Paraquat Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

Our lawyers handle Paraquat lawsuits in all 50 states. This page is about projected settlement payouts for a viable Paraquat lawsuit.

People who have developed Parkinson’s disease from Paraquat want to understand better the range of settlement amounts they can expect in their Paraquat lawsuit.

It is early in the Paraquat litigation. We have had a trial. Settlement compensation payouts are still speculative. But if the plaintiffs’ lawyers are successful, as expected, in this litigation, we can look at other similar injuries to get a settlement range.

The expected Paraquat settlement amounts will fluctuate as the litigation progresses. Our lawyers will continue to update this page with revised payout projections.

If you have a potential claim, you want to have a claim prepared before any Paraquat settlement.  Call our law firm today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

Paraquat Lawsuit Updates 2024

Here are the developments in the still-growing Paraquat lawsuit:

May 16, 2024 – New Case Filed

A Texas man filed a new Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease lawsuit yesterday, claiming that his Parkinson’s was caused by exposure to Paraquat. The plaintiff alleges that he was exposed to Paraquat between approximately 1983 and 1990 while in California.

This exposure occurred during the mixing, loading, application, and cleaning of the herbicide through spray drift and contact with sprayed plants. The plaintiff claims that Paraquat entered his body through various means, including skin absorption, inhalation, and ingestion, leading to his nervous system being attacked and resulting in Parkinson’s disease. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in May 2022.

May 15, 2024 – Case Selection Extension

The MDL judge granted an extension for the case selection deadline following an unopposed motion from the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs had initially been directed to identify 16 member cases for limited fact discovery by May 10, 2024, as per the Court’s order on April 17, 2024. However, plaintiffs reported experiencing “various technical issues” with the portal containing relevant case information, hindering their ability to meet the deadline.

In response, the Court has extended the case selection deadline for all parties to June 10, 2024. The parties are required to submit their case selections in accordance with the Court’s original instructions by this new deadline.

May 6, 2024 – New Paraquat Lawsuit Filed

A new lawsuit was filed on Friday alleging that prolonged exposure to Paraquat led to a farm worker developing Parkinson’s disease. The plaintiff, who worked on a California farm from 1973 to 1983, claims to have been repeatedly exposed to Paraquat through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption. The plaintiff began experiencing symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and received a formal diagnosis in 2019. Prior to mid-2022, the plaintiff states that they had never been informed by any medical professional that Paraquat exposure could be linked to Parkinson’s disease, nor had they come across any publications or legal cases suggesting such a connection.

May 1, 2024 – MDL Adds 225 New Cases

After an unusually slow month in March, the volume of new cases in the Paraquat class action MDL picked back up again in April. We got 225 new cases added to the Paraquat MDL in April, which is back to the monthly average we have grown to expect in this litigation. There are now 5,590 total cases pending.

April 17, 2024 – Four Bellwether Trials Dismissed/Expert Stricken

There is really bad news today.  The MDL judge dismissed the four bellwether lawsuits after excluding the testimony of the plaintiff’s key expert on general causation, Dr. Martin Wells.

This decision kills those four cases because, without this testimony, plaintiffs could not establish the causal link necessary for their claims. The court also granted a summary judgment for the defendants concluding that without the expert’s testimony, the plaintiffs’ claims were untenable.

So now what?  This litigation is not over. But plaintiffs’ lawyers need to develop more experts. The court plans to quickly proceed by selecting a new group of cases for trial. The judge has directed the parties involved to choose 16 new cases for limited fact discovery by a specified deadline.

Each party has a specific allocation for case selection: plaintiffs will choose eight cases, while Chevron and Syngenta will select four each. The selected cases must meet certain eligibility criteria, including being filed on or before the date of the judge’s order and not having a materially deficient Plaintiff Assessment Questionnaire.

After the selections are submitted, the court will issue a Case Management Order outlining a discovery schedule and setting trial dates.

This is a depressing development for those four plaintiffs. Their only option is to appeal the judge’s decision. But the litigation will go on and plaintiffs’ attorneys will develop better experts to support what we still believe is incredibly strong science linking Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

April 4, 2024 – USDA Subpoenas

Lawyers for Paraquat victims are turning over every leaf for useful information.  Attorneys recently sent 48 subpoenas from various plaintiff counsels to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These subpoenas request extensive information about “Agricultural Chemicals” and “Restricted Use Pesticides.” The USDA asked the court for an extension until May 16, 2024, to submit objections or responses.  The court granted that request on Tuesday.

April 3, 2024 – Dismissal of Meritless Cases in MDL

Over 5,000 plaintiffs are in the MDL. Another Paraquat lawsuit was recently dismissed voluntarily in an apparent effort to avoid a deposition. This decision came shortly after the judge overseeing the Paraquat MDL ordered the plaintiff’s deposition. This individual was among ten of 34 cases selected for closer examination this year that have been voluntarily dismissed.

If this person did not have a viable claim, would they have eventually gotten a good settlement? No.

Why? There will likely be a points system to calculate settlements. When a point system is in place to determine settlements, plaintiffs with cases that lack merit—meaning those that are weak or unsupported by sufficient evidence—will receive poor outcomes. Eventually. This is because the point system is designed to allocate settlement amounts based on the strength and specifics of each claim.

Factors such as the severity of the injury, the extent of exposure, and the strength of evidence play a crucial role in this assessment. Plaintiffs with cases that do not meet these criteria or are deemed not meritorious end up receiving lower settlement amounts or are excluded from compensation altogether.

So it is not like weeding out these plaintiffs is helping avoid some great injustice. But if there is a global settlement—as opposed to picking off individual plaintiffs one by one—then the defendants need a sense of the quality of claims.

My take is that a small number of lawyers are bringing in cases that are not properly vetted and lack merit.  This happens in any MDL. If the judge wants to sort this out now, all good.

Still, we have to remember that no one is making defendants settle claims that they cannot prove. So, bigger picture, people who have meritorious cases may not have that much time left. So, let’s schedule trial dates and push this litigation forward.

April 1, 2024 – New Case Volume Continues to Slow

The monthly new case volume in the Paraquat MDL continues to slow down. After a big jump in monthly volume in February, the month of March only saw 47 new cases added. Since the start of the year, only about 300 new cases have been filed, and 280 of those were filed in February.

March 26, 2024 – Why Getting Rid of Bad Paraquat Lawsuits Helps You

There is a lot of talk in the litigation and in the media now about how many poorly vetted Paraquat lawsuits have been filed in the MDL.  This is a story that reflects poorly on some Paraquat lawyers, not the merits of the lawsuit.  Everything is working as it should.  The judge is taking proactive steps to get rid of the lawsuits that should have never been filed.

This is good for plaintiffs with viable claims.  If you have a strong case, you do not want to be grouped into weaker cases.  You want a strong docket with a smaller number of Paraquat lawsuits.  This will make a Paraquat level easier to achieve on a number of levels.

March 22, 2024 – Old Illinois State Court  Paraquat Settlement

In 2017, Syngenta faced lawsuits in state court from victims diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The litigation was very under the radar.  Syngeneta was trying to avoid precisely what ended up happening and quietly settled these lawsuits confidentially.  We now know those settlements totaled $187.5 million.

March 19, 2024 – New Lawsuit Filed

A new Paraquat lawsuit was filed yesterday.  The plaintiff, a 53-year-old resident of Colorado, was born around May 13, 1960, and has encountered prolonged exposure to Paraquat. His significant contact with Paraquat occurred between 1996 and 1999 in Abilene, Texas, during his employment activities which involved applying Paraquat. Over three years, he was in direct contact with Paraquat through various means such as touching, absorbing, inhaling, or inadvertently ingesting it, especially while mixing, loading, spraying, handling, or otherwise interacting with the product.

