Bayer is now facing approximately 8,000 lawsuits against the newly acquired Monsanto. This is compared to the 5,200 lawsuits previously disclosed by Bayer. The lawsuits are against Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weed killers, such as Roundup and Ranger Pro, and their alleged cancer risks.
On August 10, Monsanto was ordered to pay damages of $289 million after a San Francisco jury ruled in favor of Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper dying of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Johnson often used Roundup and Ranger Pro for pest control. He used large quantities and found that during gusty days, it would cover his face. He first made contact with Monsanto after breaking out in a rash when a hose broke and covered his entire body with the weed killer.
Monsanto denies any links between their products and cancer. They plan to appeal on the account that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, safe to use as directed on their labels.
The German drugmaker acquired Monsanto in a $63 billion deal which was finalized this June. After the August 10 ruling, Bayer has since seen a 10 percent loss in shares. Bayer continues to stand by their product as they start to incorporate Monsanto products into their brand. The products will keep their names but the company name, Monsanto, will be ditched.
Even with the court ruling and the influx of lawsuits that is sure to follow it, Bayer says they are not reassessing the deal.
When considering an acquisition, it is important to know all of the debts and liabilities associated with the company. Most of the time the buyer is not liable for any debts and/or liabilities. Although, in some cases, the purchaser will assume some or all of the liabilities. Either way, it must be distinguished in litigation. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, having the proper coverage is key for all liabilities.