Judge Rules that Securities Case Should Not be Combined with Other Roundup Cases

In a Northern District of California order filed on Monday, Judge Vince Chhabria denied the City of Grand Rapids general, fire, and police retirement systems from joining their securities case discussing the significant drop in stock prices due to Roundup legal suits with the over 3,000 personal injury cases due to allegations that the chemical glyphosate found in Roundup has detrimental effects. 

Bayer argued in a response to the motion to join the cases filed in late July, that there was not a significant overlap in the parties, specifically noting that most of the Roundup cases were filed against Monsanto and the case in question was filed against Bayer and its directors. The company also claimed that there was a distinct difference in the issue discussed in this case compared to the thousands of personal injury Roundup complaints. They claimed there would not be a “duplication of labor” if the cases were heard separately because of the variances. 

The retirement systems alleged in a brief asking for the disputes to be joined that the cases “arise from the same core issue: corporate liability relating to the carcinogenic effect of glyphosate.” They claimed several witnesses in the Roundup Multi-district litigation case would be Bayer employees, who previously worked for Monsanto and would also have testimony related to the securities case. 

Judge Richard Seeborg is the judge assigned to the Securities Exchange Act (SEC) lawsuit which is also located in the Northern District of California. The complaint was filed against Bayer Aktiengesellschaft and Bayer employees in July and the plaintiffs filed a motion to consider if the cases should be related the following day. 

The plaintiffs, including Grand Rapids General Retirement System and City of Grand Rapids Police & Fire Retirement System, are represented by Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP. The defendants are represented by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.