This exposure to Paraquat is alleged to have contributed to the plaintiff’s development of Parkinson’s disease, diagnosed around 2022. The plaintiff believes that the extended exposure initiated a long-term process where oxidative stress, amplified by Paraquat’s redox cycling, harmed the dopaminergic neurons in his brain, leading to their gradual degeneration and death.

This has the making of a strong lawsuit.  This is a young plaintiff with direct contact with Paraquat.

March 12, 2024 – Still Waiting on the Daubert Ruling

The Daubert hearing in this case was in August. There is still no ruling. But, maddeningly, the initial trials, initially slated for the fall of 2023, are currently on hold, with no rescheduled dates announced.

Judge Rosenstengel has expressed concerns multiple times regarding the number of cases with seemingly unlikely theories of liability.  We can all be confident she does not like what we call “drifter” cases where the exposure to Paraquat was not direct.

Last month, she issued an order compelling each plaintiff in the MDL to issue third-party subpoenas by March 11, 2024, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45. These subpoenas gather documents as evidence of use and/or exposure to Paraquat.

So what can you make of all of this? It is virtually impossible to imagine a scenario in which the judge dismisses all the cases on Daubert. But there is no question that the court wants a docket of viable claims.

March 7, 2024 – New Paraquat Study

A new Paraquat study supports the premise of this litigation: Paraquat exposure can cause Parkinson’s disease.  The study found that those with Parkinson’s disease lived and worked closer to areas where Paraquat was used compared to those without Parkinson’s. Working near Paraquat every year significantly increased the risk of developing PD.

So called “drifter” cases of people living near areas with heavy Paraquat use are the red-headed stepchild of this litigation. But the study show that similar results were found for those living near Paraquat use.

March 1, 2024 – Over 200 New Cases Added to MDL

At the start of last year, the Paraquat MDL averaged over 250 new cases per month. But things slowed down significantly around the holidays. Between November and January, less than 100 new cases were added. Last month, however, we saw 241 new cases added to the Paraquat MDL, bringing the total case count up to 5,318.

February 28, 2024 – Editorial on Paraquat

Over six decades after highlighting the dangers of pesticide use, farmlands and lawns continue to be heavily treated with these chemicals, amounting to about a billion pounds per year. Despite advancements in environmental regulation, including the establishment of the EPA and the strengthening of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, pesticides like Paraquat, known for its severe health risks, are still approved and widely used as we just talked about in the last update.

A new editorial in the New Republic argues that this situation underscores a persistent failure to fully apply and enforce anti-abuse protocols. The EPA is facing criticism for not utilizing its full authority to protect endangered species and for its lenient stance on products like Roundup and Paraquat.

The author points to the influence of agribusiness lobbying and the dilution of regulatory efforts through extensive legal challenges, which highlight the ongoing struggle to mitigate pesticides’ environmental and health impacts.

February 13, 2024 – EPA Reaffirms Paraquat

Overlooking scientific evidence, the EPA has reaffirmed its approval of Paraquat. After a reassessment, the EPA upheld its prior stance in a new draft report, ignoring numerous peer-reviewed studies that underscored the risks.

Does this hurt the Paraquat lawsuits?  Well, it certainly does not help. But I do not think it changes the litigation all that much.

February 12, 2024 – Dismissal of Paraquat Claims for Discovery Violations

The Special Master has recommended that the court dismiss 60 Paraquat lawsuits for failure to comply and fill out a Plaintiff Assessment Questionnaire (PAQ).  Most of the plaintiffs on this list are from the same law firm.

Again, if you have a viable Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuit, you are well served when cases like this get dismissed. To get to a Paraquat settlement, you must figure out which claims are viable.

February 2, 2024 – Pace of New Cases in MDL Slows

The Paraquat class action MDL has officially hit a slowdown in the rate of new cases. Over the past two years, the average monthly addition of around 250 new cases has dwindled, with only 26 new cases in January and 21 in the preceding month. The total number of pending cases has reached 5,077.

January 23, 2024 – Cleaning Up the Docket

On May 15, 2023, the Court issued Case Management Order No. 18 (CMO 18), which addressed issues related to Deceased Plaintiffs’ Submissions and Cases Based on Implausible Theories of Proof.

CMO 18 expressed concerns about cases on the docket presenting implausible or far-fetched theories of liability, specifically those related to paraquat exposure. The Court identified four categories of cases that raised such concerns, including cases where plaintiffs had no information regarding their exposure to paraquat or lacked medical evidence to support a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

The judge does not want to keep cases on the docket that are not cases, which is understandable.  So, the defendants found 25 causes, which, according to what they say, are implausible claims. The court ordered limited discovery for those 25 plaintiffs, including depositions and third-party discovery, to determine the viability of their claims. Keep in mind – this is 25 cases out of 5,000.

The Court set a deadline for completing plaintiffs’ depositions by March 22, 2024, and required the parties to provide a joint summary report of each plaintiff’s testimony.

January 15, 2024 – Paraquat MDL Case Count and New Lawsuits

 The size of the Paraquat class action MDL actually decreased by 21 cases over the last month from 5,072 to 5,051. This is probably just a reflection of non-active cases getting dismissed, with few new cases being filed over the holidays.

Despite the slowdown, plaintiffs’ Paraquat lawyers are still high on these lawsuits and are continuing to file them.  In a newly filed case last week, Weaver v. Syngenta, a Texas woman came into contact with Paraquat over a period spanning from around 1965 to roughly 1975 in California through various means:

  1. during the processes of mixing, loading, applying, or cleaning the herbicide;
  2. due to spray drift, which refers to the unintentional movement of herbicide spray particles from the intended target area to unintended locations, often caused by wind; and/or
  3. by coming into contact with plants that had been treated with the herbicide.

She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2018.

January 1, 2024- Case Count

The final week of 2023 was a slow one for the Paraquat class action MDL docket. A dozen new cases were filed directly in the MDL and 10 more were transferred in from other districts.

