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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Bayer Bid to Nix Roundup Weedkiller Suits

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Bayer AG's (BAYGn.DE) bid to dismiss legal claims by customers who contend its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer as the German company seeks to avoid potentially billions of dollars in damages.

The justices turned away a Bayer appeal and left in place a lower court decision that upheld $25 million in damages awarded to California resident Edwin Hardeman, a Roundup user who blamed his cancer on the pharmaceutical and chemical giant's glyphosate-based weedkillers.

The Supreme Court's action dealt a blow to Bayer as the company maneuvers to limit its legal liability in thousands of cases. The justices have a second Bayer petition pending on a related issue that they could act upon in the coming weeks.

Bayer's shares were down 2.9% on the news, eliminating gains over the previous two trading sessions.

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration in May urged the court not to hear the Bayer appeal, reversing the government's position previously taken under former President Donald Trump.