Paraquat Lawsuit Update

Paraquat Lawsuit Update
Paraquat Lawsuit Update

Thousands of people have been exposed to paraquat, a potent herbicide that is now linked to Parkinson’s disease and a variety of other serious medical conditions. The largest group of injured people are the agricultural workers who either applied the chemical or worked in a field where paraquat was used. However, non-agricultural people have also been affected by over spraying or paraquat leaching into the soil and groundwater sources.

Many injured individuals have filed product liability lawsuits against the makers of paraquat. In June 2021 all federal paraquat claims were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) centrally located in Illinois.

Here at Lawsuit Legal News, we created this paraquat lawsuit update to keep you informed about the progress of the pending MDL and explain what to expect in the coming months. We also compiled a list of Paraquat FAQs to help answer your questions. If you would like to speak to an experienced attorney about a potential paraquat lawsuit, reach out to our legal team anytime.

In the meantime, be sure to return to this page for the latest updates about the paraquat litigation and Parkinson’s disease lawsuit progress.

Paraquat Lawsuit Updates – Current Status of Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuits

The paraquat MDL has grown tremendously and made solid progress since it was first created in June 2021. The first test trial (also called a bellwether trial) is currently scheduled for later this year after facing extensive discovery and motion hearings that challenged the litigation. However, as of August, we expect that trial will not proceed as hoped.

Here are the most recent paraquat lawsuit updates:

August 2, 2023 – Expert and Scientific Evidence to be Decided Soon

Lawsuits that involve technical, scientific, medical, or other complex allegations must be supported by expert testimony and evidence. The court must determine the sufficiency of this evidence during what is called Daubert hearings. Plaintiffs have the burden to provide sufficient support for their claims, and this is especially important in the paraquat MDL.

Both sides of the paraquat lawsuit have submitted their Daubert motions and Judge Rosenstengel will hold a hearing on August 21, 2023 to determine whether plaintiffs have enough evidence to support their claims. The plaintiffs’ top expert witness is required to appear at this hearing. Dr. Martin Wells from Cornell University is expected to testify about the link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

Both sides then have until September 8th to submit closing briefs on this topic. After that, the judge will decide the important Daubert issues. Assuming the court finds sufficient support for the plaintiffs’ claims, the litigation will proceed. Since we don’t expect a ruling until later this year, we now expect the first bellwether trial will be continued into 2024.

July 2023 – Paraquat Lawsuits Top 4,000, First Bellwether Trial Set

More than 350 new cases were filed in the past 30 days bringing the total number of claims in this MDL to 4,083. The first Paraquat bellwether trial is now set for October 2023.

Two of the defendants, Syngenta and Chevron, have challenged 610 plaintiffs’ claims currently included in the paraquat MDL. These corporations argue that these claims lack sufficient evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claims and they were filed as a result of advertising campaigns and questionable lead generators. While this could be true in any nationwide mass tort litigation, our LLN team finds it hard to believe that more than 600 of these claims exist here.

June 2023 – Two Largest Defendants Request Summary Judgment

In a joint motion for summary judgment, Chevron and Syngenta AG asked the court to resolve more than 3,700 pending lawsuits. These companies claim the plaintiffs lack peer-reviewed studies linking Paraquat and Parkingson’s Disease. Without this important scientific evidence, the plaintiffs would not be able to prove the legal causation required to succeed at trial. Although the LLN team believes this motion has little chance of success, we are watching closely.

May 2023 – Some Plaintiffs’ Filings are Questioned, New Case Filings Set Another Record

Defendants are questioning some plaintiffs’ lawsuits, claiming they may be deceased. The court is concerned that some complaints and sworn plaintiff questionnaires may have been falsified. Plaintiffs’ law firms must now certify the status of each plaintiff and explain how they communicate with their clients.

More than 500 new cases joined  this MDL in the past 30 days, setting a record for new filings.

April 2023 – Pennsylvania Establishes a State Paraquat Class Action

The nationwide Paraquat MDL located in Illinois now involves 3,389 lawsuits. In the meantime, Pennsylvania has created its own class action with 264 pending cases.

