Paraquat Lawsuit News Updates

The latest lawsuit news and updates regarding Paraquat.

Paraquat Update: Paraquat MDL Off to a Fast Start; First Trial Scheduled for November 2022

July 20, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

Newly created multidistrict litigation (MDL) over allegations that the popular herbicide paraquat causes Parkinson’s Disease is off to a fast start, with the first trial already having been scheduled for November 2022, court documents show.

The court also has already appointed a special master tasked with establishing pretrial deadlines in keeping with the ambitious trial date.

Additionally, in the month from mid-June to mid-July, the number of cases in the paraquat MDL grew more than six-fold, from 29 on June 15 to 173 as of July 15, according to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).

Tragically, that figure is expected to grow into the many hundreds or even the thousands given the long-time, widespread use of paraquat in the United States, and it does not include paraquat lawsuits filed in state court.

Given the fast-acting and devastating nature of Parkinson’s Disease, the court appears to be moving with a sense of urgency aimed at allowing plaintiffs their greatest chance of receiving justice in their lifetimes. By way of comparison, some MDLs go a number of years before their first bellwether trials are held. The paraquat MDL was established in early June, making it extremely young in the normal lifespan of such complex litigation.

Despite having been banned in a number of other countries due to concerns over health risks, paraquat continues to be both legal and widely used in the United States. Plaintiffs in the MDL claim based on scientific evidence that long-term, repeated exposure to paraquat causes Parkinson’s Disease. Paraquat often is sold under the brand name Gramoxone.

Defendants in the paraquat MDL include Switzerland-based Syngenta, maker of Gramoxone, as well as American oil giants Chevron and Philips 66, whose chemical divisions manufactured and sold Gramoxone, as well.

In a sign that the court is serious about meeting its ambitious deadline of commencing the first bellwether trial on November 15, 2022, the court appointed on July 14 a special master who immediately was directed to meet and confer with the parties in an effort to establish a pretrial discovery schedule, as well as to handle a number of other essential administrative matters.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease after years of regular exposure to Gramoxone or another form of paraquat, contact TheLawFirm.com today for a legal consultation!

Sources:

United States District Court Southern District of Illinois. (Accessed 16 July 2021). Docket. In Re: Paraquat Products Liability Litigation. Case No. 3:21-md-3004-NJR. MDL No. 3004

United States District Court Southern District of Illinois. (10 June 2021). Case Management Order No. 1. Case No. 3:21-md-3004-NJR. MDL No. 3004. In Re: Paraquat Products Liability Litigation

United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). (15 July 2021). MDL Statistics Report – Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by Actions Pending

United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). (15 June 2021). MDL Statistics Report – Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. MDL Statistics Report

United States District Court Southern District of Illinois. (14 July 2021). Case Management Order No. 4. In Re: Paraquat Products Liability Litigation. Case No. 3:21-md-3004-NJR. MDL No. 3004

Paraquat Update: Judicial Panel Okays Creation of Paraquat MDL

June 17, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

Federal products liability lawsuits alleging that the herbicide paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease will be centralized as multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of Illinois, the judicial body responsible for overseeing MDLs in the United States ordered in a highly anticipated decision issued June 7.

“Since 1964, paraquat has been used in the United States to kill broadleaf weeds and grasses before the planting or emergence of various crops, to control weeds in orchards, and to desiccate plants before harvest,” the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) wrote in its transfer order. “The actions here involve common factual issues concerning the propensity of paraquat to cause Parkinson’s Disease. This litigation likely will implicate complex scientific and regulatory issues. Centralization will eliminate duplicative discover; avoid inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.”

The newly formed paraquat MDL, which has been assigned to United States District Court Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel, included 29 cases as of June 15, according to figures released by the JPML.

However, given the popularity of paraquat in the United States and the length of time that paraquat has been available on the US market, that figure is expected to grow dramatically over the coming months and years.

Scientific knowledge about the potentially serious health risks posed by paraquat is hardly knew, with evidence dating back decades. In fact, the United States is relatively rare among countries in still allowing the use of paraquat. For example, the European Union, Switzerland, and China all have banned the use of paraquat for years. (Switzerland is particularly of note as Syngenta, the maker of paraquat, is headquartered in that country.)

A bill to ban the use of paraquat in the US was introduced in the House of Representatives in 2019 but failed even to get a floor vote.

If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after repeated exposure to paraquat, contact TheLawFirm.com for a free legal consultation!

