of Columbia to “resolve similar claims related to PCB”.
The company, whose title won at 14: 30 to almost 6%, to 74 euros, on the German platform of trading, Tradegate, provides that “the cash outflow potential will not exceed $ 5 billion in 2020 and $ 5 billion in 2021, with the balance being assumed on 2022 or later.”
It will fund through its available cash flow and one generated in the future, as well as by the proceeds from the sale of its animal health Division, already announced.