Lawsuit Help Desk

Paraquat Lawsuits and Settlements

Have you worked with Paraquat as a mixer, loader, or applicator? Or did you come into physical contact with Paraquat? Were you exposed post-1964 & before the injury, or diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease? If yes, you are quite likely to be eligible for a Paraquat lawsuit and settlement opportunity. 

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What are Paraquat Lawsuits?

Paraquat Lawsuits

In September 2017, a lawsuit was filed by agricultural workers and farmers who claimed that their exposure to the herbicide Paraquat caused them to develop Parkinson’s disease. The plaintiffs argue that the companies that sold Paraquat were aware of the health risks posed by the chemicals and sold it anyway without warning. 

Furthermore, the lawsuit includes personal injury, product liability, and negligence claims. Most of the plaintiffs were licensed users of the herbicide or were exposed to it in their workplace.

Meanwhile, others claim that living near areas where Paraquat was applied caused them harm. 

The Defendants

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Syngenta, the manufacturer of Paraquat, and Chevron, which is responsible for its distribution. Basically, the lawsuit accuses the companies of failing to warn users of the health risks associated with Paraquat, including an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Currently, the Paraquat exposure lawsuits have not been consolidated as a class action. Instead, they have been consolidated through an MDL, or Multi-District Litigation. This means that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation directed that these cases be transferred to a single court and combined for pretrial discovery and hearings.

Generally, this type of consolidation is used to streamline the legal process when common factual issues exist across multiple cases.

Paraquat MDL

An MDL for Paraquat was established in June 2021. Consequently, this resulted in the transfer of all federal cases related to Paraquat to the Southern District of Illinois for Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel to preside over. As of September 15, 2022, over 1,925 lawsuits were pending within the MDL.

The formation of an MDL is the initial step in the litigation process and sets the stage for settlement negotiations. With the MDL established, the discovery of facts and trials can commence. Thus, it can ultimately lead to serious settlement discussions.

Paraquat, as a poisonous herbicide, has been associated with several adverse effects, including Parkinson’s disease.

Despite being banned in 32 countries, including the EU and China, paraquat has not yet been prohibited in the United States. Its use has been on the rise in recent times.

As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), paraquat is one of the most prevalent herbicides used in the country. Each year, around 11 million pounds of herbicide are applied to crops in the US.

Death

Paraquat, a highly toxic herbicide, can cause severe harm to a person’s health with even brief exposure. However, prolonged exposure is even more dangerous and can lead to severe injuries and even death. The health risks associated with exposure or ingestion of paraquat include an increased likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Some of the immediate side effects of paraquat exposure include breathing difficulties or failure. This can lead to death, coma, confusion, dehydration, elevated heart rate, gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, diarrhea, bloody stool, vomiting, muscle fatigue or weakness, pain and swelling of the mouth and throat, and seizures.

Parkinson’s Disease and others

Additionally, paraquat poisoning can result in more serious long-term health effects, including Parkinson’s disease, atypical Parkinson’s, multiple system atrophy, and progressive supranuclear palsy.

2009 – 2011 studies

In 2009, the American Journal of Epidemiology published one of the earliest studies that demonstrated a connection between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease.

Thereafter, in 2011, researchers released the findings of a more thorough investigation which revealed a ‘strong association’ between Parkinson’s disease and paraquat exposure. The study found that individuals who lived within 1600 feet of areas where Paraquat was regularly sprayed had a heightened risk of Parkinson’s Disease.

Further, the results of a more comprehensive study were published in 2011. Basically, this study concluded that there was a “strong association” between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease.

However, these first two studies faced sharp criticism over study techniques and reliability because they were not “controlled” studies.

2014 study

In 2014, however, these doubts were put to rest when five separate case-controlled studies were published in the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

These studies confirmed that exposure to Paraquat resulted in a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease. This eventually prompted the EPA to announce in 2016 that it was conducting its safety review of Paraquat.

2021 study

On March 24, 2021, Greenpeace published “The Paraquat Papers.” This piece details the history of attempts by Syngenta and its predecessor, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), to conceal Gramoxone’s risks from the public. Allegedly, ICI claimed to have added the emetic PP796 in Paraquat products to prevent fatal poisoning.

Internal company documents revealed that the company knew of this problem and failed to fulfill their claim. The addition of PP796 was mischaracterized to keep Gramoxone on the market, despite evidence of its ineffectiveness. ICI continued to assert PP796’s effectiveness publicly.

