Bayer Seeks to Separate Securities Case from Roundup Litigation

Bayer argued that the plaintiffs in a securities case related to the Roundup herbicide should not be considered alongside about 3,350 personal injury cases pending against Bayer and its subsidiary Monsanto in a multi-district litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of California.

The company’s response, filed on Monday, stated “while the Bayer Defendants are pleased to defend this newly-filed securities lawsuit in front of any Judge in this District, they do not agree with the movants’ attempt to conjure an overlap between their securities case and the personal-injury cases in the MDL, and respectfully submit that the securities and personal-injury cases are not related.”

The response argued that there is not a meaningful overlap between the parties, including the defendants, since a majority of the personal injury cases are filed against Monsanto not Bayer or its directors. It also claimed that the issues differ, with the majority of complaints considering medical causation and this one considering investors, securities and Bayer’s public statements.

The plaintiffs, represented by Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, include Grand Rapids General Retirement System and City of Grand Rapids Police & Fire Retirement System. They filed a motion to consider if the case should be related on July 16, one day after filing their initial complaint. They argued that the securities dispute should be considered within the larger roundup litigation case because the cases will include similar witnesses and “serve the interests of judicial economy.”

Bayer, however, claimed that the cases are different enough that there is no expectation that considering the cases separately would lead to duplication of labor. They also argued that the outcomes of the cases could be different and that the plaintiffs did not demonstrate there would be significant overlaps between the cases.

The defendants in this specific conflict, represented by Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, include Bayer and its officers and directors, including Werner Baumann, Werner Wenning, Liam Condon, Johannes Dietsch, and Woflgang Nickl.