(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court can announce as soon as Monday whether it will hear Bayer’s bid to dismiss allegations that its Roundup herbicide causes cancer as it tries to avoid potentially billions of dollars more in damages and payments.
Bayer is seeking review of an appeals court ruling $ 25 million in damages awarded to Edwin Hardeman, a California resident, a user of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, who blamed his cancer on the product.
How the court acts will help determine if thousands of similar cases continue.
The nine judges at their private conference on Thursday were scheduled to discuss whether to hear the case, according to court documents. The court will announce measures for ongoing appeals on Monday morning, although a case is sometimes adjourned for various reasons, including whether the judges are inclined to hear it.
Bayer has asked the Supreme Court to find that federal approval of Roundup̵7;s product labeling by the Environmental Protection Agency meant that the action could not be brought under California state law.
The court’s decision comes after the Biden administration called on judges last month to reject the petition, reversing the position of the Trump administration, which had largely supported Bayer.
The company’s shares fell more than 6% that day but have since recovered despite Bayer securing up to $ 4.5 billion in additional legal costs from the other claims if they are rejected by the court.
It set aside money in accordance with this last year, having already paid out a large part of the $ 11.6 billion previously allocated for settlements and litigation in the matter.
Credit Suisse analysts said on Thursday that they see a low probability of the case being heard, noting, along with the Biden administration’s position, that the US Supreme Court accepts less than 1% of the cases presented.
Bayer has lost three attempts, giving Roundup users tens of millions of dollars each, but has also won three.
Roundup-related lawsuits have haunted Bayer since acquiring the brand as part of its $ 63 billion purchase of agricultural seeds and pesticide maker Monsanto in 2018.