Independent studies

Jon Heylings, a former Syngenta toxicologist, reported on the low PP796 levels in Gramoxone and warned that the emetic levels were insufficient to induce vomiting in individuals who swallowed the “minimal lethal dose.”

Heylings claimed that a former toxicologist for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Syngenta’s predecessor, manipulated data to suggest incorrectly. Basically, he claims that it was a false claim to suggest that humans were ten times as sensitive to PP796 than the other three animals researchers used in tests. He reported these issues to his superiors in several memos and argued that the former toxicologist’s data “misled” the business.

Nonetheless, Heylings advised that higher PP796 doses would reduce the paraquat poisoning fatality rate. However, ICI ignored Heylings’ concerns.

Now, the PP796 levels in Gramoxone became the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s standard for paraquat-based weed killers.

2023 update

Over the past 30 days, 277 additional cases have been added to the MDL for the Paraquat class action.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosentengel, from the Southern District of Illinois, postponed the first Paraquat bellwether trial in the Paraquat MDL until October 2023. The trial was initially scheduled for November 2022. Further, Judge Rosentengel has been responsible for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings of Paraquat Parkinson’s risk cases against Syngenta and Chevron since June 2021.

Basically, several factors, such as hurricanes and the pandemic, contributed to the postponement of the first bellwether trial in this MDL.

Testimony

Martin Wells, an expert statistician for the plaintiffs, submitted testimony last week, but Syngenta’s attorneys filed a petition to exclude it. Wells will claim in his testimony that he conducted a “meta-analysis” of numerous epidemiological research. Thereafter, he came to the conclusion that there is evidence linking Parkinson’s disease to exposure to Paraquat. However, Syngenta contends that Wells cherry-picked research for analysis to support his conclusion. 

Pre-trial

The Paraquat Parkinson’s risk cases against Syngenta and Chevron have been centralized in Rosentengel’s court for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings since June 2021. Several factors—including hurricanes and the pandemic–contributed to the judge pushing back the first bellwether trial in this MDL.

In addition to the MDL, Paraquat cases have been filed in California and are under the jurisdiction of Judge Treat in Contra Costa County. The trial in California is scheduled for September 5, 2023.

 

Yes.

On January 15th, 2022, Syngenta and Chevron reached a settlement in the Paraquat lawsuit of Hoffmann v. Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. 

This Paraquat lawsuit involved a dozen plaintiffs with Parkinson’s disease. Despite the confidentiality of the settlement amount, it is widely believed to have been substantial.

Both Syngenta and Chevron have made efforts to keep the details of the settlement and testimony from the weed-killer lawsuits confidential. Hence, this has led to the withholding of some deposition transcripts in the class action.

Currently, lawyers representing the plaintiffs are now seeking assistance from the court in ordering the defendants to produce these depositions.

How to join the paraquat lawsuits?

You may qualify to file Paraquat lawsuit if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Diagnosed with Parkinson’s
  • Personally applied, mixed or handled Paraquat, or came into physical contact with Paraquat
  • Your exposure was post 1964
  • Your Parkinson’s diagnosis came 1+ years after your first exposure and diagnosis
man spraying paraquat and thinking about filing a paraquat lawsuit
weighing the benefits of paraquat lawsuit

What are my legal fees, if your lawyers take my paraquat lawsuit?

If you qualify, the legal representation will be wholly contingent fee. Take advantage of this offer!

This means that the law firm defending you will pay for all fees and expenses related to the legal proceedings. You don’t have to pay anything.

Instead, the settlement or award you get will be used to cover your legal fees.

Most importantly, you will be represented by our top Paraquat lawsuit attorneys. 

How much is the Paraquat Lawsuit payout?

According to our leading Paraquat lawsuit attorneys, highest settlement tier is estimated to result in a compensation payout between $200,000 and $650,000.

Again, these are mere estimates. Also, amounts ultimately depend on the degree of injury.

Further, these amounts increased based on the settlement updates of other cases. 

Call us now and discuss further details with our Paraquat lawsuit lawyers.

celebrating a paraquat lawsuit settlement
lawyer counseling about paraquat lawsuit

If I’m qualified, do I have any obligation to Lawsuit Help Desk?

No. Don’t worry, you have no obligations to us if you’re qualified.

If we find that you are qualified, we will refer you to our leading Paraquat lawsuit lawyers. Then, if you wish to proceed, the lawyers will discuss the retention agreement with you.

Why should I file my paraquat lawsuit soon?

You should file your Paraquat lawsuit ASAP for your and your family’s sake.

Act now. Why?

