Bayer-Monsanto’s proposed $2 billion settlement for future victims continues to face harsh criticism from current plaintiffs, cancer victim advocates, and many others. The plan would allow the company to continue to market and sell glyphosate products while limiting their liability toward those whose lives they devastate.
The settlement, which is only for people who have not yet been diagnosed with cancer or who have not yet retained an attorney has not been approved by the court. We are among the many parties that submitted objections. As it stands, we are hopeful that the settlement proposal will not be accepted by the court.
Some of the plans highlights (or lowlights, as it were) include:
- The four-year plan includes $1.35 billion for class member compensation; $210 million for diagnostic services; $55 million for research; and $170 million for a legal fund.
- Under this plan, Bayer establishes trust through community healthcare centers, signs people to the class so they can get free healthcare services, then forwards them through the settlement process when they are diagnosed with NHL. NHL victims, who are targeted because they are itinerant, who lack exposure to traditional media, and who do not speak English as a first language, are told they can get $5,000 immediately if they accept. This is the equivalent of dangling a glass of water in front of a person dying of thirst without telling them they could have access to a well.
- Class members can qualify for $5k-$200k. However, the tier system is structured so that the vast majority of class members would receive $5,000.
- The settlement severely limits additional recourse for class members, even if they are released from the class. It also imposes a four-year stay on filings.
- It establishes a Science Advisory Panel, chosen in large part by Bayer-Monsanto, and a research fund to conduct “research” that we feel will likely be skewed toward the corporation’s interests. Those findings can then be used against plaintiffs in the MDL or in future litigation.
- It establishes an “education program” funded by Bayer that will, no doubt, include pro-Bayer propaganda.
- It gives Bayer-Monsanto the ability to include on Roundup labels “a reference to information regarding whether exposure to Roundup causes NHL.” There is no question that the “information” they choose will be skewed in their favor.
There are many other horrible provisions of the proposed settlement, and we believe strongly that the majority of the plan is unfair to victims. It is a blatant attempt to stop victims from joining MDLs or other litigations that would compensate them more fairly.
We know — and Bayer knows — that tens of thousands of hard-working people, if not more, will be diagnosed with glyphosate-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the coming years. The proposal fails on many fronts to pay adequate restitution to the vast majority of victims and does a huge disservice to thousands of American families who put their trust in Monsanto, only to suffer due to the corporation’s lies and deceit.
We will continue to follow this proposal, and to fight it at every opportunity.
As courts begin to open again and new trial dates are established, plaintiffs’ attorneys will continue to push Bayer-Monsanto toward a fair settlement.