27.06.2022, Author: Juliane Zielonka

Stock news: Bayer AG - Supreme Court ruling: No end to Monsanto lawsuits — Leverkusen-based company launches 5-point damage limitation plan

  • Bayer
  • Monsanto
  • Roundup
  • Glyphosat

On June 21, 2022, the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Bayer AG in the case brought by Californian Edwin Hardeman. Bayer AG sought to avoid billions of dollars in damages through the appeal in order to dismiss lawsuits brought by consumers like Hardeman. The Californian claims to have developed cancer from decades of using the weedkiller Roundup on his Bay Area property. Roundup is part of the product portfolio of Monsanto, which Bayer Group acquired in 2016. His lawsuit serves as an example for thousands of similar lawsuits. What does this mean for investors and private investors?

CEO Werner Baumann in front of the Bayer logo at Group headquarters. Source: Bayer AG old: Bayer AG

The Supreme Court's rejection involves the failure to review a decision by the federal appeals court. This held that federal law on insecticides, fungicides and rodenticides does not take precedence over state tort law. Since the US Supreme Court now explicitly does not address this, lawsuits like Edwin Hardeman's become cases for lower instances in the US states.1 Thus, glyphosate damage claims for the Leverkusen-based company go into numerous next rounds. Because: the possible lymphoma, perhaps caused by the pesticide, takes about five to ten years to break out.

Lack of warning labels on Roundup products

The US Supreme Court judges thus indirectly award EUR 23.68 million (USD 25 million) to Edwin Hardeman. Hardeman sued Bayer back in 2016, arguing that the glyphosate-containing product Roundup did not contain any warnings about carcinogens.2 The jury at the time ruled in his favor and awarded him EUR 75.78 million (USD 80 million). The amount was originally adjusted to EUR 18.94 million (USD 20 million) on constitutional grounds. Hardeman appealed this decision.

The core question of the appeal: Is the right to compensation of a victim with personal injury (Hardeman) excluded by misconduct (non-labeling of the product) of a company (Monsanto/Bayer) if the responsible US authority EPA confirms that glyphosate is not carcinogenic?

EPA so far considers glyphosate not carcinogenic

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent executive agency of the US federal government that deals with environmental protection issues. Accordingly, if a US agency demonstrates in scientific studies that the active ingredient glyphosate does not cause cancer, there is no need for special health labeling on Roundup products used by private customers such as Hardeman. No evidence of cancer, no labeling requirement, no wrongdoing by the corporation, and so the argument goes.

US District Judge Vince Chhabria of San Francisco emphasized that it does not interfere with a customer's right to sue for illness or other harm caused by the herbicide. Chhabria approved the settlement. Because the US Supreme Court rejected Bayer's appeal, the Company is drawing its conclusions. The "5-point plan" presented in May 2021 takes effect. Bayer has set aside an additional EUR 3.8 billion (USD 4.5 billion) to cover the expected claims of plaintiffs such as Hardeman in settlements and lawsuits. 3

Glyphosate active ingredient still in use in B2B segment

Beginning in 2023, Roundup products will be sold to residential customers with an alternative active ingredient instead of glyphosate. However, 90% of the Group's largest sales of the pesticide will continue to come from B2B sales to farmers. There, the product continues to be used in its previous formulation.

A farmer checks the quality of a corn cob in the field. Source: Bayer AG old: Bayer AG

June 17, 2022: EPA must re-evaluate the health risks of glyphosate

Whether Bayer can rely on the EPA in the future is questionable. On June 17, 2022, another court ruled that the EPA's statements were unlawful, siding with the US Center for Food Safety CFS.4

In a 54-page decision, the court unanimously agreed with the challenge plaintiffs' arguments that "EPA failed to adequately consider whether glyphosate causes cancer and evaded its duties under the Endangered Species Act."5 In this regard, Amy van Saun, senior attorney at CFS and lead counsel in the case, explains, "Today is a monumental victory for farm workers, wildlife, and the public. The court ruled EPA's approval of Monsanto's glyphosate unlawful and chided EPA for ignoring real-world evidence of cancer risks from glyphosate use and not even considering impacts on endangered species."