Because statutes of limitations and lagging scientific research may prevent your recovery.

Also, if you file late, you may miss important settlement opportunities. 

So, talk to our Paraquat lawsuit experts today. They will immediately check your state’s statute of limitations and repose. 

For every claim arising from an injury, states have their respective statutes of limitations (SOL) and statutes of repose (SOR).

These statutes prevent lawsuits from being filed or enforced after prescribed time limits.

After these periods expire, the lawsuit will be dismissed.

In other words, you will collect nothing. 

In 2014, the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease was strongly established. The five separate case-controlled studies were published in the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology.

Despite this, it will take time to refute any counter-claim that is also scientifically established. 

Hence, file your claim now.

Manufacturers in mass torts or class actions usually settle cases with thousands of defendants at a time.

But in order to qualify as a recovery victim, your lawyer must have already filed your lawsuit.

Don’t worry, our leading Paraquat lawsuit lawyers observe due diligence in filing these cases. They owe this to you and the court. 

 

lawyers sprinting to file a paraquat lawsuit
client contacts lawyer about paraquat lawsuit

How do I file my paraquat lawsuit?

Simple! Contact us now for a quick assessment of your case.

Do it now. Get peace of mind. 

Also, save every document our attorneys may need as evidence starting now. 

Our Paraquat lawsuit experts will tell you much more when you contact us. 

What makes Lawsuit Help Desk different?

Foremost, we are not third-party middlemen.

Rather, our job is to give you immediate access to top 1%, nationally renowned Paraquat lawsuit attorneys, with comprehensive knowledge in paraquat litigation.

These leading experts will honestly discuss the merits of your case.

Our mission is to inform the public, and provide direct access to leaders in the world of mass torts. 

We are not that annoying call center. We will respect your time. We will not hand you off, or give you the run around. 

This is not a marketing firm! 

So, don’t worry. We do not do robocalls or spammy emails.

Instead, the only emails you will get are those with helpful information, such as case status and ongoing research.

Our best asset is our team of active attorneys and litigators on our staff.

In fact, Lawsuit Help Desk founder, Cameron Tousi, is a leader in the world of complex litigation. Further, he has received highest distinctions in peer reviews and awards from America’s leading legal publications.

So, if you’d like to speak with Cameron, just let us know. We’ll make it happen! 

Monthly Status Updates: Paraquat Lawsuits

February 2, 2023

The plaintiffs in the Paraquat Multi-District Litigation (MDL) submitted a motion to Exponent Inc. requesting the production of specific documents. The plaintiffs believe that Exponent’s work for Syngenta could be relevant to the health risks of Paraquat and are seeking access to these records.

However, Exponent has objected and declined to provide the papers in response to the plaintiffs’ request. Both Syngenta and Exponent have provided separate responses opposing the motion to compel.

Pending trial

Additionally, the Paraquat MDL trial has been scheduled for March 18, 2023; this will be the first bellwether case to go before a jury and may offer insight into how Syngenta’s defense may do in subsequent instances.

Aside from the ongoing trial, both parties have continued to conduct case-specific discovery. Thus, this includes depositions and interrogatories of Syngenta and Exponent representatives.

Total cases update

In the interim, there have been more than 10,500 cases filed in the US over Paraquat. There is a good chance that these lawsuits will continue to offer legal difficulties for years to come given the vast number of cases that have already been filed and are still ongoing. This could result in an increase in the number of future Paraquat lawsuits.

Presently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering a ban on Paraquat due to evidence indicating its potential to cause Parkinson’s Disease. Hence, this creates another layer of complexity to the situation.

The ban, if imposed, could affect future lawsuits related to Paraquat. The decision of the EPA is expected later this year. And legal experts will closely monitor the outcome in connection with the ongoing litigation.

Re-schedule

U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosentengel rescheduled the first bellwether trial in the Paraquat multi-district litigation (MDL) from November 2022 to October 2023 on January 28, 2023. The Paraquat Parkinson’s risk cases against Syngenta and Chevron were centralized under Rosentengel’s court for coordinated discovery and pre-trial proceedings since June 2021.

Clearly, the delay of the first bellwether trial was attributed to various factors, including the pandemic and recent hurricanes.

MDL update

In addition, a separate group of Paraquat cases has been filed in California as part of a Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding (JCCP) under Judge Treat in Contra Costa County. The trial in California is scheduled for September 5, 2023.

Only 69 new cases were added to the Paraquat class action MDL over the past month. Hence, the total number of cases is 2,352.

