Bayer AG paid a man who alleged the weedkiller Roundup caused his cancer to appeal the dismissal of one of his claims in hopes of creating an appellate precedent that could jeopardize thousands of similar cases across the country, third-party attorneys said in a letter to the Eleventh Circuit on Thursday.
The alleged “pay-to-appeal scheme” also requires plaintiff John Carson to fork over nearly $100,000 if he decides to drop his appeal, which was filed earlier this year and is pending. The appeal challenges Bayer’s argument that a federal law preempts state law claims alleging that Monsanto failed to warn that Roundup causes cancer
The attorneys, who represent Roundup plaintiffs in other cases, say their clients’ cases, and numerous others across the country, hinge on failure to warn. Carson’s case is the first time that Bayer has won on these grounds.
“But, after winning, Monsanto insisted that Carson appeal the issue to this court and paid him money to do so,” the attorneys said. “We now know that Monsanto and counsel for Carson entered into a ‘settlement’ agreement — an agreement that Monsanto itself only recently admitted exists in its civil appeal statement. The settlement agreement is a pay-to-appeal scheme.”
The attorneys asked the appellate court to toss the appeal.
“The Carson ‘settlement’ agreement erodes the very foundation of our justice system, which is premised on the principle that opposing parties are actually adversarial — not paying each other to manufacture controversies and seek advisory opinions,” the attorneys said.