Bayer close to settling on thousands of Roundup cases - report

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Bayer close to settling on thousands of Roundup cases - report

Bayer AG may be only weeks away from settling more than 75,000 cancer claims over its Roundup weed-killer, Bloomberg reports.

The news comes after a surge in claims to almost double the number disclosed by the company in September, according to the court-appointed mediator in the litigation.

Mediator Ken Feinberg was quoted as saying in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday that he remains “cautiously optimistic” a deal will be reached in about a month and that the accord would be comprehensive.

Bayer disclosed in its third-quarter report that it was facing 42,700 claims over the herbicide. Feinberg said the caseload has grown to between 75,000 and 85,000 and “maybe more.”

He declined to discuss terms of the possible settlement. Bayer rose as much as 1.8% in early Frankfurt trading.

Chris Loder, a spokesman for the company, said the figure cited by Feinberg is “a speculative estimate” that includes “potential plaintiffs” who haven’t filed court complaints and that “the number of served cases as reported on a quarterly basis remains significantly below 50,000.”

After losing three trials in California that resulted in combined damages of US$191 million - including one that had initially set damages at US$2bn - Bayer said in December that it agreed to postpone some Roundup trials to give mediation a chance.

At least a half-dozen trials scheduled to start this month and next have reportedly been put on hold. Bayer is appealing the verdicts it lost.

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