US decide rejects Reuters accounting for Bayer PCB contamination of $ 648 million
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bayer AG logo in a plant of the German pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturer in Wuppertal
From Jonathan stamp
(Reuters) – A federal judge refused Bayer AG (DE 🙂 proposed US $ 648 million to settle class action lawsuits from cities and other plaintiffs for contamination by polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs Monsanto (NYSE 🙂 Co.
In a November 25 ruling, US District Judge Fernando Olguin in Los Angeles said the agreement was “too broad” because it could protect Bayer (OTC 🙂 from future claims and request the plaintiffs to indemnify Bayer from these claims.
Olguin also said that most of the 2,528 class members received “very modest” payments of just $ 15,000 to $ 30,000, making the compensation scheme “worrying.”
Bayer, which bought Monsanto for $ 63 billion in 2018, said in a statement it would work with plaintiffs to address Olguin’s concerns and was confident of reaching a revised provisional settlement by December 31.
Los Angeles County and the cities of San Diego, Baltimore, and Portland, Oregon are among the plaintiffs, who hailed from 36 US states. The payout should include $ 550 million for class members and up to $ 98 million for legal fees and expenses.
The German company announced the settlement in June when it also proposed paying around $ 12 billion to settle legal disputes related to Monsanto.
Most of this was used to clear up claims that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused cancer. According to Bayer, Roundup is safe for human use.
PCBs were widely used in the past to insulate electrical devices and also in products such as carbon-free copy paper, caulking, flooring, and paint. They were banned by the US government in 1979 after being linked to cancer and other health problems. Monsanto produced printed circuit boards from 1935 to 1977.
The case is City of Long Beach et al. Against Monsanto Co, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 16-03493.
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