On Monday Bayer AG, specifically its subsidiary Monsanto, filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review the Ninth Circuit decision in Hardeman vs. Monsanto, one of the lawsuits regarding its Roundup herbicide.
According to the company’s press release, the company said that it has grounds for a SCOTUS review because it alleged state failure-to-warn claims are preempted by federal laws and that the expert testimony accepted in the case “departed from federal standards” and was unsupported.
The petition claimed, “the Ninth Circuit’s errors mean that a company can be severely punished for marketing a product without a cancer warning when the near-universal scientific and regulatory consensus is that the product does not cause cancer, and the responsible federal agency has forbidden such a warning.”
Both in the present petition, and in other communications from the company, it claimed that the outcome of this particular case will have a large impact on the significant number of Roundup cases which have been consolidated in the Northern District of California, and other Roundup lawsuits around the country. It claimed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of Roundup without requiring a label on the warning preempts state law claims and said that this question has been divided by courts.
The company continued to hold that it has not been proven that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, can cause non-hodgkin’s lymphoma. The petition claimed that glyphosate has been very beneficial to farmers for the last 50 years, and that this is threatened if the “unreliable expert testimony” is allowed to stand.
Appealing the matter to the Supreme Court is part of a plan announced by Bayer at the end of July to address the numerous lawsuits regarding Roundup. In the same announcement, the company said it was setting aside $4.5 billion to help settle claims in addition to the $10 billion it had previously set aside. Bayer also explained that until it sees the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal, it will be selective in settling cases.