Sources:

United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). (7 June 2021). Transfer Order. In Re: Paraquat Products Liability Litigation. MDL No. 3004

United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). (15 June 2021). MDL Statistics Report – Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. MDL Statistics Report

Paraquat Update: Panel Hears Arguments on Potential Paraquat MDL

May 26, 2021
Author: Daniel Gala

On May 27, a judicial panel is scheduled to hear oral arguments over the creation of multidistrict litigation (MDL) that would centralize federal lawsuits filed by plaintiffs alleging that the pesticide Paraquat gave them Parkinson's disease, court document show.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) will consider a motion filed by plaintiff Paul Rakoczy requesting that 14 Paraquat cases across six different districts be transferred to the Northern District of California as part of a new MDL.

The cases herald from districts across the United States, including the Southern District of Illinois, the Eastern District of Missouri, the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, and the Western District of Wisconsin, in addition to the Northern District of California.

The lawsuits are based on a decades-old but still-growing body of evidence indicating that repeated exposure to Paraquat can cause the devastating neurodegenerative condition known as Parkinson's disease. While only 14 cases are listed in the JPML's Notice of Hearing, numerous other state and federal Paraquat cases already have been filed in the US, with many more expected to follow.

The health risks of Paraquat have long been known to science, and a number of countries and regional organizations—including Switzerland, China, and the European Union—already have banned its use. In 2019, a bill to ban Paraquat in the United States was introduced in the US House of Representatives, but it died before even getting a floor vote.

"[P]araquat shall be deemed to generally cause unreasonable adverse effects to humans in part due to its acute systemic toxicity and for being a known neurotoxin which causes Parkinson's disease," read the unpassed bill, HR 3817.

Regardless of whether or not the JPML grants the plaintiff's motion to establish a Paraquat MDL, the number of Paraquat-related lawsuits in the United States is expected to grow rapidly over the coming years as more evidence comes to light and, tragically, more individuals exposed to Paraquat develop Parkinson's disease.

If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after being repeatedly exposed to Paraquat, contact TheLawFirm.com now for a free legal consultation!

Sources:

Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). (15 April 2021). Notice of Hearing Session. In Re: Paraquat Products Liability Litigation. MDL No. 3004

United States House of Representatives. (17 July 2019). H.R. 3817 To cancel the registration of all uses of the pesticide paraquat, and for other purposes. 116th Congress. 1st Session

Paraquat Update

February 12, 2021
Author: Ben Adams

A new study in mice has revealed that when inhaled, the pesticide paraquat can enter the brain. The researchers also found that, in male mice only, paraquat exposure impaired sense of smell, an early sign of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Interestingly, Parkinson's is 1.5x more likely to present in men than women.

This study is important because inhalation represents the most realistic route of pesticide exposure for farmers but is often overlooked in basic animal research and risk assessments.

Paraquat was detected in four regions of the brain as well the lungs and kidney. Levels in the olfactory bulb were substantially higher than in any other brain region, consistent with inhalation exposure through the olfactory system. Even though paraquat levels in all tissues returned to control values within four weeks of the end of exposure exposed male mice had a persistent impaired sense of smell compared to controls. Exposure did not affect sense of smell in female mice.

This means that farmers, pesticide applicators, tank fillers/mixers, and the families living in and around farming communities are at increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

A 2011 study by the National Institute of Health the found that people exposed to Paraquat are approximately 2.5 times, or 250%, more likely to develop Parkinson's Disease. Parkinson's is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often in the form of tremors, stiffness, or loss of balance. Although certain medications can control the symptoms of Parkinson's, there is no cure.

Scientists now believe that environmental exposures like herbicides and pesticides are the leading cause of Parkinson's. In fact, in animal studies, Paraquat is used to induce Parkinson's disease so that scientists can study the disease.

What this means is that Paraquat is used by scientists to purposely give Parkinson’s disease to animals but farmers are still allowed to spray this pesticide! Unfortunately, the link between Paraquat and Parkinson's disease is still widely unknown to farmers and the public. Many farmers may be using the herbicide spray and putting their entire communities at risk simply because the dangers are not known by them.

Sources:

Niehs

Pubmed

Legal Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to be used as medical information or diagnosis. The sources of the information presented in the article have been researched and are linked within the article. Please seek out medical advice from a licensed medical professional if you are experiencing a problem with any of the drugs or devices mentioned in this article. 

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