The investigation concerns whether Bayer and certain of its officers and/or directors have engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices.
On August 10, 2018, a jury in the action Johnson v. Monsanto Co., No. CGC-16-550128 (Cal. Super. Ct., Cnty. of S.F.) (the “Johnson Case”) found unanimously that the glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer manufactured by Bayer’s subsidiary Monsanto Company (“Monsanto”) was a “substantial factor” in causing the plaintiff to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that Monsanto knew, or should have known, the risks associated with exposure to the chemical and failed to warn of this severe health hazard. The jury also found that Monsanto acted with “malice or oppression” and should be punished for its conduct. Accordingly, the jury ordered Monsanto to pay $39 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages. On this news, the price of Bayer ADRs declined $3.00 per ADR, or 11.28%, to close at $23.59 per ADR.
Then, on October 22, 2018, although the court in the Johnson Case reduced the award of punitive damages from $250 million to $39 million to match the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff, the court otherwise denied Monsanto’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and Monsanto’s motion for a new trial, and upheld the jury’s verdict, ruling that “there is no legal basis to disturb the jury’s determination that plaintiff’s exposure to [glyphosate-based herbicides] was a substantial factor in causing his [non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma].” On this news, the price of Bayer ADRs declined $1.90 per ADR, or 8.64%, to close at $20.10 per ADR.
Finally, on March 19, 2019, a jury in the action Hardeman v. Monsanto Co., No. 3:16-cv-525 (N.D. Cal.) —the first federal Roundup cancer lawsuit to proceed to trial—issued a verdict on causation in phase one of the bifurcated trial, finding that plaintiff’s “exposure to Roundup was a substantial factor in causing his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” On this news, the price of Bayer ADRs declined $1.82 per ADR, or 9.25%, to close at $17.85 per ADR.
The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com.
Robert S. Willoughby