When compared to the monthly average of more than 200 new cases in 2022, this represents a significant drop. The MDL docket, however, reveals that more than 200 new cases have been opened in the previous 30 days, indicating that the following monthly total would probably experience a large increase.

The fact that the Paraquat actions are relatively narrow in scope may work to the plaintiffs’ advantage since large settlements are anticipated. Compared to trials like 3M or Camp Lejeune, the Paraquat case is much smaller, making it simpler for the defendants to to resolve the suits without disrupting their profitability. This could result in plaintiffs receiving faster and higher payouts.

The Paraquat bellwether trial, which is part of the federal mass tort litigation (MDL), has faced multiple postponements. Recently, Judge Nancy Rosenstengel rescheduled the trial that was initially supposed to begin in November 2022. But was postponed due to delays in the depositions of expert witnesses.

Nonetheless, this is a common occurrence in mass tort litigation. However, it can be a source of frustration for victims who are seeking justice. Despite the delays, many plaintiffs’ mass tort lawyers have high hopes for the outcome of the Paraquat litigation and believe that the imminence of trial dates may lead to settlements.

MDL update

The Paraquat class action multidistrict litigation (MDL) has undergone significant growth in 2022. At the start of the year, the MDL had only 482 lawsuits related to Paraquat Parkinson’s disease.

However, since then, the number of cases has increased dramatically. On December 15, 2022, U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel in the Southern District of Illinois issued an order resetting various deadlines and trial dates for the ongoing litigation.

2022 Order

The order requires defendants to provide plaintiffs with a list of all expert witnesses and dates for their depositions by December 23, 2022. By January 6, 2023, plaintiffs’ experts’ depositions must be completed, and defendants’ experts’ reports must be disclosed by January 20, 2023. 

Also, the plaintiffs must then complete depositions of defendants’ experts by February 24, 2023, and disclose their rebuttal experts by March 3, 2023. Depositions of plaintiffs’ rebuttal experts must be completed by March 20, 2023.

Furthermore, the order establishes dates for the submission of summary judgment and Daubert motions, with a hearing on these motions scheduled to begin on June 26, 2023, at 9 a.m. in the East St. Louis Courthouse.

A final pretrial conference will be held on October 3, 2023, with the first trial case scheduled to begin on October 16, 2023, at 9 a.m. The order also sets deadlines for other tasks, such as motions in limine, deposition designations, witness and exhibit lists, and jury instructions, which will be detailed in a separate order once the first trial case is chosen.

 
 
 

November 11, 2022

The New Lede published the “Paraquat Papers.” This is a compilation of Syngenta’s internal documents that show the business was aware of the detrimental consequences of the herbicide paraquat, including Parkinson’s disease. The company’s earlier claims that the scientific data supports its contention that paraquat does not cause Parkinson’s disease conflict with this.

Even Syngenta’s scientists were concerned about the potential legal ramifications of paraquat’s negative effects as early as the middle of the 1970s. According to the Environmental Working Group, Syngenta withheld this information from authorities to preserve the sales of their well-liked weedkiller.

MDL Update

The pretrial discovery process is currently point of contention for both parties in the action. Also, most recent developments being responses to the Special Master’s report and recommendations about the issues.  The case’s final briefings are due the following week.

The number of new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease claims is rising as the bellwether trials, which have been delayed until July 2023, get closer; approximately 100 additional cases have been transferred into the MDL in the past two weeks alone. 

Syngenta’s documents

Ron Niebruegge, a 55-year-old Illinois farmer, accused Syngenta AG of causing his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis on October 21, 2022, blaming the popular herbicide Paraquat manufactured by the company.

Syngenta AG’s internal documents from 1975 reveal that the company had concerns about legal liability for the chronic effects of Paraquat, and had already started preparing their legal defense in anticipation of a lawsuit.

Paraquat lawsuits update

On October 1, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted interim approval for Paraquat, which permitted authorized applicators to continue using the product while the agency conducted a thorough evaluation of its health risks.

In response, a non-profit foundation filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the EPA’s decision. The EPA is now requesting the court to allow a voluntary remand, giving the agency an opportunity to reconsider its interim approval decision’s risk-benefit analysis rather than defending its decision in court.

Separate lawsuit in state court

Meanwhile, a coalition of environmental groups filed a separate lawsuit in state court accusing that Syngenta AG failed to provide adequate warnings to users about the long-term health risks associated with Paraquat. This case is still pending, but it’s expected to move forward in the coming months. 