Paraquat Lawsuit Updates 2023

  • December 18, 2023: Only 86 new cases were added to the Paraquat class action MDL over the last 30 days. That is the lowest monthly volume of new cases we have seen in Paraquat in the last 2 years and it marks the second month in a row that we have seen a notable down tick in new case volume. There are now 5,072 total cases.
  • December 1, 2023: Still waiting for a trial date (and a Daubert ruling).
  • November 16, 2023: Another 200 new cases were added to the Paraquat class action MDL over the last month. That brings the current total number of pending cases up to 4,986. It also suggest that the drop in new case volume last month was likely just an aberration.
  • November 1, 2023:  Dr. Douglas Weed has filed a motion to quash a subpoena from the plaintiffs’ lawyers related to his article about paraquat and its potential link to Parkinson’s disease. His article, titled “Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease? A Review of Reviews,” was published in the scientific journal NeuroToxicology in September 2021. Dr. Weed’s article concludes that “A consensus exists in the scientific community that the available evidence does not warrant a claim that paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease.”  So plaintiffs have an interest in how he got to that conclusion.  His funding disclosure in his article – he says there is no “specific” grant for the article – raises questions.Dr. Weed asserts he has no direct connection to the case and argues that the extensive document requests are burdensome, pertain to ongoing research, and surpass geographical limits set by Rule 45. The motion emphasizes protections for non-parties and seeks to have the subpoena quashed due to its undue demands and violations of Rule 45. Plaintiff’s Paraquat lawyers have until the end of this week to respond.
  • October 17, 2023: Over the last 2 years, the Paraquat class action MDL has been one of the fastest growing mass torts. This MDL has averaged 300 new cases per month consistently and over 1,000 new cases were added in July and August alone. Over the last month, however, just 30 new Paraquat cases were added to the MDL. That is by far the lowest monthly volume this MDL has ever posted and it could be a signal of things to come.
  • October 2, 2023: October was supposed to be the month that the first Paraquat bellwether case went to trial. Instead, however, the fate of the Paraquat lawsuits seems very unclear right now as we await a major decision from the MDL on the Daubert challenges. How long will that wait be? We might not get a decision until 2024. Daubert rulings are typically very long and very complicated. With nothing else on the schedule, it would be surprising to see we have an opinion and ruling before the holidays.
  • September 27, 2023: The final supplement Daubert briefs have now been filed, and we are simply awaiting a ruling. Last month, Judge Rosenstengel postponed the first bellwether trial to allow additional time for briefing and consideration on the Daubert motions. She did this after a full week of hearings. The fact that Judge Rosenstengel is taking so much time on this is somewhat concerning for the plaintiffs. It suggests that she is seriously considering a ruling that would exclude the plaintiffs’ experts and basically end the Paraquat class action MDL.
  • September 18, 2023: Summer is typically a slow time for mass tort filings, but the Paraquat class action MDL has added over 1,000 new cases since Memorial Day. There are now over 4,700 plaintiffs in the Paraquat MDL, making it one of the biggest mass tort currently pending in the federal courts.
  • September 6, 2023: Closing briefs, summarizing their respective stances post the Daubert hearing, must be submitted by the parties on or before September 8, 2023.
  • September 2, 2023:  Syngenta has accused Dr. Earl Ray Dorsey, a New York neurologist, of collaborating with plaintiffs’ lawyers and journalists to produce a scientific article linking Syngenta’s paraquat weed killer to Parkinson’s disease. Syngenta alleges in new legal pleadings that the lawyers improperly influenced Dorsey’s research. They argue that tainted scientific evidence should be presented in court. Dr. Amit Ray, co-author of the article, provided documents pursuant to a subpoena, but Dorsey refused. Dorsey’s lawyers counter that the document request was late and irrelevant. They claim Syngenta aims to discredit Dorsey’s work and emphasize his lack of involvement with the litigation. The article, titled “Paraquat, Parkinson’s Disease, and Agnotology,” used information from a plaintiffs’ lawyer via The Guardian. Syngenta questions the article’s conclusions against established science. Syngenta’s motion sought drafts and Dorsey’s communications with writers, editors, and plaintiff attorneys. Dorsey shared the article with a journalist but, importantly, denies sharing it with plaintiffs’ attorneys.   It is hard to understand why asking people in the media for opinions on an article could be a bad thing.
  • September 1, 2023: After four full days of Daubert hearings last week, the Paraquat MDL issued an Order requesting additional briefing from both sides. The Order asked the parties to address how the case of Manpower, Inc. v. Insurance Co. of Pa., 732 F.3d 796 (7th Cir. 2013), applied to the reliability of the plaintiff’s key expert, Dr. Martin Wells. The Order also canceled the upcoming bellwether trial date in October, which marks a significant setback for the plaintiffs. The fact that we are still having a conversation about whether Paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease is ridiculous.
  • August 21, 2023:Yesterday marked the beginning of the pivotal Daubert hearing in the Paraquat MDL. Plaintiffs assert that Paraquat causes particular cell death and tissue damage characteristic of Parkinson’s disease. The science on this seems extremely clear. But the defendants are pushing back.

The spotlight is on the expert epidemiologist, Dr. Martin Wells. His scientific credibility is under scrutiny. Dr. Wells, central to the victims’ case, has analyzed previous studies and concluded that Paraquat likely plays a significant role in causing Parkinson’s, more so than other factors.

However, Chevron and Syngenta contest this. They criticize not only Dr. Wells but also experts Anthony Lang and Peter Spencer for their approach. They highlight that Dr. Wells has been excluded by prior courts in some cases. The believe that Parkinson’s primarily results from genetic factors, nothing that some of the plaintiffs’ experts have said in the past. The hearing will resume today and is scheduled until the 24th.

From the outset, we’ve believed this hearing to be a linchpin in the litigation. Neither Chevron nor Syngenta would risk these lawsuits progressing to trial. A victory in this hearing could lead to reasonable settlements, while a defeat would spell disaster. There is that much riding on this hearing.

  • August 18, 2023: A new Paraquat lawsuit –  Thomas v. Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC – was filed yesterday by an Illinois man who claims that was exposed to Paraquat for a sustained period of time and suffered permanent physical injury and pain (presumably Parkinson’s disease) as a result.
  • August 16, 2023: There are now 4,552 lawsuits pending in the MDL, more than double the number of claims at the same time last year.
  • August 15, 2023: The Paraquat class action lawsuit will have a hearing next Monday on the scientific merit of these claims.  This is the biggest event in the history of this litigation.  If plaintiffs win as expected, this could be the driving force behind a Paraquat settlement.

The hearing will begin at 2 p.m. CST on August 21, 2023, and will run until August 24, 2023.

  • August 4, 2023: There are about 350 Paraquat lawsuits pending in state court in Pennsylvania.  The defendants maintain that out-of-state plaintiffs cannot sue them in Pennsylvania, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling upholding the state’s consent by registration statute. Switzerland-based agriculture company Syngenta, one of two key defendants in this litigation, contends that the high court’s decision might bolster its argument that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas does not have general personal jurisdiction over it.

    Their argument rests on the uncertainty left by the ruling regarding Pennsylvania law, which stipulates that companies subject themselves to state jurisdiction when registering to do business there. Some believe that the statute may violate the dormant Commerce Clause, a concern the state Supreme Court is expected to address.

    The court will have the parties brief and argue the issue.  The bet here is that Additional briefings over jurisdictional issues have been requested, and in the case of jurisdiction being found lacking, discovery is already underway to establish specific personal jurisdiction for out-of-state plaintiffs.

  • August 1, 2023:  The Daubert challenges contesting the admissibility of scientific evidence in the Paraquat MDL will likely be decided within the next two months. The Daubert motions on both sides were fully briefed and submitted as of last week. On Friday, Judge Rosenstengel issued an Order explaining that she will hold a major Daubert hearing on August 21, 2023. At that time, she will hear testimony from the plaintiffs’ most important expert witness, Dr. Martin Wells. Following the hearing, the parties will get to submit one final brief before Judge Rosenstengel considers the matter. A ruling could come soon after.

