Two years after Bayer agreed to pay $10 billion to resolve most of the Roundup lawsuits, lawyers debated what to do with more than 750 unsettled cases remaining in the multidistrict litigation. Plaintiffs lawyers wanted to send them back to the courts where they were filed, and schedule trials across the country.

But such a move, said defense attorneys, was unprecedented. They had statistics to back that up: The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s data showed that since the creation of MDLs by statute in 1968, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit remanded only 797 cases.