Finally, Ron Niebruegge’s personal injury suit against Syngenta AG is also moving forward. His legal team has already begun collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses for their case. It’s likely that this will be the first lawsuit to go to trial over accusations of harm caused by Paraquat exposure. 

Overall, October 2022 was an eventful month for Paraquat litigation as multiple cases moved closer towards trial.

According to a report from Law 360, on September 26, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested the Ninth Circuit to allow them to re-examine its decision to reapprove the use of Paraquat. This request came in response to several lawsuits filed by environmental, farmworker, and health advocacy groups against the EPA. The EPA’s main goal is to reconsider some of the aspects of its interim registration review decision for Paraquat, including the risk-benefit balancing calculation.

September 23, 2022

Plaintiffs in the Paraquat Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) sought sanctions against Chevron’s attorney, Sharyl A. Reisman of Jones Day. The plaintiffs accused that the attorney obstructed a deposition and coached a witness during the Paraquat lawsuit proceedings.

Specifically, the motion for sanctions accuses Reisman of instructing Chevron toxicologist Richard Cavalli not to answer questions about meetings with Chevron’s lawyers or documents used in preparation for the deposition. 

The plaintiffs argued that communications and documents related to these meetings and preparations would not be protected by privilege because Cavalli had also been called as a non-retained expert witness. The plaintiffs claimed that Cavalli, as a hybrid witness, would not be entitled to withhold such communications or documents as he sits between a fact witness and an expert witness.

September 15, 2022

A legal source reported a significant increase in the number of Parkinson’s disease lawsuits related to Paraquat on September 15, 2022. Within the past 30 days (August 15 – September 15), 222 new cases were added to the Paraquat Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) docket. The Paraquat MDL now has 1,925 cases pending, with a dozen cases being remanded back to state court during this period, indicating that the actual number of new cases transferred in is even higher than 222.

Since Paraquat class action rules allow plaintiffs from all over the country to file their lawsuit directly in the MDL using master pleading forms, it is difficult to track where these new cases are coming from. Due to the rapid growth of the Paraquat lawsuit, the MDL judge expanded the pool of bellwether discovery cases and postponed the initial bellwether trial.

September 1, 2022

The Paraquat MDL Judge selected a random group of 20 cases from the Paraquat class action lawsuit for limited fact discovery out of more than 1,700 currently pending cases. The Order requires that depositions of the plaintiffs in each of these cases must be concluded within 60 days, and a report summarizing the plaintiff’s testimony must be provided to the Court.

Both sides’ lawyers can get a better understanding of the Paraquat lawsuits’ inventory and determine more accurate settlement amounts with the purpose of this order.

However, an additional 200 Paraquat plaintiffs have been added to the MDL during the past two weeks, further increasing the number of cases. The MDL class action judge cited the rising number of cases as one reason why additional plaintiff depositions are required.

August 29, 2022

Judge Nancy Rosenstengel of the Paraquat class action MDL rescheduled the first bellwether trial for the Paraquat class action lawsuit. It was from November 2022 to July 2023 in a Case Management Order, CMO No.15, issued on August 29, 2022.

Further, the order also canceled the second test trial, which was originally scheduled for March 2023. Hence, this allowed for additional discovery time.

However, the trial date being pushed back by nine months may hinder the hope of reasonable settlement compensation for victims as having trial dates is beneficial for pressuring defendants to settle or face a jury. But, lawyers representing victims in the litigation remain optimistic. The latest update as of 2023 is that the trial dates were pushed back to October.

August 25, 2022

The Paraquat class action MDL’s opening bellwether test trial, originally set for November 2022, was rescheduled to July 2023 by MDL Judge Nancy Rosenstengel.

This means that the trial date was pushed back by nine months, as Judge Rosenstengel allowed additional time for discovery and consulted with the Special Master before making the decision.

While having trial dates is beneficial for pressuring defendants to settle or face a jury, the Paraquat class action lawsuit’s first trial delay may hinder the hope of reasonable settlement compensation for victims.

August 16, 2022

255 new Paraquat cases were added to the MDL class action, increasing the total number of pending Paraquat lawsuits in the MDL to 1,703.

The Paraquat class action lawsuit’s growth continues, as the influx of new cases has been consistent over the last eight months, averaging more than 120 new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits each month.

August 1, 2022

there were 142 new Paraquat lawsuits filed or transferred into the MDL between May 16 and June 15, bringing the number of plaintiffs to 1,292 at the mid-month count.

