Monsanto appealed seeking to overturn the jury determination and Johnson cross-appealed in search of to reinstate the total award of $289 million. The Gordon trial was originally scheduled for August of this yr but was delayed as part of an effort to undertake settlement talks between Bayer and lawyers for tens of hundreds of plaintiffs who’re suing Monsanto with claims similar to Gordon’s. The new bother for Litzenburg got here within the form of a criminal grievance filed Monday in federal courtroom in Virginia. He also attempted to involve an entity referred to in the criticism as Company 2, described by prosecutors as a U.S. publicly traded firm that bought Company 1 in 2018. The Miller firm subsequently fired Litzenburg and filed a lawsuit alleging Litzenburg engaged in self-dealing, and “disloyal and erratic conduct.” Litzenburg responded with a counter-claim.
The farm group moreover argued that the “trial court docket’s choice disregards federal regulation, in addition to state law…” because it conflicts with the EPA’s finding that glyphosate just isn’t likely to cause most cancers. The jury within the Johnson case determined Monsanto should pay $289 million in damages, together with $250 million in punitive damages. The trial decide within the case later slashed the punitive damage quantity, lowering the whole award to $78 million.
Striking a reassuring tone, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said that while traders could be stunned on the high variety of lawsuits, it is “actually not that stunning.” He said plaintiffs’ attorneys in the United States have been spending tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting for purchasers. With the trial date of Feb. 24, 2020 looming, Elaine Stevick’s attorneys requested Monsanto’s attorneys if the corporate would agree that Chris Stevick’s most cancers claims might be joined along with his wife’s for the February trial in San Francisco. The attorneys argue that at the very least Chris Stevick’s prognosis is admissible proof at his wife’s trial as extra proof of their claim that Roundup exposure can cause non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The prognosis has prompted a scramble among attorneys concerned in the sprawling Roundup merchandise liability litigation provided that the Stevick’s lawsuit towards Monsanto is about as the subsequent federal case to go to trial. For the Gordon case, Wagstaff has subpoenaed former Monsanto chairman Hugh Grant to testify reside on the trial.
Two other juries in subsequent trials over similar claims have additionally found in favor of plaintiffs and ordered large punitive damages towards Monsanto. On Monday, the plaintiffs’ attorneys filed a response arguing that the Winston plaintiffs must be transferred to St. Louis County as Monsanto had beforehand requested and that would make the venue problem before the court moot.
Bayer and a group of plaintiffs’ attorneys have been pursuing a potential settlement of the litigation that could quantity to properly greater than $8 billion, the legal sources stated. According to sources close to the litigation, discussions are underway to postpone extra Roundup most cancers trials, possibly including one set to begin January 21 in St. Louis City Court.
Six trials have been initially set to happen in January, but three have recently been “postponed.” Sources say the postponements are part of the method of acquiring an total settlement with a number of plaintiffs’ attorneys who’ve massive numbers of circumstances pending. Mike Miller, head of the Orange, Virginia-primarily based law agency that bears his name, has been unwilling to accept the terms of settlement provides discussed in mediation talks between Monsanto’s German proprietor Bayer AG and a team of plaintiffs’ attorneys. That recalcitrance is a crucial sticking point that is interfering with a resolution, sources close to the litigation say. Talks have also been complicated by the truth that one of many main Roundup litigators – Virginia lawyer Mike Miller, a veteran in taking on large firms in court – has so far refused to postpone trials, apparently shrugging off the settlement presents. Miller’s agency represents thousands of plaintiffs and is offering lead counsel for the 2 trials now getting underway.
They also argued that the decide in St. Louis City who has been presiding over the Winston case ought to continue to handle the case inside the county courtroom system. “Monsanto’s repeated makes an attempt to keep away from the trial… must be rejected, and the case must be set for trial in 2019 or as quickly thereafter as is practicable,”‘ the plaintiffs’ attorneys acknowledged in a movement filed Oct. three.
Grant has so far solely testified through deposition and not had to testify in entrance of a jury; nor produce other high-level Monsanto executives as a result of the trials had been held in California. But with the trial in St. Louis, plaintiffs’ lawyers are hoping to get some Monsanto scientists and executives on the stand for questioning. Grant’s attorneys have objected the making him seem in person, and each side are awaiting a ruling on that matter. The first plaintiff to win in opposition to Monsanto is a California faculty groundskeeper from California.
“This improve within the variety of lawsuits does not change our conviction of the safety profile of glyphosate and is by no means a reflection of the merits of this litigation,” Baumann said. Appeals are underway after the company lost the first three trials, and the company is “constructively” engaging in mediation, in accordance with Baumann. Bayer will only agree to a settlement that is “financially reasonable” and will convey “affordable closure to the overall litigation,” he mentioned. Bayer held a convention call with traders Wednesday to discuss its third quarter results and to replace shareholders on the Roundup litigation.
The Gordon trial was already postponed as soon as – it originally was scheduled for August. Bayer officials have said that Monsanto is dealing with more than 42,700 plaintiffs in the United States. Investors in Bayer AG, the German company that bought Monsanto in 2018, are preserving a detailed eye on the status of three trials at present still on the docket to get underway this month.