Paraquat Lawsuit: Legal Updates 2023

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​

Researcher: Ariana Arce​

Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

Editor: Daniela Polo

Editor: Daniela Polo

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Paraquat Lawsuit: Legal Updates 2023

Paraquat is a recognized and effective herbicide that was recently linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

If you would like to learn more about Paraquat, how it works, and its side effects, please visit this article

Young farmer in respirator and hat wearing pressure sprayer backpack spraying Paraquat on cabbages.

What is the Paraquat Lawsuit?

The Paraquat lawsuit is a class action court case initiated by individuals exposed to Paraquat, a herbicide utilized for weed control and other agricultural applications. The lawsuit claims that people exposed to the toxic chemicals in Paraquat are at a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and other degenerative neurological disorders. Plaintiffs claim that the manufacturers of this herbicide did not adequately warn consumers of its dangers, even though they were aware of the hazards.

Who Are the Paraquat Defendants?

The two main defendants in the current Paraquat cases are:

  • Syngenta
  • Chevron Inc.

Syngenta is an agrichemical company based in Switzerland; it manufactures and markets Paraquat. Chevron has been a distributor of Syngenta’s Paraquat products in the United States.

Paraquat Lawsuit Updates

2021 Summary

MDL 3004 IN RE: PARAQUAT PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION was created In June 2021 and the cases were transferred to the Southern District of Illinois. Judge Nancy Rosenstengel was assigned to preside over this litigation.
The EPA re-approved the use of Paraquat in the U.S. in July 2021. A petition was submitted to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn this decision because the product was banned in many other countries.
A total of 319 lawsuits were pending in the Paraquat MDL in December 2021. The MDL class action judge mandated that all new Paraquat plaintiffs must fill in the Plaintiff’s Assessment Questionnaire (PAQ), which functions as a preliminary request for discovery. It was stipulated that plaintiffs claiming that they were afflicted by Parkinson’s disease because of Paraquat exposure must provide specific documents and answer queries about their work and medical history along with outlining their alleged exposure to Paraquat. Syngenta and Chevron also settled around a dozen lawsuits at confidential amounts.

2022 Summary

New cases were added to the MDL in the initial months of 2022. Additionally, Judge Rosenstengel ruled in February 2022 on several motions to dismiss certain claims the plaintiffs asserted in the lawsuit. She granted the motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims of public nuisance and violations of the Minnesota consumer protection statutes. Also in February, 16 cases were selected for the first round of bellwether trials scheduled to begin in November 2022.
In May 2022, the judge chose six cases out of the previously selected 16 Paraquat claims. Later, Judge Rosenstengel decided to suspend the originally established deadline of May 16 to complete fact discovery and medical examinations.
August brought bad news for the claimants because the bellwether trials originally slated for November 2022 and March 2023 were rescheduled. The first trial will now occur in July 2023. However, numerous cases were added to the MDL in 2022 and the size of the lawsuit increased by 390%.

2023 Summary

January–March: Around 300 new lawsuits were added to the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in February 2023 and the total number of cases in the MDL increased to 2,721. A further 280 new cases were included in March 2023, aggregating the MDL to 2,998 cases. Despite a lag at the beginning of the year, experts predict a rise in the number of lawsuits in upcoming months.
Delays recurred in the bellwether trials originally slated for 2022. Judge Nancy Rosenstengel rescheduled the first Paraquat bellwether trial to October 2023 to allow more time for discovery.

Do I Qualify for a Paraquat Lawsuit?

A person’s potential ability to file a Paraquat lawsuit is based on complex and personalized evaluations. We can help you contact a lawyer who will assess your case if you have been directly exposed to Paraquat or live in an area where it may have been used and have developed Parkinson’s disease as a result of such exposure. Individuals not directly exposed to Paraquat but residing in proximity to areas in which it was used could also potentially file a lawsuit even though research has not yet definitively linked indirect exposure to the onset of Parkinson’s.

Most plaintiffs in the Paraquat cases are agricultural workers who were in direct contact with the toxic substance or factory workers who were responsible for its manufacturing. However, this fact does not restrict anyone who has experienced health problems due to exposure from initiating a Paraquat suit. People who can prove that their symptoms are related to this chemical herbicide should consider consulting with an attorney about pursuing legal action. Paraquat lawsuits are complicated, and interested parties should contact experienced professionals for appropriate advice and support.

Please check the court website for more information on filing a case in this MDL