Interim Conclusion

Since the acquisition of Monsanto in 2016 for about EUR 56.83 billion (USD 60 billion), Bayer AG's stock market value has fallen by a third.6 Bayer has set aside EUR 3.8 billion for the Monsanto lawsuits filed by private users. There is no end in sight to the lawsuits due to the US Supreme Court decision. In addition to the tarnished brand image, the Group needs to catch up in its other divisions, such as Life Science and Consumer Health, to rebalance the high expenses of the Monsanto deal. It also raises questions for investors as to why CEO Werner Baumann opted for the Monsanto purchase, apparently despite doubts and criticism within the Company.

Crystal clear underperformance: Bayer AG share price over the last 2 years compared to the S&P Europe BMI Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Index and the S&P GSCI Agriculture Index. Source: S&P Capital IQ Pro; as of June 26, 2022 old: Bayer AG stock chart

In the Pharmaceuticals Division, Bayer received approval for Xarelto in Japan. Sales of the blood thinner have stagnated in other countries such as China due to expiring patents. The expiration allows a market for generics, drugs with the same active ingredient that can be prescribed by doctors and are priced much lower than branded products. Bayer has some new drugs on the market focused on cardiovascular, kidney disease and prostate cancer (Nubeqa). These could provide good sales.


To what extent investors will forgive the image damage around Monsanto remains to be seen. The share price for the Leverkusen-based company will score points in particular with solid results. The gas crisis in Germany and its impact on the profitability of Bayer AG's related domestic production sites as well as the Ukraine conflict may affect the European business, but Bayer is a global player. The CEO has yet to clarify whether the purchase of Monsanto in 2016 really pays off in terms of expense and benefit - and he has to do so in front of both his team and shareholders.

The update is based on the initial Report 04/22.

  1. Reuters US Supreme Court rejects Bayer bid to nix Roundup weedkiller suits - accessed June 22, 2022
  2. Public Justice Hardeman vs. Monsanto case - accessed June 23, 2022
  3. Bayer AG Five-point plan to settle Roundup™ litigation - accessed June 23, 2022
  4. Press Release Center for Food Safety: EPA Ruling on Glyphosate Federal Court Rejects Glyphosate Registration Decision Because EPA Ignored Cancer Risks, Endangered Species Risks- accessed June 23, 2022
  5. Justice US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit On Petition for Review of an Order of the

    Environmental Protection Agency
    - Retrieved June 23, 2022
  6. Wirtschaftswoche Bayer and glyphosate - it wasn't worth it - accessed June 26, 2022

Conflict of interest

Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may in the future hold shares or other financial instruments of the mentioned companies or will bet on rising or falling on rising or falling prices and therefore a conflict of interest may arise in the future. conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the shares or other financial instruments of the company at any time (hereinafter referred to as the company at any time (hereinafter referred to as a "Transaction"). "Transaction"). Transactions may under certain circumstances influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the of the Company.

Furthermore, Apaton Finance GmbH reserves the right to enter into future relationships with the company or with third parties in relation to reports on the company. with regard to reports on the company, which are published within the scope of the Apaton Finance GmbH as well as in the social media, on partner sites or in e-mails, on partner sites or in e-mails. The above references to existing conflicts of interest apply apply to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH uses for publications on companies.

Risk notice

Apaton Finance GmbH offers editors, agencies and companies the opportunity to publish commentaries, interviews, summaries, news and etc. on These contents serve information for readers and does not constitute a call to action or recommendations, neither explicitly nor implicitly. implicitly, they are to be understood as an assurance of possible price be understood. The contents do not replace individual professional investment advice and do not constitute an offer to sell the share(s) offer to sell the share(s) or other financial instrument(s) in question, nor is it an nor an invitation to buy or sell such.

The content is expressly not a financial analysis, but rather financial analysis, but rather journalistic or advertising texts. Readers or users who make investment decisions or carry out transactions on the basis decisions or transactions on the basis of the information provided here act completely at their own risk. There is no contractual relationship between between Apaton Finance GmbH and its readers or the users of its offers. users of its offers, as our information only refers to the company and not to the company, but not to the investment decision of the reader or user. or user.

The acquisition of financial instruments entails high risks that can lead to the total loss of the capital invested. The information published by Apaton Finance GmbH and its authors are based on careful research on careful research, nevertheless no liability for financial losses financial losses or a content guarantee for topicality, correctness, adequacy and completeness of the contents offered here. contents offered here. Please also note our Terms of use.

Source: Bayer AG

Media comments

Juliane Zielonka

Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

More about the author

Further analyses