PHILADELPHIA/LEVERKUSEN (dpa-AFX) - The pharmaceutical and agrochemical company Bayer must pay significantly less than expected in a lawsuit over the glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup. A court in Philadelphia reduced the damages awarded to the plaintiff by a jury from 2.25 billion dollars to 400 million dollars (367.5 million euros), according to court documents filed late on Tuesday. This was the highest damages award since the Roundup weed killer litigation began in 2018, but Bayer said it would appeal.

"Although the court has reduced the unconstitutionally high amount of damages, we do not agree with the court's decision on the merits," the company announced on Wednesday. The proceedings were characterized by serious errors. These could and must be corrected. Furthermore, Bayer points out that the company has prevailed in court in 14 of the most recent 20 cases. Most of the lawsuits have also been settled, it added.

Bayer brought the problems surrounding the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup into the company in 2018 with the acquisition of the US company Monsanto, which cost over 60 billion dollars. A first judgment against the DAX-listed company followed in the same year. This set off a wave of lawsuits in the USA. In 2020, Bayer launched a multi-billion dollar program to settle the majority of the lawsuits without admitting liability. A good portion of the lawsuits have been settled, but risks remain. At the end of January, around 54,000 of approximately 165,000 cases were still open. The wave of glyphosate lawsuits has already cost Bayer 13 billion euros. The provisions amounted to 6.3 billion dollars (5.7 billion euros) at the end of 2023./mne/lew/stk