Exposed to Paraquat?

Research has shown that people exposed to this herbicide might develop Parkinson’s disease.

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Are you eligible to file a Paraquat lawsuit?

Paraquat is a popular herbicide that has been used for more than 60 years that is now the target of many lawsuits in the United States. Recent research has shown that people exposed to this chemical compound might develop Parkinson’s disease.

If you or a loved one has developed Parkinson’s disease after exposure to Paraquat, you might be eligible for financial compensation. We at Drugwatcher are here to help you with the process!

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Were you (or a loved one) exposed to Paraquat?

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What is Paraquat?

Paraquat dichloride (Paraquat) is an organic chemical compound used as an herbicide since 1961. It is also known as Methyl Viologen or N, N′-dimethyl-4,4′-bipyridinium dichloride (systematic name).

Originally produced by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) well over one century ago, it reached its peak popularity as a liquid defoliant only much later, in the 1960s, to control weeds and prepare crops to harvest.

Today, it is commercially available in several strengths and is one of the most used pesticides in the US in more than one hundred different types of crops. In particular, it is appreciated as an alternative to RoundUp to kill glyphosate-resistant weeds.

read more about Paraquat – ingredients, use, and side effects


Paraquat Lawsuit Updates

November 16, 2023: In the past month, the Paraquat class action MDL has seen an addition of 200 new cases, increasing the total to 4,986 pending cases. This surge indicates that the previous month’s decrease in new cases was an anomaly.

November 1, 2023: Dr. Douglas Weed is challenging a subpoena related to his paraquat-Parkinson’s disease article, titled “Does paraquat cause Parkinson’s disease? A review of reviews,” published in NeuroToxicology in September 2021. Weed, asserting no direct case involvement, argues that the subpoena is overreaching and infringes on Rule 45. The plaintiffs are scrutinizing his funding disclosure and conclusions. The plaintiffs’ lawyers have a deadline at the week’s end to reply.

October 17, 2023: The Paraquat class action MDL, averaging 300 new cases monthly, has rapidly grown over two years. However, a notable decrease occurred last month, with only 30 new cases, suggesting a potential future trend.

October 2, 2023: The first Paraquat bellwether case, scheduled for October, is postponed. The MDL’s focus shifts to awaiting the Daubert challenges’ resolution, potentially delaying until 2024. This pause suggests a complex and uncertain future for the lawsuits.

September 27, 2023: Postponement of the first bellwether trial by Judge Rosenstengel, after extensive Daubert motion hearings, indicates a potential ruling against the plaintiffs’ experts. This prolonged consideration raises concerns for the plaintiffs.

September 18, 2023: Despite a typical slowdown in summer, the Paraquat MDL added over 1,000 cases since Memorial Day, reaching over 4,700 plaintiffs, marking it as a major mass tort in federal courts.

September 6, 2023: Parties in the Paraquat MDL must submit closing briefs by September 8, 2023, following the Daubert hearing.

September 2, 2023: Syngenta accuses Dr. Earl Ray Dorsey of biased research in linking their paraquat product to Parkinson’s disease. They challenge the article’s credibility and Dorsey’s involvement with plaintiffs and media, seeking to discredit his work through legal motions.

September 1, 2023: After a week of Daubert hearings, the Paraquat MDL seeks additional briefing on the case’s scientific aspects. The delay in bellwether trial scheduling indicates ongoing debate about Paraquat’s link to Parkinson’s disease.

August 21, 2023: The critical Daubert hearing in the Paraquat MDL begins, focusing on the claims of Paraquat causing Parkinson’s disease. Expert testimony and scientific debates take center stage, with significant implications for the case’s progress.

August 18, 2023: A new lawsuit, Thomas v. Syngenta, is filed in Illinois, alleging prolonged Paraquat exposure leading to significant health issues.

August 16, 2023: The number of lawsuits in the Paraquat MDL has doubled from last year, now totaling 4,552 cases.

