University of Georgia School of Law Professor Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, an expert on mass torts and complex litigation, recently was quoted in overseas news media regarding ongoing lawsuits against Bayer AG, the Germany-based multinational corporation.
The reporting centered on negotiations to end U.S. litigation in which tens of thousands of plaintiffs have alleged that glyphosate, an ingredient in the Bayer herbicide Roundup, is a carcinogen that causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In an article entitled “Bayer vor Glyphosat-Einigung – So sieht der teure Plan aus” (“Bayer before the Glyphosate Agreement – This Is What the Expensive Plan Looks Like”), reporters Bert Fröndhoff and Katharina Kort wrote:
“Legal expert Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, professor at the University of Georgia, thinks it makes sense in principle to withdraw the product from the market beyond agricultural use. ‘But even that doesn’t solve the problem of complaints that can come from those who have already used the product,’ warns the lawyer.”
(Translated from the original German.) The article appeared in Handelsblatt, a business newspaper headquartered in Düsseldorf.
A separate article on the same subject, “Q&A – What Are the Obstacles to Bayer Settling Roundup Lawsuits,” appeared in Israel’s Haaretz. It this article, Reuters reporter Tina Bellon wrote:
“Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on average can take up to 10 years to emerge, increasing the likelihood of claims being filed after the litigation has settled. Product liability settlements generally include a cut-off date for future claimants and need to be properly funded for a court to approve the agreement.
“As long as the product continues to be sold without changes to the label, plaintiffs may continue to file lawsuits, said Elizabeth Burch, a law professor at the University of Georgia.”
Professor Burch, holder of the Fuller E. Callaway Chair of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, is the author of Mass Tort Deals: Backroom Bargaining in Multidistrict Litigation (Cambridge University Press 2019). In 2017, she presented at an international conference held by Tel Aviv University.