More 2023 Paraquat Lawsuit Updates

  • July 18, 2023: Another 223 new cases were filed or transferred into the Paraquat class action MDL last month. That is down from last month and slightly below the monthly average of 289 we have seen in this litigation since the start of the year. We believe this could be the start of a general slowing down in the volume of new cases that will continue moving forward.
  • July 1, 2023: The first Paraquat trial is set for October 2023.
  • June 25, 2023: Over the last month, another 353 new plaintiffs were added to the Paraquat class action MDL. That brings the total number of pending claims in the MDL up to 4,083. A total of 1,731 new Paraquat cases have been added to the MDL since the start of the year, an average of 289 per month.
  • June 12, 2023: Last week, Chevron and Syngenta AG took action by filing for summary judgment in the MDL. Their argument is that the plaintiffs’ claims, connecting Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease, are unsupported by scientific evidence, as no peer-reviewed studies are confirming this link. If granted, this motion would result in the dismissal of 3,700 claims in the Paraquat class action lawsuit. However, the likelihood of this motion succeeding is exceedingly slim.
  • June 1, 2023: After a brief slowdown in new case volume at the start of the year, the Paraquat class action has quickly gone back to being one of the fastest-growing mass torts. Last month we saw 511 new cases added to the MDL, a record high. However, that record could get eclipsed this month, as several hundred new cases have already been transferred into the MDL in just the last ten days.
  • May 20, 2023:  A bit more fallout from the “dead clients” mistakes we talked wrote about on May 10th. Judge Rosenstengel has issued a new order regarding cases filed on behalf of deceased plaintiffs and those based on questionable theories of proof. The ruling comes after allegations were made that some lawyers had improperly filed lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs who were already deceased. The defendants seek for a case management order on February 27, 2023, asserting that some attorneys filed actions and sworn plaintiff assessment questionnaires on behalf of the deceased, even purportedly copying signatures to make it seem like these plaintiffs were testifying posthumously. These allegations have led the court to question the integrity of the dockets in this litigation. So plaintiffs’ lawyers are now required to certify the living status of each plaintiff, the nature of their contact with the plaintiff, and, if the plaintiff is deceased, the date of their death and who is now acting on behalf of their estate. Failure to provide this information could lead to case dismissal. The court has also expressed concern about cases based on improbable theories of proof.  They are likely to target weak drifter cases in particular.  The parties have been ordered to identify and discuss any ongoing cases presenting implausible theories of proof that warrant their voluntary dismissal.
  • May 15, 2023:  The Paraquat class action MDL continues to be one of the hottest mass torts in the country. Over 500 new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits were added to the MDL over the last 30 days. That is the highest monthly total in over a year, and it comes on the heels of back-to-back months of over 200 new cases. Since the start of this year, 1,300 new cases have been added to the MDL. If this continues, there will be over 5,000 pending cases by the end of the year.
  • May 12, 2023:  We sometimes forget about the Paraquat state court litigation. There are 260 Paraquat lawsuits in the Complex Litigation Center in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
  • May 10, 2023:  Defense counsel has accused plaintiffs’ lawyers of filing pleadings on behalf of dead clients.  This happens in mass tort litigation, where lawyers are taking action on behalf of a large number of clients.  Lawyers often do not reach out to verify one last time the client is still living before taking action.  It is not something that should happen.  But it hardly causes prejudice to the defendants who want to court to issue an order to address this problem.
  • May 1, 2023: As we reported on March 27th, Syngenta and Chevron filed a motion to strike Martin Wells’ rebuttal expert report. The court has ruled, finding that the report sufficiently addresses the opinions and criticisms of the Defendants’ expert. So the motion to strike is denied. The order said that any further objections from the Defendants should be raised through a Daubert motion. Judge Rosenstengel has also ordered all parties to propose a Case Management Order by April 19, 2023, outlining agreed-upon deadlines for submitting summary judgment and Daubert motions and any guidelines or limitations for these motions.
  • April 18, 2023: As Paraquat settlement rumors continue, these Parkinson’s disease class action continues to be one of the most active mass torts in the country. The MDL added 221 cases over the last 30 days. The total number of pending cases now stands at 3,389; if this trend continues, it could reach over 5,000 by the end of the year. To put this in context, less than 1,000 cases were pending at this time last year.
  • April 10, 2023: The Paraquat MDL in Illinois includes over 2,000 Paraquat lawsuits pending in the federal courts, but there is also another Paraquat class action pending in the Pennsylvania state court system. The Pennsylvania Paraquat class action currently has 264 pending cases, and the judge in that litigation recently ruled that new incoming plaintiffs can utilize a Short Form Complaint when filing their case.
  • March 27, 2023: As the date for the first bellwether test trial approaches, Syngenta’s defense team continues to take aim at the team of expert witnesses assembled by the plaintiffs. No surprise. This is what defense lawyers do. Most recently, Syngenta filed a motion to exclude the testimony of Martin Wells, an expert statistician for the plaintiffs. Wells would testify that the results of his metanalysis (examining prior epidemiological studies) supports the conclusion that there is a link between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease. Syngenta’s motion to exclude argues that Wells deliberately cherry-picked studies with favorable results to include in his analysis and, therefore, his results are unreliable.  This is a tough road for Syngenta because the science in this litigation is so strong for plaintiffs.
  • March 16, 2023: 277 new plaintiffs joined the Paraquat class action MDL last month. That brings the total number of pending cases up to 2,998, and it marks the second month in a row that the Paraquat MDL has posted an above-average volume of new case filings.
  • March 5, 2023: The evidence continues to show that Paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease, and the defendants knew it.  Syngenta recently produced documents in the Paraquat litigation showing that the company may have known about the potential health risks of exposure to Paraquat in the 1970s. The documents further indicate that by 2001, Syngenta was very much aware of the potential link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease and even created an internal task team to monitor the potential liability of this link.
  • March 1, 2023: With the first bellwether test trial this summer, both sides are battling over what evidence will be permitted at trial. In the most recent dispute, the defense team has moved to strike a supplemental expert witness report submitted by plaintiff expert David Mortensen. Mortensen is a Plant Ecology Professor at Penn State and a key expert for the plaintiffs. After Mortensen’s deposition (and several months after the deadline for expert reports), the plaintiffs submitted a supplemental expert report from Mortensen which sought to clarify specific issues raised during his deposition. The defense lawyers immediately moved to strike the supplemental report, and they appear to have a valid argument. The Court will likely rule on the motion in the next week.
  • February 17, 2023: Last year, the Paraquat class action litigation averaged 150 and sometimes over 200 new cases monthly. So when we only saw 69 new cases added to the MDL last month, it seemed to indicate that 2023 might be the year this litigation slowed down. This month, however, 300 new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits were added to the MDL. That marks the highest monthly total since the MDL began and suggests that the high volume of new Paraquat lawsuits will probably continue as we head toward trial in October 2023.
  • February 4, 2023: The Paraquat MDL plaintiffs are fighting to obtain critical documents from Exponent Inc. This third-party scientific consulting company worked for Syngenta on Paraquat’s potential safety hazards. Exponent has refused to produce documents in response to a subpoena from the plaintiffs, and last month, the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel. Both Syngenta and Exponent have filed separate response briefs in opposition to the motion to compel. The amount of pushback on producing these documents indicates that they contain key evidence that could be very harmful to the defense’s position.
  • January 17, 2023: According to the most recent report from the JPML that came out today, there are a total of 2,352 cases pending in the Paraquat class action lawsuit.  That is only an increase of 69 cases from last month. This is somewhat misleading, however, because the MDL docket shows that well over 200 new member cases have been opened over the last month, and these were presumably not included in the most recent total.
  • January 6, 2023:  New claims continue and are transferred into the Paraquat class action lawsuit in Illinois.  The latest Paraquat lawsuit that has been filed is a wrongful death action brought by the surviving spouse and two sons of a Louisiana man who died after battling Parkinson’s disease.  The suit in Scafidel et al. v. Syngenta Crop Protection LLC alleges that Chevron and Syngenta are responsible for a man developing Parkinson’s disease after repeated exposure to Paraquat.
