Bayer Shares Jump After Monsanto Weedkillers Court Ruling
Wall Street Journal | By Ruth Bender, Donato Paolo Mancini
Bayer AG BAYRY 0.94% shares rose by more than 6% Friday after the German chemicals company scored a court victory in the run-up to jury trials over whether Monsanto Co. weedkillers can cause cancer.
Bayer closed its $63 billion takeover of Monsanto last year, inheriting the St. Louis-based company’s Roundup weedkillers as well as potential legal liabilities.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria granted a request late Thursday from Bayer to stagger the submission of evidence in so-called bellwether trials, potentially limiting the evidence presented by the plaintiff’s lawyers to the jury. Bellwether cases are selected to test arguments and gauge possible recoveries for other similarly situated plaintiffs in an attempt to reach a large-scale resolution.
The judge’s approval for “bifurcation” essentially splits the trial into two phases. Now lawyers for the plaintiff in the first bellwether case must demonstrate that the chemical glyphosate in the weedkillers caused his cancer before they can present evidence that manufacturer Monsanto acted with malice…