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Latest Updates in Paraquat Lawsuits

As of April 2024, there were 5,365 pending paraquat lawsuits in multidistrict litigation before Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. MDL actions in the Paraquat Products Liability Litigation are ongoing.

  • April 2024: A total of 6,234 paraquat lawsuits had been filed in the MDL, of which 5,365 remained pending.
  • September 2023: Judge Rosenstengel postponed bellwether trials to allow for continued Daubert challenge hearings. As Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute explains, “The “Daubert Standard” provides a systematic framework for a trial court judge to assess the reliability and relevance of expert witness testimony before it is presented to a jury.”
  • June 2023: Syngenta AG and Chevron U.S.A., the herbicide's U.S. distributor, claim no link between paraquat exposure and Parkinson's disease.
  • December 2022: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's analysis of paraquat was under review.
  • June 2021: Pending lawsuits relating to paraquat were consolidated in a new MDL in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
  • July 2016: The sale and use of paraquat was banned in China.
  • July 2007: Paraquat use was banned in Europe and the UK.

Paraquat users from all over the country who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease began filing lawsuits against manufacturers in 2017, including Syngenta, Chevron Chemical Company and Growmark Inc. The first jury trial in the federal MDL will be scheduled as soon as the court issues its Daubert decision. A JCCP trial will likely be set in California around that time as well.

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Why Are People Filing Paraquat Lawsuits?

People are filing lawsuits because they have been exposed to paraquat and have developed Parkinson’s disease. They have filed paraquat lawsuits against Syngenta, Chevron and other defendants seeking compensation and holding corporations accountable for negligence.

Many of the people who filed lawsuits used paraquat for years without knowing they were at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Claims against manufacturers include: design defects, failure to warn, negligence and willful and wanton conduct.

Iowa farmer Doug Holiday, for example, sprayed his land with paraquat beginning in the 1990s. He is suing Syngenta AG and Chevron for what he claims are the companies’ disregard and reckless indifference to the safety of users. He is concerned about his repeated exposure to the herbicide and the increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. His case has been transferred to the paraquat MDL.

Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

A recent study demonstrates that the neurotoxic effects of paraquat are directly linked to induced Parkinsonism. The study also emphasizes the importance of controlling exposure to neurotoxic environmental pollutants like paraquat to reduce levels of Parkinson’s disease in the general population.

Syngenta discussed pushing a “coherent strategy across all disciplines focusing on external influencing, that proactively diffuses the potential threats that we face” and attempting to “influence future work by external researchers where possible”

A Guardian investigation revealed manufacturers hid knowledge about toxic effects of paraquat from the scientific community and the public for decades. As manufacturers continue to maintain that paraquat doesn’t cause Parkinson’s disease, their actions have been called “attacks on science, attacks on scientists and attacks on the health of the public.”

Who Is Eligible to File A Paraquat Lawsuit?

People eligible to file a paraquat lawsuit against Syngenta and other manufacturers include agricultural and farm workers who were exposed to paraquat and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. If you used paraquat, worked for a company that used the product or were trained and licensed to administer the herbicide you may also be eligible to file a lawsuit.

It’s important that you talk with a qualified paraquat lawsuit attorney about the details of your case. They can evaluate your eligibility, help you assemble the necessary documentation and help you file your claim.

Potential Paraquat Lawsuit Settlements

Any settlements that may result will be based on each client’s individual injuries. Jury verdicts from the first bellwether test trials will help determine what paraquat settlement amount Syngenta could potentially offer.

Paraquat users from all over the country who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease began filing lawsuits against manufacturers that include Syngenta, Chevron Chemical Company and Growmark Inc. in 2017. Paraquat lawsuits were consolidated into an MDL in 2021 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making decisions about your health or finances.
Last Modified: April 1, 2024

15 Cited Research Articles

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  1. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2024, April 1). MDL Statistics Report - Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from https://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/Pending_MDL_Dockets_By_Actions_Pending-April-1-2024.pdf
  2. Steinberg, J. (2023, July 21). Syngenta, Chevron Say No Link Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s. Retrieved from https://news.bloomberglaw.com/product-liability-and-toxics-law/syngenta-chevron-say-no-link-between-Paraquat-and-parkinsons
  3. Lotshaw, T. (2023, June 9). Chevron, Syngenta Say No Science Backs Paraquat Claims. Retrieved from https://www.law360.com/articles/1687368/chevron-syngenta-say-no-science-backs-Paraquat-claims
  4. Gilliam, C. (2023, June 2). Revealed: The secret push to bury a weedkiller’s link to Parkinson’s disease. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jun/02/paraquat-parkinsons-disease-research-syngenta-weedkiller
  5. Dorsey, E.R. & Ray, A. (2023, March 6). Paraquat, Parkinson's Disease and Agnotology. Retrieved from https://movementdisorders.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mds.29371
  6. Moran, G. (2023, March 3). Paraquat, the Deadliest Chemical in US Agriculture, Goes on Trial. Retrieved from https://civileats.com/2023/03/22/Paraquat-the-deadliest-chemical-in-us-agriculture-goes-on-trial/
  7. Burgoyne, J. (2023, January 27). Paraquat Lawsuit Update July 2023. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/product-liability/paraquat-lawsuit/
  8. Tong, T. et al. (2022, November). Paraquat exposure induces Parkinsonism by altering lipid profile and evoking neuroinflammation in the midbrain. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412022004391?via%3Dihub
  9. Grzincic, B. (2022, February 14). MDL judge advances most paraquat claims against Syngenta, Chevron. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/mdl-judge-advances-most-paraquat-claims-against-syngenta-chevron-2022-02-15/
  10. Pierson, B. (2021, July 2). Case to Watch: Toxic commercial weedkiller fuels new mass tort. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/case-watch-toxic-commercial-weedkiller-fuels-new-mass-tort-2021-07-02/
  11. Pierson, B. (2021, June 7). In Brief: S. District Illinois wins fierce battle for paraquat MDL venue. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/legal/litigation/brief-so-district-illinois-wins-fierce-battle-paraquat-mdl-venue-2021-06-07/
  12. Neeley, T. (2021, May 20). Iowa Farmer Sued Over Paraquat Exposure. Retrieved from https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/crops/article/2021/05/20/legal-challenges-grow-Paraquats
  13. CDC. (2018, April 4). Facts About Paraquat. Retrieved from https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/paraquat/basics/facts.asp
  14. Hakim, D. (2016, December 20). This Pesticide Is Prohibited in Britain. Why Is It Still Being Exported? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/business/paraquat-weed-killer-pesticide.html
  15. Dextra International. (n.d.). Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs: Paraquat Sales Banned in China. Retrieved from https://www.dextrainternational.com/chinese-ministry-of-agriculture-and-rural-affairs-Paraquat-sales-banned-in-china/