  • January 5, 2023: Does anyone believe that Paraquat, a poison, only causes Parkinson’s disease?  With Paraquat now in focus on this litigation, interest in the harm this pesticide can cause is on the rise.  A new study published in December 2022 tells us that victims who experience Paraquat poisoning can develop organ damage that includes acute kidney injury (AKI). The study also finds that chronic Paraquat exposure affects renal function and can lead to chronic renal disease.
  • January 2, 2023: The Paraquat class action lawsuit grew a great deal in 2023. The litigation averaged over 200 new cases per month, growing by almost 400% since the start of the year. So will this trend continue in 2023, or will the Paraquat class action see an inevitable slowdown?  Our prediction is the litigation continues to grow as awareness of the connection between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease grows.  But 2023 is unlikely to match the pace of Paraquat suits we saw in 2022.
  • December 19, 2022: The first bellwether test trial in the Paraquat MDL has been postponed again. In an Order issued at the end of last week, Judge Rosentengel ruled that the opening trial will now be set for October 2023.
  • November 7, 2022: Over the last two weeks, nearly 100 new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits have been transferred into the MDL. This continues the flood of new Paraquat lawsuits we have seen over the last six months. In the meantime, both sides have filed responses to the recently issued report and recommendation of the Special Master regarding certain discovery disputes. The final briefing on that is due this week.
  • September 30, 2022: After the EPA granted interim approval status to Paraquat in August 2021, allowing the herbicide to remain available pending a further safety review, a non-profit group in California took the agency to court to challenge the validity of that decision. This week, the EPA responded by requesting the Court to grant a voluntary remand to permit the EPA to reconsider the risk-benefit analysis that led to the prior approval decision. If granted, this request could eventually result in a decision by the EPA not to grant interim approval to Paraquat because it is unreasonably hazardous.  Does this have huge Paraquat lawsuit implications?  Of course it does.
  • September 15, 2022: Since the start of 2022, Paraquat has been the fastest-growing mass tort MDL. Over the last month (8/15/22 to 9/15/22), the number of pending Paraquat lawsuits in the Paraquat MDL went from 1,702 to 1,925. That’s an increase of 222 cases, but around 15 cases were either remanded back to state court or dismissed so the actual number of newly filed Paraquat Parkinson’s disease cases is even higher. Under the rules of the Paraquat MDL, new cases can be filed directly in the MDL in the Southern District of Illinois using the master pleading forms. This makes it hard to track where the new cases are coming from geographically. But the biggest numbers appear to be from California. The explosive growth of the Paraquat litigation recently forced the MDL class action judge to push back the bellwether trial dates and expand the discovery pool.
  • September 5, 2022: The Paraquat MDL Judge has selected a group of 20 additional cases from the MDL for limited fact discovery.   The list was randomly generated out of more than 1,700 currently pending cases.  This is a good development because it will help the defendants’ attorneys better understand how strong these claims are. This will be helpful when the lawyers sit down to negotiate settlement compensation payouts.  The judge’s 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. Meanwhile, the recent flood of new incoming Paraquat cases continues. Over the last 2 weeks, around 200 new Paraquat plaintiffs have been added to the MDL. The rising number of cases was cited by the MDL Judge as one of the reasons for the order requiring additional plaintiff depositions.
  • August 25, 2022:  Unfortunately, we lost our trial date this year.  The opening bellwether test trial in the Paraquat MDL had been set for November 2022.   The second Paraquat trial was set for March 2023. The good thing about having trial dates is it places pressure on the defendants to settle or face a jury.  The hope was these trial dates would force the defendants to offer reasonable settlement compensation to victims. Yesterday, MDL Judge Nancy Rosenstengel issued an Order pushing the first trial date back nine months to July 2023.  Judge Rosenstengel made this decision after reviewing the status of discovery in the MDL and consulting with the Special Master.
  • August 16, 2022:  Over the last month 255 new Paraquat cases were added to the MDL class action. So the Paraquat class action lawsuit is still growing.   There are now 1,703 Paraquat lawsuits pending in the MDL.
  • July 20, 2022:   The Paraquat MDL now has 1,148 plaintiffs as of July 15, 2022.
  • July 4th, 2022: The Paraquat class action lawsuit has been adding about 130 new plaintiffs each month to the MDL for the last year. During the last 30 days, 142 new Paraquat lawsuits were transferred into the federal class action. This brings the total number of pending cases up to 1,292.   The question continues to be whether Syngenta and Chevron intend to offer fair Paraquat settlement amounts or whether they want to roll the dice and let a jury decide whether a compensation payout is appropriate.  The bet here is they will look to settle most Paraquat lawsuits before taking a verdict. We will see.
  • June 9, 2022:  The push to the first Paraquat lawsuit trial moves forward.  The Paraquat MDL judge issued a Second Amended Discovery Schedule that provides a short, limited extension of the original discovery deadlines established for the six bellwether trial cases. Under the discovery order, the parties will have until July 25, 2022, to complete fact discovery and medical examinations. This extension of the original deadline became necessary after the number of fact witnesses made the completion of discovery more challenging.  The short length of the extension, however, should ensure that we remain on schedule for the opening bellwether trials.
  • May 16, 2022: The first half of May shows record numbers of new Paraquat lawsuits being filed and added to the Paraquat MDL class action. Fifty-seven new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease cases were filed and transferred into the MDL during the first week of May. This is the highest weekly total to date. The second week of May saw another 35 new Paraquat lawsuits added to the MDL, making it the second-highest volume week.  Overall, there are over 1,150 Paraquat plaintiffs in the Paraquat class action lawsuit.  These Parkinson’s disease lawsuits have been consolidated from around the country before one federal judge in Illinois.
  • May 11, 2022: Maybe the best thing to happen in the Paraquat class action lawsuit occurred in another piece of mass tort litigation. Bayer has been pursuing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the Roundup lawsuits are preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (“FIFRA”).  The premise of the appeal is that if the EPA is allowing these pesticides to remain on the market, the federal law preempts any state law injury or wrongful death claims.  The Supreme Court sought the Biden administration’s position on whether it should hear the appeal.  The Biden administration filed a brief in the case arguing that FIFRA should not be interpreted to preempt Roundup product liability claims under state law. The appeal was always a long shot for Bayer. But Bayer had been using preemption as a sword in settlement negotiations and you can bet the Paraquat defendants would do the same.  If the Supreme Court rejects Bayer’s FIFRA preemption argument as is now expected (why would they ask if the answer was not of consequence?), it will effectively prevent Syngenta and Chevron from making the same preemption argument in the Paraquat lawsuit.
  • May 4, 2022:  The Paraquat MDL judge recently identified a group of six cases for the initial Paraquat Parkinson’s disease bellwether trials.  So these cases are moving quickly toward the first trial in November 2022.  The game plan is to take 16 sample Paraquat lawsuits out of the nearly 1000 Parkinson’s disease lawsuits that have been filed. After some limited fact discovery in these cases, Paraquat attorneys on both sides gave the MDL judge a preference list, ranking the 16 in terms of which case they most wanted to try first. Plaintiffs’ lawyers want the best facts for victims and defense attorneys want the worst.  Based on these rankings, the judge winnowed the list down to six Paraquat lawsuits. We still don’t know which lawsuit will go first. But full discovery will now be conducted in these six potential “first Paraquat lawsuit” cases.
  • April 19, 2022:  There are now 982 Paraquat lawsuits in the MDL class action.  All allege Parkinson’s disease was caused by their Paraquat exposure.
  • April 12, 2022: The judge in the Paraquat MDL, Hon. Nancy Rosenstengel held the Paraquat class action lawsuit regular monthly status conference on April 1, 2022.  Since then, Paraquat lawyers have filed 44 more Paraquat lawsuits in just 12 days.  I don’t remember this many Paraquat lawsuits being filed in such a short span. It could just be lawyers holding back lawsuits and filing them all at once. This can lead to peaks and valleys of suits.  But there is no question that lawsuits are continuing to be filed.
  • April 1, 2022:  The status conference is today. Always of interest is the current size of the litigation and how many new cases were added to the Paraquat MDL class action lawsuit over the last month. Judge Rosenstengel may also dig deeper into the details regarding the upcoming bellwether trial selection process.
  • April 8, 2022: Paraquat has been banned in Fuji.