An additional 54 new lawsuits were filed and transferred into the MDL in the following 12 days. In the last eight months, the lawsuit has been averaging over 120 new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits per month. The influx of new cases in the Paraquat class action lawsuit has been consistent, with no significant fluctuations.

According to report released on July 20, 2022, 1,148 plaintiffs were identified as of July 15, 2022, in the Paraquat multi-district litigation (MDL).

This shows that the number of plaintiffs in the Paraquat class action lawsuit is continuously increasing.

 July 4, 2022

It was revealed that the Paraquat MDL had been adding more than 130 new plaintiffs per month for the year prior.

After 142 new Paraquat complaints were added to the federal class action in the past 30 days, the number of active claims rose to 1,292.

This number is almost as high as the 168 new instances that were added to the Paraquat MDL in the previous month, which pale in comparison. 

Settlement update

The defendants, Syngenta and Chevron, may offer a fair settlement amount to plaintiffs or risk leaving it to a jury to decide, despite the increasing number of Paraquat lawsuits. It is expected that most of the Paraquat lawsuits will be settled before a verdict is reached. However, whether this will be the case remains to be seen.

Additionally, the plaintiffs in the Paraquat MDL filed a motion to establish a claims administrator to streamline the process of filing and processing claims for Paraquat-related illnesses. The motion, which was pending as of July 15th, is expected to be resolved in the coming weeks.

Defenses

Finally, the defendants in the Paraquat class action are preparing their own motions based on two different defenses: preemption and statute of limitations. Preemption holds that state law cannot supersede federal law, while statute of limitations states that cases must be brought within a certain amount of time.

Basically, the effectiveness of these defenses against the plaintiffs’ claims for damages is yet to be seen.

Overall, the Paraquat class action lawsuit progressed in July 2022 as more plaintiffs joined the MDL and defendants prepared their legal defenses. A resolution is likely to be reached sooner rather than later.

June 17, 2022

There are currently more than 1,900 Paraquat lawsuits pending in the United States. District Court for Illinois’ Southern District. The start of the first Paraquat bellwether trial, which was earlier scheduled to begin on November 15, 2022, was postponed as a result of a change made to the Discovery timetable on the same day by Judge Rosenstengel. The trial pool’s size, however, has not changed.

June 10, 2022

The judge issued a discovery timetable that moves the deadline for fact discovery and medical examinations for the six bellwether trial cases to July 25, 2022. Generally, this highlighted the necessity for the parties to get ready for the Paraquat trial in the fall.

This is due to the fact that the number of fact witnesses named by the plaintiffs’ attorneys was greater than anticipated. The judge guarantees that the bellwether trials will proceed according to schedule despite the prolongation.

The Paraquat MDL judge provided the parties with a brief extension of the first deadline to complete fact discovery and medical examinations in another update on June 9, 2022. Due to the large number of fact witnesses, this was required.

May 16, 2022

The number of claims in the Paraquat class action lawsuit has increased to 1,153, with 57 new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits filed during the first week of May, which is the highest number of new cases filed or transferred into the MDL in a single week. Another 35 new cases were filed in the second week of May, the second-highest weekly volume.

May 11, 2022

Bayer’s loss in the Roundup cases will have a significant impact on the Paraquat lawsuit. Bayer had appealed to the Supreme Court arguing that Roundup cancer lawsuits were preempted by the federal law governing pesticides. The Biden administration filed a brief urging the Court to reject this argument, which should effectively end any hope Bayer had of winning this argument. The rejection will also preclude Chevron and Syngenta from pursuing the same legal argument in the Paraquat litigation, as Paraquat is also governed by the same federal law.

May 6, 2022

Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel suspended the May 16, 2022 deadline to complete fact discovery and medical examinations for the Paraquat lawsuit scheduled for full workup for trial. The judge is frustrated/annoyed that the defendants have named 16 additional fact witnesses and plaintiffs’ Paraquat lawyers have named 121 more fact witnesses, many of whom have not been identified by name. The trial has been pushed back to December 2023.

May 2, 2022

The MDL judge selected six Paraquat lawsuits for the opening round of bellwether trials, instead of the previously selected group of sixteen claims. Lawyers are conducting fact and expert pre-trial discovery to prepare these cases for trial, which is scheduled to begin in the fall. The trial dates are expected to lead to a large verdict that will drive settlement payouts or a settlement that will spawn other Paraquat settlements.

April 14, 2022

According to a source, over the past two weeks, a significant rise in the number of Paraquat claims deposited into the MDL. In fact, if this pace persists, April may record the largest number of new files ever.

