FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s Bayer <BAYGn.DE> said the next U.S. lawsuit scheduled to be heard over claims that its glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup causes cancer would likely be postponed.
Bayer, which acquired the weedkiller as part of its purchase of Monsanto last year, was initially scheduled to face its first trial outside California in St. Louis, Missouri, on Aug. 19, brought by Illinois resident Sharlean Gordon, who blames her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on using Roundup at home.
“We anticipate that this court case will be postponed but we have not received any written decision,” a Bayer spokesman said. He would not comment on how Bayer was informed of the delay or on the reason for it.
German weekly Wirtschaftswoche earlier reported the likely delay.
Bayer has seen its market value slashed by about 30 billion euros since August last year, when a California jury in the first such lawsuit found that Monsanto should have warned of the alleged cancer risks.
The company, which says regulators and extensive research have found glyphosate to be safe, is banking on U.S. appeals courts to reverse or tone down the first three court rulings that have so far awarded tens of millions of dollars to each plaintiff.
Bayer has previously flagged two more St. Louis cases due to start in September and October, respectively, but the spokesman on Wednesday said he could not comment on their timing.
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(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Patricia Weiss; editing by David Evans)