August 15, 2023: A pivotal hearing in the Paraquat lawsuit is scheduled for August 21, 2023, to examine the scientific validity of the claims. The outcome of this hearing could be a key determinant in the litigation’s future.

August 4, 2023: Around 350 Paraquat lawsuits are ongoing in Pennsylvania’s state court. Defendants challenge jurisdictional claims, with the legal debate centering on the state’s consent by registration statute and its implications.

August 1, 2023: The Paraquat MDL is poised for a major decision on the Daubert challenges within two months. An upcoming hearing on August 21 will be pivotal in determining the admissibility of scientific evidence.

 

 

July 2023 update: Trial is scheduled to begin in October 2023 for the first bellwether.

June 2023 update: Chevron and Syngenta AG acted last week by submitting a request for summary judgment in the MDL. They contend that because no peer-reviewed research have established a connection between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease, the plaintiffs’ claims are unsupported by facts. The chances of this motion succeeding, however, are incredibly remote. Additionally, this month witnessed the addition of 353 new plaintiffs to the MDL for the Paraquat class action. With those additional claims, there are now 4,083 pending claims in the MDL.

May 2023 update: The Paraquat class action MDL remains one of the country’s most active mass torts. The MDL has seen the addition of more than 500 brand-new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease litigation in the last 30 days. That is the highest monthly total in more than a year, and it follows two consecutive months with more than 200 new cases. By the end of the year, there will be more than 5,000 open cases if this rate continues.

April 2023 update: Over 200 Paraquat claims from Pennsylvania state courts have been combined into a state-level MDL in Philadelphia, in addition to the Paraquat class action MDL now underway in the federal court system. Chevron and Syngenta wanted to prevent plaintiffs’ expert statistician Martin T. Wells from presenting his report, but the court disagreed and allowed it. They will now continue with Wells’ scheduled questioning. The court also asked both sides to agree on specific deadlines and rules for filing certain types of motions in the case. At this time, there are 3,389 pending paraquat cases.

March 2023 update: In the last thirty days, approximately 280 cases were added to the MDL, bringing the total to 2,998. Despite a lag at the start of 2023, current data indicates that there will be more new Paraquat litigation in the coming months.

February 2023 update: In February 2023, around 400 new paraquat lawsuits were filed, which was six times the number of claims submitted in January. This brought the total number of cases in the MDL to 2,721. The defense attempted to show that the plaintiff expert David Mortensen’s report was not submitted on time by submitting a supplemental report containing issues presented during the expert deposition beyond the deadline. This expert testimony was intended to demonstrate the link between Parkinson’s disease and paraquat.

January 2023 update: In the last month, only 69 new cases were added to the Paraquat class action MDL. This brings the total number of cases to 2,352.

December 2022 update: This is a big drop compared to last year when the Paraquat MDL averaged more than 200 new cases a month. But according to the MDL docket, more than 200 new member cases have been opened in the last 30 days. This means that the number of new cases in the next monthly total is likely to be very high.

In the federal MDL, the first bellwether test trial for Paraquat has been put off again. Judge Nancy Rosenstengel of the MDL issued an order last week putting off the first bellwether trial until October 2023.

At first, the first bellwether trial for Paraquat was supposed to take place in November 2022. But in recent weeks, many plans have been put off because of things that were out of anyone’s control. The most recent delay happened because it took longer than expected for expert witnesses to give their testimony.

November 2022 update: Over the past six months, Paraquat Parkinson’s disease claims have continued to come in as the bellwether trials (now delayed until July 2023) approach.

The MDL has received over 100 additional Paraquat cases in the past two weeks. Pretrial discovery conflicts between Paraquat attorneys on both sides persist. After the Special Master’s findings and recommendations, both parties objected.

October 2022 update: The EPA granted temporary permission for Paraquat in August 2021 to enable approved applicators to continue using the pesticide while it reviewed its health hazards.

A non-profit organization sued the government in federal court, disputing its judgment. Instead of defending its interim permission judgment in court, the EPA is asking the Court to accept a voluntary remand so it may “reconsider” its risk-benefit analysis.