The picks have not yet been made public, despite the fact that the parties involved have already given the Paraquat MDL court their list of potential class action bellwether cases.

April 1, 2022

Judge Nancy Rosenstengel presided over the regular status meetings for the Paraquat MDL.

Updates on the scope of the lawsuit, including a list of additional cases that have been added to the MDL over the past month, were on the agenda. During the seminar, the selection procedure for the next bellwether trial was also covered.

More than 200 people have filed claims in the Paraquat MDL, a multi-district litigation (MDL), claiming that exposure to the herbicide Paraquat led to the development of major health issues, including Parkinson’s disease. For their losses, the plaintiffs are asking for punitive damages.

MDL Update

During the status conference, Judge Rosenstengel suggested that she would be willing to appoint five separate “bellwether” cases – or lead cases – to represent the entire group of plaintiffs and establish legal precedent in the ongoing litigation. 

In addition, during the April 1st status conference, counsel discussed a recent filing by Monsanto. It was a motion to dismiss some of the lawsuits against it on grounds related to preemption under federal law.

Further, the company has argued that the claims against it should be barred because they conflict with existing federal regulations governing the use of pesticides. Judge Rosenstengel stated that she would consider this motion and issue her ruling at a later date. 

March 21, 2022

The class action lawsuit regarding Paraquat and its link to Parkinson’s disease is moving forward as 16 cases have been identified for the first round of bellwether trials. This includes eight selections from plaintiffs and eight from the defense. Fact discovery in these initial class action bellwether lawsuits is set to conclude by the end of March. The MDL Judge has given the parties until April 8, 2022, to submit a preference ranking of their 5 case selections to help schedule the opening trials.

March 16, 2022

The MDL class action lawsuit involving Paraquat now has 875 lawsuits, which is significantly lower compared to Roundup lawsuits. This may lead to higher settlement payouts for Paraquat victims since it is easier for defendants like Chevron and Syngenta to offer reasonable individual compensation payouts to victims when the overall settlement payout does not overwhelm the company’s financial balance sheet.

March 3, 2022

The judge in the Paraquat class action lawsuits has ruled on several motions to dismiss filed by the defendants. The judge ruled that the plaintiffs’ public nuisance and Minnesota consumer protection claims were invalid and properly dismissed, but the remaining claims asserted by the plaintiffs in the Paraquat exposure lawsuit are allowed to move forward. This decision clears the way for the opening round of bellwether trials in 10 months, with the first Paraquat lawsuit set to go to trial on November 15, 2022. 

Pretrial discovery is going well for plaintiffs, and there is a possibility that defendants may offer reasonable settlements for Parkinson’s disease plaintiffs before the first trial.

February 14, 2022

A federal judge in Southern Illinois denied the defendants’ motions to dismiss hundreds of lawsuits against Syngenta Corp and Chevron USA in the Paraquat multidistrict litigation (MDL). The claims for strict product liability, negligence, breach of implied warranty, and violation of several states’ consumer protection laws will move forward, but the plaintiffs’ public nuisance count was rejected.

February 10, 2022

In a minor discovery battle, the MDL judge ordered that transcripts of depositions from Syngenta corporate witnesses from a prior case in Illinois state court be produced, rejecting the defense’s argument based on privilege. The confidential settlement amounts in the Parkinson’s disease Paraquat lawsuits in Illinois state court were speculated to be high, and this victory may aid large payouts for victims in the MDL class action.

February 4, 2022

Over a dozen new paraquat lawsuits were filed in the Southern District of Illinois by plaintiffs who developed Parkinson’s disease from occupational Paraquat exposure. The complaints name Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, Syngenta AG, and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. as defendants and assert the same general causes of action seen in previous paraquat cases.

February 1, 2022

A group of 16 cases in the Paraquat class action was selected for the first round of bellwether test trials, which will begin in November of this year. The plaintiffs and the defense each picked eight cases, and four out of the 16 will be chosen for trial. All discovery in these 16 bellwether cases must be completed by June 17, and plaintiff depositions are being taken over the next few weeks. Paraquat lawyers have different ideas as to whether state or federal court is the most advantageous venue for victims of this pesticide.

December 20, 2021

An order was issued by the judge managing the Paraquat MDL class action case, establishing procedures for the selection of the first group of bellwether trial cases. The initial pool of 16 bellwether cases will include eight cases chosen by the plaintiffs’ lawyers and eight chosen by the defense lawyers, all of which must meet specific eligibility criteria.

