The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to review a $39 million settlement that resolved a Roundup class action lawsuit centered around consumers’ claims that Monsanto and its owner, Bayer AG, did not include cancer warning labels on its glyphosate-based weedkilling products.
The settlement that the Supreme Court refused to review is different from the $11 billion one that Bayer AG proposed in 2020 that resolved approximately 95,000 Roundup lawsuits that were filed by people who alleged that long-term exposure to the controversial herbicide caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Approximately 30,000 Roundup lawsuits remain unresolved, and Roundup trials are still ongoing.
The $39 million class action settlement, approved last year by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, who is overseeing all federally-consolidated Roundup cases in multidistrict litigation (MDL), provided refunds equal to about 20% of the average retail price paid by consumers, with $14 million given to nonprofit organizations after compensating the class participants.
One Roundup plaintiff challenged the settlement and appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, arguing that the District Court didn't adequately involve the plaintiffs in the decision-making process and should have divided the funds among the class members instead of giving $14 million to nonprofit organizations.
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the plaintiff's arguments, leading the plaintiff to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a review. The Supreme Court denied the petition on May 15, upholding the $39 million failure-to-warn settlement.
The $39 million settlement covers just one of several Roundup class action lawsuits filed by various consumer groups seeking damages, even if they haven't been diagnosed with any specific injury.
This is the third time the Supreme Court has declined to review a Roundup decision. In one case, a California couple was awarded $2 billion in a jury trial. That award was later reduced to $86.7 million. The Supreme Court also refused to hear the review of a $25 million verdict in favor of plaintiff Edwin Hardeman, who was the first plaintiff to have his Roundup case adjudicated in front of a federal jury.