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Dow Jones Newswires: Bayer shares plunge after U.S. Justice Division asks Supreme Court docket to reject Roundup enchantment

Shares in Bayer AG fell in opening trade on Wednesday after a U.S. Justice department brief recommended that the Supreme Court reject a company appeal to review a case linking its Roundup weedkiller to a type of cancer.

At 0800 GMT, Bayer
BAYN,
-6.66%
traded 5.8% lower at EUR58.33.

The opinion comes after the Supreme Court had requested Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar for the administration’s view on whether Bayer’s appeal should be heard. The company’s appeal centered around the case of a California resident, Edwin Hardeman, who said that Roundup had caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and to whom a jury had awarded $25 million in damages.

Commenting on the Justice department’s brief, Bayer said in a statement that it is convinced that there are good juridical arguments for the Supreme Court to hear the Hardeman case again and to correct the verdict.

The company added that regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, it continues to be ready to end the litigation around Roundup through its five-point plan.

Bayer said in July last year that it would set aside additional $4.5 billion in provision to end litigation around the embattled weedkiller, which it took on when it acquired Monsanto in 2018.

Jefferies analysts said in a note that this brief decreases the likelihood of the Supreme Court deciding to hear the case again and to subsequently rule in Bayer’s favor. According to the analysts, Bayer is likely to have to settle provisions for both remaining cases and future cases involving Roundup.

Write to Cecilia Butini at cecilia.butini@wsj.com

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