By March 31, 2022, Paraquat lawyers must conduct fact discovery in the cases, which includes the exchange of information, the production of documents, and other pre-trial discovery processes.

Discovery process

After the fact discovery process, both sides can each strike two cases from the pool of 16, leaving twelve cases for expert discovery, which will include testimony from medical doctors about whether the victim’s exposure to Paraquat caused Parkinson’s disease.

The remaining twelve claims will be scheduled for the opening round of bellwether trials, which will commence in March 2023. A trial date is critical to encourage the defendants to offer reasonable settlement amounts to resolve these claims.

December 4, 2021

There were 319 lawsuits pending in the Paraquat MDL. The judge overseeing the case issued an order requiring all incoming plaintiffs who accuse Parkinson’s disease from Paraquat exposure to complete a Plaintiff’s Assessment Questionnaire (PAQ).

The PAQ serves as a preliminary discovery request, which requires the plaintiffs to provide certain documents and answer a series of questions regarding their work and medical history, as well as detailing their accused exposure to Paraquat.

November 22, 2021

Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced a bill on November 22, 2021, to ban Paraquat herbicides, neonicotinoid insecticides, and organophosphate insecticides. The proposed legislation would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) of 1972 and strengthen the safety measures for agricultural workers set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

November 11, 2021

As of November 11, 2021, defendants in the Paraquat class action had filed motions to dismiss certain cases due to the statute of limitations, and some Parkinson’s disease lawsuits failed to state a valid claim. Plaintiffs’ lawyers will respond by December 13, 2021, but they doubt any cases will be dismissed by the court.

June 7, 2022

In addition, the first trial in the Paraquat MDL is set for June 7, 2022, and plaintiffs are requesting evidence from Paraquat manufacturers. The EPA held public meetings regarding their safety review for Paraquat. A final decision is expected in 2021 or 2022.

News & Articles

Unmasked: The $200 Million Truth Behind Paraquat Settlements and the Parkinson’s Connection You Must Know Now

Unmasked: The $200 Million Truth Behind Paraquat Settlements and the Parkinson's Connection You Must Know Now

In the midst of the American agricultural landscape, a leviathan looms: Paraquat, a potent herbicide. Despite its ban in 32 countries, it's an omnipresent entity in our fields and orchards. Paraquat's widespread usage, approximately 11 million pounds annually, raises a pressing question: What are the potential repercussions of such pervasive exposure?

  • Studies suggest that chronic exposure to Paraquat could escalate the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by a startling 200-600%.
  • Could the structural similarity between Paraquat and MPP+, a confirmed neurotoxin, be one of the key pieces in this perplexing puzzle?

Amidst swirling clouds of uncertainty and debate, a ray of empirical truth emerges: Acute Paraquat poisoning can trigger a range of immediate symptoms, from breathing difficulties to muscle fatigue. Long-term effects include atypical Parkinson's, multiple system atrophy, and progressive supranuclear palsy. A question echoes: Could manufacturers and the wider agricultural industry knowingly expose workers and residents to such potential hazards?

  • An increasing number of lawsuits are being filed against Syngenta, the primary Paraquat manufacturer.
  • The plaintiffs, claiming they weren't sufficiently warned about the alleged risks, are seeking compensation for injuries caused by Paraquat exposure.

Amid this legal tornado, in June 2021, the storm momentarily calmed as Syngenta agreed to settlements totaling nearly $200 million. These settlements, a result of intense negotiations between the parties, include compensation for the plaintiffs' medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs linked to their alleged exposure to Paraquat.

  • It's essential to note that these settlements do not equate to an admission of liability by the manufacturer.

Despite these settlements, Paraquat continues its reign across the American agricultural landscape. This persistence, along with the alleged health risks related to exposure, spotlights a dire need for stricter regulations and perhaps a reconsideration of its legal status.

  • Filing a lawsuit could provide an opportunity for those believing to be affected by Paraquat exposure to seek financial compensation.
  • However, the quest for justice extends beyond individual lawsuits and into the realm of transparency and industry accountability.

In the grand scheme, these legal battles serve as stark reminders of the unseen dangers lurking within everyday products. As we delve deeper into the alleged connections between products like Paraquat and health conditions such as Parkinson's disease, one can only hope for increased protections for those most vulnerable to exposure. Remember, the fight for justice isn't just in courtrooms, but in every corner where public health is at stake.

The revelations lurking behind the $200 million settlements in Paraquat lawsuits open a Pandora's box of questions – questions that demand our collective attention and action. So, in this agricultural saga of David versus Goliath, where do you stand?

Read more here

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