The Plan to Push Paraquat Lawsuits to Trial

The judge in the Paraquat Parkinson’s disease class action lawsuit issued a case management order (CMO No. 12) that sets the game plan to select the lawsuits that will be the first to go to trial in this litigation.  The plan is to pick out sixteen Paraquat lawsuits.  Each side gets to pick half of the cases, subject to eligibility requirements set by the MDL judge.

Then, the lawyers start working up these lawsuits for trial.  That involves the discovery process, the fact-finding mission attorneys go to before trial.

This all pushed towards a trial date in 2023. This trial has been pushed back.  But we should have our first Paraquat trial in 2024.

If you have Parkinson’s disease and you believe Paraquat caused your Parkinson’s, it seems a long way from a settlement and the justice you deserve.  It is not fair.  Our system moves slowly.

Future Paraquat Settlements

But the hope is that the defendants in these lawsuits realize that a Paraquat lawsuit will be hard for them to win.  If they realize this – and who knows if they do – you might see settlement compensation offered to victims before these lawsuits get to trial.

That is the hope.  Our lawyers – and many other Paraquat attorneys –  believe these are strong cases for plaintiffs that will yield large verdicts if they go to trial. But we will see how it plays out.

Paraquat Lawsuit

Hundreds of farmworkers and people who worked near oil tanks and railroads have filed lawsuits alleging that occupational exposure to the industrial herbicide paraquat (grameoxone) caused or contributed to cause Plaintiff’s development of Parkinson’s disease.

There are now over 1,700 Paraquat lawsuits. A Parkinson’s disease class action MDL has already been established to accommodate them. In this post, we will look at how much a Paraquat lawsuit might end up being worth by comparing them to settlements in prior mass product cases involving similar claims and in prior tort lawsuits in which the plaintiff developed Parkinson’s.

About the Paraquat Lawsuits

Paraquat is an industrial-strength herbicide that has been around since the 1960s. It is used to control of weeds and grasses in agricultural areas. It is also used as a defoliant, removing leaves from trees and plants.  Some farmers will use Paraquat as a desiccant, too, to keep the crops dry and stable.  Chevron started selling Paraquat in the U.S. in 1964.

This chemical is highly toxic.  A teaspoon will kill you. This has led most European countries to ban it outright. In the United States, however, Paraquat is not banned and is widely utilized by large commercial farmers.

Evidence has emerged that prolonged Paraquat exposure can lead to early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Studies have found that agricultural workers who are exposed to Paraquat over long periods have a significantly higher rate of developing Parkinson’s disease. People who live near farms where Paraquat is applied also showed increased rates of Parkinson’s disease.

Paraquat is manufactured by Syngenta, a Swiss agrochemical company. There is evidence indicating that Syngenta was aware of the causal link between paraquat and Parkinson’s for years but deliberately concealed it. Now farm workers exposed to Paraquat and subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson’s are filing product liability lawsuits against Syngenta and its U.S. distributors.

Thousands of Paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuits have been filed and a new paraquat MDL (Paraquat Prod. Liab. Lit., MDL 3004) has been created in the Southern District of Illinois for consolidated handling of the paraquat claims. The Paraquat lawsuit is still in its early stages and is expected to grow rapidly as hundreds and thousands of additional cases get filed.

  • New calls to ban Paraquat in the UK over Parkinson’s disease risk

Paraquat Litigation Should Result in a “Global Settlement”

At this early phase of the Paraquat Parkinson’s disease litigation, it is impossible to know how much Paraquat lawsuit settlements might be worth. Because an MDL has already been created for the Paraquat claims, our Paraquat lawyers expect this litigation to follow a familiar course in other class action lawsuits we have seen.

The Parkinson’s Disease Paraquat exposure MDL oversees a consolidated fact discovery process. This will focus on the scientific evidence for both sides. During this phase, newly filed paraquat cases will be added to the MDL.

At the end of the consolidated civil discovery phase, the MDL judge will work with lawyers for both sides to select a handful of representative cases for jury trials.

These are known as “bellwether trials” and the results of these trials are generally used to facilitate global settlement negotiations with the defendants.

If the bellwether trials result in major victories for the plaintiffs, Syngenta may be forced to agree to pay large settlement amounts for the remaining Paraquat claims. In consolidated mass torts, this is called a “global settlement.”

What Will a Global Settlement in the Paraquat Litigation Look Like?

Here is a basic summary of how global settlements usually work in mass torts like the paraquat litigation. Let’s say Acme Co. is defending 5,000 lawsuits in an MDL by plaintiffs alleging that Acme’s widget product caused them to develop cancer.

After 18 months of discovery, four Acme widget bellwether trials are held. Acme gets a defense verdict in 1 of the bellwether trials but the other three trials result in big verdicts for the plaintiffs (an average of $2.5 million).

After losing in the 4th bellwether trial, Acme announces that it is ready to settle all the remaining widget lawsuits.  Lawyers for Acme and the plaintiffs negotiate the terms of a settlement over a few months.

Under the global settlement, Acme agrees to pay $500 million to settle the remaining 5,000 widget lawsuits. If these settlement amounts were divided evenly, it would be a gross payout of $100,000 to each plaintiff. But the settlement agreement includes a tiered system in which each plaintiff gets a settlement compensation payout according to the severity of their injuries (and other factors). Plaintiffs in the top tier get higher payouts while plaintiffs in the lower tiers get less.

This is an overly simplified example of what a global settlement in the Paraquat litigation should eventually look like and how settlement amounts would be calculated.

Key Variables for a Paraquat Lawsuit Settlement

The battlefield in the Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits is over how much the settlement compensation payouts should be.  Syngenta, Chevron, and other co-defendants are fighting to pay the smallest settlement amounts possible.

The individual Paraquat settlement amounts will depend on several things, including:

  1. how many Paraquat claims get filed and consolidated into the MDL,
  2. how strong the scientific causation evidence is for the plaintiffs between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease, and
  3. the results of the initial bellwether trials.

Estimated Paraquat Lawsuit Settlement Payout Amount

Despite all these variables that will impact the eventual payout value on Paraquat cases, our lawyers can estimate – or at least try to estimate –  reasonable individual Parkinson’s disease settlement payouts. Our lawyers do this by looking at settlement payouts in prior mass torts and an assessment of the likelihood a jury would find the Paraquat defendants responsible.  Our attorneys also look at the settlement compensation for Parkinson’s disease in tort cases generally.

Based on these points of comparison, our Paraquat lawyers think that the likely settlement payout on Paraquat claims will be as follows:

Settlement Tier                                             Estimated Settlement

Tier I                                                               $$400,000- $1,000,000+

Tier II                                                              $150,000 – $300,000

Tier III                                                             $20,000 – $150,000

paraquat lawsuits 2022

 

Remember, we are talking about expected Paraquat settlement amounts, not trial value.  The average successful verdict in an individual Paraquat lawsuit would likely be more than $10 million with the possibility of much more in punitive damages.   Does that sound too high?

