The number of plaintiffs claiming that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, caused their cancer has more than doubled to 42,700 in the last three months, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The jump in plaintiffs, which numbered 18,400 in early July, is not unexpected. In October, Bloomberg reported that manufacturer Bayer AG expected a “significant surge” following an increase in television advertising from attorneys.
This surge also comes as Bayer discusses a potential settlement. The company entered judge-ordered mediation with plaintiffs in May, but no deal has been reached despite pressure from some Bayer investors.
Bayer inherited its legal woes when it acquired Roundup inventor St. Louis-based Monsanto for $63 billion last year. Bayer has already lost three major cases with damages totaling more than $190 million, CBS News reported in August. According to Reuters, Bayer has appealed the rulings and is hoping for reversals in early 2020.
More glyphosate trials were set to begin this fall but have been postponed until 2020 as attempts to negotiate a settlement are made. In late October, Reuters reported that the mediation is ongoing while Bloomberg quoted plaintiff attorney Aimee Wagstaff saying that a settlement isn’t coming anytime soon.