March 2023 – Battle of the Experts and Total Cases Near 3,000

Both sides of this litigation continue to challenge each other’s experts. Syngenta disclosed documents that suggest it knew about how dangerous paraquat was and its potential health risks back in the 1970s. The company even formed an in-house task team to study potential liability issues.

With another month of near-record case filings, the Paraquat MDL now has 2,998 lawsuits on file.

February 2023 – Consulting Company Refuses to Release Documents

Exponent Inc. is a consultant hired by Syngenta to determine paraquat’s potential safety issues. This consulting company is refusing to turn over internal documents as requested in the plaintiffs’ subpoena. In response, the plaintiffs have filed a motion to compel this information. We suspect Exponent holds key information that will hurt the defendants’ case. With new case filings at another highest monthly amount yet, there are now more than 2,600 pending lawsuits.

A December 2022 study reveals paraquat exposure may be linked to serious kidney issues. Also, long-term exposure has been linked to chronic renal disease.

Each month we see hundreds of new Paraquat suits filed in the consolidated MDL, and the total MDL claims is now over 2,300. Potential plaintiffs should review the Southern District of Illinois’ deadlines for more information about timelines for future motions and when the first paraquat lawsuit trials are expected to begin.

September 6, 2022 — First Paraquat Exposure Lawsuit Trial Rescheduled

Paraquat MDL Judge Rosenstengal issued a Case Management Order resetting the date for the initial paraquat bellwether test trial. The initial trial was originally slated for mid-November of 2022. However, based on the number of lawsuits and how fast the paraquat MDL has grown, Judge RosenstengaL is seeking to expand the overall discovery pool.

June 1, 2022 — 6 Paraquat Lawsuit Bellwether Trials Chosen

Six paraquat lawsuits will serve as the initial bellwether trials. The first trial is slated for November 2022. We expect the defendants will start settling their cases as we get closer to a trial.

July 6, 2021 — Paraquat Litigation Steering Committee Chosen 

U.S. District Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengal of the Southern District of Illinois chose 16 lawyers for the paraquat MDL steering committee. Eleven women and five men have been appointed to handle the initial lawsuits filed throughout the nation alleging that paraquat causes Parkinson’s Disease. Louisiana mediator Randi Ellis was also named as Special Master for the paraquat lawsuit MDL.

As of July 6, 2021, there were 173 lawsuits filed in the paraquat MDL. However, we expect numerous paraquat lawsuits will be filed in the coming months. The first paraquat-related Parkinson’s disease jury trial is set for November 15, 2022.

June 22, 2021 — First Paraquat Jury Trial Set

During the initial status hearing, U.S. Judge Nancy Rosenstengel scheduled the very first paraquat jury trial filed against Syngenta for November 15, 2022. We expect additional bellwether trial cases will be announced over the next several months. The defendants in these cases include Syngenta, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP, and Chevron USA, Inc, the primary paraquat manufacturers.

June 18, 2021 — Notice of Settlement Filed in California

A notice of settlement filed in California claims that 16 paraquat lawsuits filed in California State Court were resolved by settlement agreement.

June 7, 2021 —Multi-district Litigation (MDL) Created for Paraquat Claims

On June 7, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established a new multi-district litigation (MDL). All federal paraquat claims will now be consolidated in the Southern District of Illinois, and U.S. District Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengal was appointed by the six-Judge panel to oversee this paraquat litigation.

Illinois was chosen because it is among the top five states where paraquat is used because so many agricultural workers and other similar lawsuits are found there. Twenty-nine initial  paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuits were transferred into the new MDL. We expect hundreds of paraquat lawsuits to be filed in the coming months.

If You are Suffering From Paraquat Exposure, Reach Out Today

The experienced mass tort legal team at Lawsuit Legal News can help you determine your legal options including whether you can take part in the national multi-district litigation currently pending. Call us at 866-467-0943 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.

We are already helping numerous individuals (including many agricultural workers) who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after continued exposure to paraquat. Don’t wait any longer. Call for a free consultation today.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More