Remember, the average successful verdict in the Roundup lawsuits was well over $500 million.  In the 3M earplug lawsuit where the claim is a hearing-related injury, the average individual jury payout is well over $10 million.   Parkinson’s disease is a far more serious injury.  So an average jury compensation payout estimate of $10 million might be on the low side.

Settlement Amounts in Mass Torts Similar to Paraquat

Our first point of comparison for the estimated settlement values above is the settlement payouts in prior consolidated mass torts that have similarities to the Paraquat litigation. Our most recent example to draw from is the Roundup settlement.

In the Roundup litigation, Bayer is paying around $10 billion to settle about 100,000 cases and setting aside another $6 billion for future Roundup claims. Individual Roundup plaintiffs are getting payouts of around $100,000 to $150,000. But lawsuits in the highest tier are getting much larger settlement amounts than the average.

The Roundup litigation has some obvious similarities with Paraquat to the extent that both involve herbicide products. The alleged injuries are different because Roundup involves cancer claims, whereas Paraquat plaintiffs are alleging Parkinson’s.

Between the two, cancer is a higher-value injury. Despite this difference, Roundup is probably the best comp for the Paraquat litigation, although our lawyers predict higher settlement amounts for Paraquat because we believe the case’s merits are even stronger in the Paraquat class action. (And, frankly, the smaller number of plaintiffs and multiple defendants grease the wheels of a larger settlement.)


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Settlement Amounts in Lawsuits Involving Parkinson’s Disease

Our other comparative point for valuing the paraquat cases is the settlement value of other tort cases in which Parkinson’s disease was the plaintiff’s primary injury.

Parkinson’s is difficult to value because it is not a common injury in personal injury claims.  Camp Lejeune Parkinson’s disease lawsuits are now also being filed But there are only two settlement amounts (average settlement: $$325,000) so far in that litigation.

So the next question is there a stand-in injury for Parkinson’s disease because it is an uncommon injury in tort cases that we can use as a settlement marker?  I think there is: tardive dyskinesia is similar enough that settlement amounts in those lawsuits might give us a lens to Parkinson’s disease settlement amounts.  Our lawyers have had some experience in those cases.  So let’s look at settlement amounts and jury payouts for tardive dyskinesia because it is a similar injury to Parkinson’s disease.

  • Tamaraz v Lincoln Electric (Ohio 2007) $20,500,000 Verdict: This is a rare jury payout involving a Parkinson’s disease case. The plaintiff filed a welding rod product liability lawsuit alleging he developed Parkinson’s disease from exposure to manganese in welding rods. A jury awarded $17.5 million to him and another $3 million to his wife.  This verdict underscores the high potential compensation payouts a jury might give in Parkinson’s disease case.
  • Axe v Spring Meadows (Pennsylvania 2018) $215,000 Settlement: The plaintiff was 73 years old and alleged that he developed tardive dyskinesia from medications given to him by a nursing home. Why was the settlement payout so low? I don’t know.
  • Plaintiff v Defendant (New York 2017) $1,400,000 Settlement: Plaintiff (mid-30s) develops tardive dyskinesia from antipsychotic medication used to treat her bipolar and sues the doctor who prescribed it.
  • Soref v Agresti (Florida 2017) $569,000 Verdict: A female in her mid-20s with a history of drug abuse claims bipolar drugs cause her to develop tardive dyskinesia.

These cases (particularly the welding rod case) are suggestive of the type of verdict we might expect to see in Paraquat bellwether trials. These compensation awards support the settlement payout valuation estimates above.

Paraquat Lawsuits Can be Filed Decades After the Plaintiff’s Exposure

If you were recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease that may be related to paraquat,  you can still file a paraquat lawsuit today, even if your exposure to Paraquat occurs years or even decades ago. All states have a statute of limitations that imposes a deadline for filing a civil tort action for things such as product liability. The applicable statute of limitations period for a tort claim ranges from 1 to 7 years depending on the state.

The applicable SOL period does not begin to run, however, until the plaintiff either knew or had reason to know that they had a claim. For a paraquat lawsuit, this means that the SOL period would not begin to run until the plaintiff knew or “should have known” that they had Parkinson’s disease and that it might have been caused by exposure to paraquat.

The connection between paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease is something that a reasonable person would not be expected to know. This is particularly true because the companies that made and sold paraquat deliberately failed to warn about the link between paraquat and Parkinson’s. Most of the plaintiffs in the Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease litigation are bringing their claims based on exposure that occurred a very long time ago.

Link Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the brain that affects primarily the motor system, the part of the central nervous system that controls movement.

The characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are its “primary” motor symptoms: resting tremor; bradykinesia (slowness in voluntary movement and reflexes); rigidity; and postural instability. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease. Existing treatments do not slow or stop their progression; such treatments are capable only of temporarily and partially relieving the motor symptoms. These treatments also have unwelcome side effects the longer they are used.

Paraquat is a toxic chemical that is a highly effective plant killer. Unfortunately, the same properties that make paraquat toxic to plant cells also make it highly damaging to human nerve cells and create a substantial risk to anyone who uses it.

Oxidative stress is a major factor in—if not the precipitating cause of—the degermation and death of dopaminergic neurons which is the primary pathophysiological cause of Parkinson’s disease. Paraquat is designed to injure and kill plants by creating oxidative stress, which causes or contributes to causing the degeneration and death of plant cells. Similarly, Paraquat injures and kills animals by creating oxidative stress, which causes the degeneration and death of animal cells.

The causal link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease is well established.  Hundreds of animal studies involving various routes of exposure have found that paraquat creates oxidative stress that results in pathophysiology consistent with that seen in human Parkinson’s disease.

Many epidemiological studies have also found an association between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease, including multiple studies finding a two- to five-fold or greater increase in the risk of Parkinson’s disease in populations with occupational exposure to paraquat compared to populations without such exposure.

You do not have to work on a farm to have a viable Paraquat lawsuit. Researchers in an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that exposure to Paraquat or Maneb within 1600 feet of your home causes a 75% increase in the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease.

Here are the key articles on Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease with a summary of the findings:

