December 1, 2020 — Bayer is making significant progress toward settling thousands of U.S. Roundup lawsuits. A large percentage of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuits are choosing to participate in the settlement, even if they expect to receive what they consider to be unfair payouts. According to a letter sent to plaintiffs in late November 2020 by one of the lead law firms in the Roundup litigation, more than 95 percent of the “eligible claimants” are reported to be participating in Bayer’s sweeping settlement plan.
Plaintiffs can opt-out of the settlement and take claims to mediation, or they can find a new lawyer to try their case in court. The rough estimate on average gross payouts per plaintiff is said to be around $165,000 by the lawyers and plaintiffs involved. There is no guarantee that a plaintiff’s payout proposal will be anywhere near that average, though, as it could be much higher or much lower.
To be eligible to participate in the settlement, the plaintiff has to be a U.S. citizen, have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and had exposure to Roundup for at least one year before their diagnosis. The terms of the settlement deal state that the agreement with Bayer will be complete when the settlement administrator confirms that over 93 percent of the claimants qualify. A plaintiff found ineligible by the administrator has 30 days to appeal the decision. Plaintiffs found eligible will be awarded a number of points by the administrator. The points are based on specific criteria relating to the plaintiffs’ unique situations and determine the amount of money that they will receive.
In the points system, basis points are determined by the age of the plaintiff at the time they were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They are also determined by the severity of their damages, which can be based upon treatment and the result of treatment. The levels of severity vary from 1-5. For example, a death would be given the points equal to a level 5 and more points are given to young people who have endured multiple rounds of treatment. There are other adjustments allowed to the point system that give plaintiffs additional points, such as if they were exposed to Roundup longer or suffered from other damages. Adjustments can also subtract points.
Settlement funds are expected to start getting to the participants in Spring 2021, according to the lawyers involved.
Reference: “Monsanto Roundup & Dicamba Trial Tracker.” U.S. Right to Know, 2 June 2020, www.usrtk.org/monsanto-roundup-trial-tracker-index/