September 2022 update: The Paraquat MDL now has 1,925 Paraquat Parkinson’s disease litigation, up 222 in the past 30 days. The real number of new cases moved in is more than 222 since around a dozen instances were sent back to state court.

August 2022 update: The first Paraquat class action bellwether trial MDL and a second test trial were scheduled for November 2022 and March 2023, respectively.
This trial is postponed. On Tuesday, MDL Judge Nancy Rosenstengel issued CMO No.15, postponing these dates and rescheduling the first bellwether trial for July 2023. Judge Rosenstengel said in her Order that she did this to facilitate further discovery.

July 2022 update: The Paraquat class action lawsuit judge is pushing for an autumn trial. The judge’s discovery timetable extends several of the Court’s original scheduling order deadlines. The six bellwether trial cases must finish fact discovery and medical exams by July 25, 2022, according to the latest ruling.

June 2022 update: Paraquat lawsuits are escalating. Paraquat class action claims total 1,153.

May 2022 update: Bayer’s Roundup setback yesterday will have a major influence on the Paraquat litigation. Bayer appealed to the Supreme Court that the federal pesticide legislation precluded Roundup cancer cases. If Bayer wins that appeal, the Paraquat Parkinson’s disease litigation defendants may argue that federal law preempts all Parquat claims.

The Biden administration submitted a brief yesterday asking the Court to reject this claim and arguing that “approval of labeling that does not warn about chronic hazards does not by itself override a state-law requirement.” Before considering the case, the Supreme Court requested the Biden administration for their opinion. Bayer should lose this argument. This removes a major Paraquat lawsuit defense weapon. Paraquat is another federally regulated pesticide. If the SCOTUS rejects Bayer’s preemption claim, Chevron and Syngenta cannot use it in the Paraquat lawsuit.

April 2022 update: 44 Paraquat cases entered the MDL in the last two weeks. April 2022 would have the newest filings ever. The Paraquat MDL judge received class action bellwether picks last week. They are not public yet.

March 2022 update: Paraquat Parkinson’s disease class action case continues. The first set of bellwether trials contains 16 cases (8 plaintiff selections and 8 defense picks). These inaugural class action bellwether cases will finish fact discovery this month. Last Monday, the MDL Judge ordered the parties to rank their five case picks by April 8, 2022, to help schedule the beginning trials.

February 2022 update: The MDL court gave the plaintiffs’ Paraquat attorneys a tiny discovery win Tuesday as the class action grows. The plaintiffs’ attorneys wanted Syngenta corporate witness deposition transcripts from an Illinois state court lawsuit. “Privilege” was the defense lawyers’ absurd objection. Judge Rosenstengel rejected the objection and ordered transcripts.

January 2022 update: There are now over 700 paraquat lawsuits in the MDL. The parties are now preparing for a series of bellwether trials that are likely to begin in late 2022. Subsequent trials have dates of March 13, June 12, and September 18, all set to take place in 2023.

December 2021 update: Currently, there are 384 pending lawsuits in the paraquat MDL. Judge Rosenstengel also issued a case management order. This order establishes a method for selecting the first pool of bellwether trial cases. The plaintiffs may choose eight, while the defendants may nominate four cases for early trials.

Parties in multidistrict litigation are also in the process of conducting fact discovery. This involves parties requesting certain information and documents through fact sheets as well as requesting for the production of documents such as medical records.

The case management order sets a deadline of March 31, 2022, for the fact discovery in the cases.

November 2021 update: Early in the MDL proceedings, defendants Syngenta and Chevron both filed motions to dismiss. The paraquat manufacturers argue that some of the cases were filed after the applicable statute of limitations has run out, some failed to adequately state a claim, and some cases had to be dismissed for specific reasons based on state laws.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys should respond to the arguments on or before December 13.