  • Berry, C., La Vecchia, C., & Nicotera, P. (2010). Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. Cell Death & Differentiation, 17(7), 1115-1125. This study looked at pesticides’ role in causing Parkinson’s disease. The researchers report that acute chemical exposure was “sufficient” enough to cause Parkinson’s.
  • Costello, S., et al. (2009). Parkinson’s disease and residential exposure to maneb and paraquat from agricultural applications in the central valley of California. American journal of epidemiology, 169(8), 919-926.  This study looked at whether living near pesticide-using farms was associated with Parkinson’s. The researchers found that living within 500 feet of farms that used paraquat and maneb increased one’s Parkinson’s risk by 75 percent. They also found that people younger than 60 were at significantly higher risk. The researchers concluded that their findings show that exposure to paraquat and maneb, whether alone or combined, significantly increased the Parkinson’s risk.
  • Di Monte, D.A. (2003). The environment and Parkinson’s disease: is the nigrostriatal system preferentially targeted by neurotoxins? The Lancet Neurology, 2(9), 531-538. This report concluded that a multidisciplinary approach to Parkinson’s etiology would help determine whether environmental exposure may cause the disease.
  • Firestone, J. A., et al. (2005). Pesticides and Risk of Parkinson’s Disease: a population-based case-control study. Archives of Neurology, 62(1), 91-95.  This study looked at whether pesticides were associated with Parkinson’s. The researchers interviewed 250 Parkinson’s patients and 388 non-Parkinson’s patients. They assessed their self-reported pesticide exposures. The researchers also categorized the patients by occupation. They found that pesticide workers were more likely to develop Parkinson’s compared to crop, animal and crop, and dairy farmers. The researchers concluded that their findings were consistent with other studies that found an association between pesticides and Parkinson’s.
  • Mandel, J. S., Adami, H. O., & Cole, P. (2012). Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease: an overview of the epidemiology and a review of two recent studies. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 62(2), 385-392. The report evaluated two studies that evaluated pesticide exposure’s association with Parkinson’s. The researchers found that the researchers created inadequately designed studies that examined very few exposed patients. They also reported that their results were inconsistent. The researchers concluded that these two studies fail to prove an association between pesticides and Parkinson’s. They also concluded that more rigorous studies were needed for confirmation.
  • McCormack, A. L., et al. (2002). Environmental risk factors and Parkinson’s disease: selective degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons caused by the herbicide paraquat. Neurobiology of Disease, 10(2), 119-127.  This study looked at whether Paraquat exposure caused Parkinson’s disease symptoms in mice. The researchers injected mice with the herbicide. They found that this caused dopaminergic neuron death, a Parkinson’s disease symptom. The researchers concluded that the findings show that Paraquat neurotoxicity caused a prominent physiological response to Parkinson’s.
  • Stephenson, J. (2000). Exposure to home pesticides linked to Parkinson’s disease. JAMA, 283(23), 3055-3056. This article reported on the association between home or garden exposures to pesticides and Parkinson’s.
  • Stykel, M.G., et al. (2018). Nitration of microtubules blocks axonal mitochondrial transport in a human pluripotent stem cell model of Parkinson’s disease. The FASEB Journal, 32(10), 5350-5364. This study looked at mechanisms showing that pesticide exposure disrupted cells in a manner that mimicked Parkinson’s-associated mutations. The researchers concluded that their results were the first to demonstrate a gene that triggered mitochondrial transport deficits during pesticide exposure.  Here is the money quote from one of the authors: “People exposed to these chemicals are at about a 250-percent higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than the rest of the population.”  So most people who have Parkinson’s disease from Paraquat would not have had Parkinson’s disease without Paraquat exposure.
  • Tanner, C. M., et al. (2011). Rotenone, Paraquat, and Parkinson’s disease. Environmental health perspectives, 119(6), 866-872. This study looked at whether pesticides that caused oxidative stress or mitochondrial dysfunction were associated with Parkinson’s in humans. The researchers found that paraquat and rotenone were associated with Parkinson’s.
  • Uversky, V.N., et al. (2002). Synergistic effects of pesticides and metals on the fibrillation of α-synuclein: implications for Parkinson’s disease. Neurotoxicology, 23(4-5), 527-536. This study looked at a novel model that determined environmental factors and genetic susceptibility that formed idiopathic Parkinson’s underlying molecular basis. The researchers found that some pesticides and metals caused conformational alpha-synuclein changes and accelerated the alpha-synuclein fibrils rate.
  • Vaccari, C., et al. (2019). Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 22(5-6), 172-202. This systematic review looked at literature and meta-analysis involving paraquat’s exposure to Parkinson’s. The researchers found that the current data suggest a positive association between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s. However, they concluded that the evidence was insufficient to indicate a causal association. The researchers reported that better-designed studies were needed.

Paraquat and Kidney Damage

In addition to causing Parkinson’s disease, new evidence has also shown that chronic exposure to Paraquat can also cause permanent damage to the kidneys. The kidney is the main organ responsible for Paraquat excretion and Paraquat is known to be highly nephrotoxic.

Dermal exposure to Paraquat has revealed inflammatory cell infiltration, tubular necrosis, and diffuse interstitial fibrosis.  Paraquat exposure causes toxic chemical reactions to occur in the kidneys, and long-term effects, including kidney failure, are possible.

Paraquat lawyers have not focused on these cases because there are so many more Parkinson’s disease lawsuits.  But these injuries are very real to victims.

Paraquat Defense Lawyers Lost an Arrow in Their Quiver

Paraquat exposure to Parkinson’s disease lawsuits is considered by mass tort lawyers to be strong cases.  Victims’ attorneys believe proving the defendant’s responsibility will be as easy as any major class action lawsuit in 2024.  That is why Paraquat lawyers are spending a fortune online trying to market for Paraquat lawsuits.

The last time a Paraquat lawsuit was set for trial, the defendants quickly settled those lawsuits.  The speculation is the settlement compensation payouts in those claims were very high.  That fueled many Paraquat lawyers to jump into this Parkinson’s disease pesticide exposure cases.  So I expect that any solid Paraquat lawsuit heading towards trial will be settled by the defendants.

The defendants’ only hope in my mind of getting out of this litigation without paying huge jury payouts of settlement compensation is by these lawsuits never seeing a jury.  The path to that outcome was for Bayer to win its appeal in the Roundup litigation.

Bayer argued Roundup lawsuits should be preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.  Bayer lost.  This verdict makes the Paraquat class action lawsuit that much stronger.

FAQs: Paraquat Lawsuit Payouts

What are the expected settlement amounts for Paraquat lawsuits?

Paraquat lawsuits in the highest settlement tier could have a settlement payout value between $400,000 and $1,000,000. Cases with lower settlement tiers will have lower values.  Our lawyers have high expectations for the settlement value of Parkinson’s Paraquat lawsuits.

Keep in mind speculation about settlement compensation payouts or when these Paraquat lawsuits might settle is purely speculative.  You might also be disheartened by how fluid our settlement projections are.   Our projections rise and fall day to day. But there is one thread that runs through all our Paraquat lawsuit settlement amount projections: our lawyers think these are great cases and will ultimately resolve for good settlements.

When will the Paraquat lawsuits settle?

A global settlement in the paraquat litigation is not expected until the middle of 2024 at the earliest.   

What is the deadline for filing a Paraquat lawsuit?

Most Paraquat lawsuits are filed years or decades after the plaintiff was actually exposed to Paraquat.

So how do Paraquat plaintiffs get around the statute of limitations?  Here is how it works.

Every Paraquat lawsuit alleges that this weed killer was manufactured and distributed by the defendants and did not provide a warning label so people using it knew of the risk of latent neurological damage, most notably, Parkinson’s disease.

So when Plaintiffs were diagnosed with Parkinson’s, they could not connect the dots between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.  Courts often apply the discovery rule in these cases. So the clock on the deadline to sue cannot start until the plaintiff knows or has reason to know of the connection between their exposure to Paraquat and his or her neurological disease.

So what is your deadline to file a Paraquat lawsuit?  It is possible your statute of limitations for filing a Paraquat claim in 2024 is closing (or is closed) in 2024.  Do yourself a favor and ask a lawyer today if you are not sure. Calculating the exact deadline for filing your claim can be complicated and you should consult with a lawyer.

Defendants in the Paraquat Class Action Lawsuit

The main defendants in any Paraquat lawsuit are:

  1. Syngenta AG: This Swiss company owns Syngenta Corp. and Syngenta Crop Protection LLC.
  2. Chevron Phillips Chemical Co:  Chevron Phillips makes and sells Gramoxone in the U.S.

Getting a Paraquat Lawyer

If you have a potential Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuit, let’s talk about your claim and your options.  Call our toxic exposure lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

 

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