October 2021 update: In July, despite calls from farmworker groups and health organizations to ban the use of paraquat in the country, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-approved the most acutely lethal herbicide still in use. This extends the pesticide’s registration for another 15 years.

In September, the EPA decision was frowned upon by advocacy groups. As a result, groups such as California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and the Pesticide Action Network North America petitioned the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that the re-approval of paraquat is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. 

Paraquat MDL now includes 289 cases and the MDL judge issues an order requiring plaintiffs to submit a Plaintiff’s Assessment Questionnaire (PAQ).

June 2021 update: The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federally filed paraquatlawsuits into the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Around 80 paraquat lawsuits were pending in several federal courts across the country. The Paraquat MDL was assigned to District Court Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel. The multidistrict litigation (MDL) will allow Judge Rosenstengel to oversee the discovery, pretrial motions, and other legal proceedings in paraquat cases.

Is Paraquat toxic?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Paraquat is a highly toxic substance that can lead to severe poisoning in case of exposure.

The most dangerous routes leading to Paraquat poisoning include ingestion, inhalation (causing lung damage), and skin exposure, especially if the skin is not intact or the contact is long enough.

The effects of acute Paraquat poisoning include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and other serious gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Electrolyte abnormalities
  • Pulmonary edema and lung scarring
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Tachycardia and heart failure
  • Seizures and coma

 

read more about Paraquat poisoning

How does Paraquat cause Parkinson’s disease?

While the toxicity of Paraquat is pretty much undisputed, its link with Parkinson’s disease is still somehow controversial. Some studies found evidence that exposure to the pesticide may lead to neurotoxic effects that could cause Parkinson’s disease with a 600% increased risk.

The herbicide might destroy the cells of the nervous system in a way that closely mimics the genesis of this serious neurological disease.

The subjects affected usually require several years to gradually develop the symptoms such as hand tremors, slowing of movement, speaking difficulties, and muscle stiffness. Since these symptoms are initially so subtle, it may be hard to identify Paraquat as the principal causative agent.

read more about Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease



Why are Paraquat toxicity lawsuits being filed in the United States?

The reason why many law firms are now suing the manufacturers of Paraquat-based products such as Gramoxone is that they allege the companies were very well aware of its risks.

According to a former scientist from Syngenta, the principal manufacturer of Gramoxone, the company refused to evaluate several alternative formulations that were less dangerous to humans. The recent scandal was was published in The Guardian.

In particular, documents dating back to 1968, allegedly show how they insisted on releasing into the market a very toxic formulation that could cause Parkinson’s disease despite its dangers to protect their profits. Plaintiffs and their attorneys now want to hold the manufacturers responsible for all damage caused by filing litigations which could eventually evolve into a Paraquat mass tort.


Which manufacturers are being sued?

The primary defendants in the Paraquat litigation are Chinese-owned, Swiss-headquartered company Syngenta AG and Chevron USA, Inc. Paraquat manufacturer Syngenta makes the weed killer while Chevron obtained a license to manufacture and sell Paraquat herbicide products under the brand name Gramoxone SL 2.0.

It’s worth noting that Paraquat is banned in both Switzerland and China. Aside from these countries, however, there are over 32 nations around the world that have already banned, restricted, or withdrawn paraquat product use due to its toxicity. These include Brazil and the European Union (EU) nations, among several others.

Together with the EU, China, and Brazil, the United States is one of the four largest producers and users of agricultural pesticides in the world. Among the four, however, the US remains the only country that hasn’t banned the herbicide paraquat yet.

Why should you file a Paraquat lawsuit in 2023?

Many Paraquat toxic exposure lawsuits have been filed across the United States by plaintiffs who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Seeking justice in a court can be your only opportunity to obtain the financial means required to deal with the costs of disease, pay your medical bills, and face financial damage due to loss of work.

Successful litigation can also provide you with compensation for other damages such as psychological ones and/or loss of consortium. Let us help you find the justice you deserve – We at Drugwatcher are here to assist you in finding appropriate legal counsel and the right attorney for you.

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