If you were exposed to Paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may be entitled to file a Paraquat lawsuit and get financial compensation. Our Paraquat lawyers are currently reviewing new lawsuits for victims of Parkinson’s disease in all 50 states.
This page explains the Paraquat class action litigation, how to join it, and gives the latest updates on the Paraquat class action lawsuit. Our lawyers project settlement amounts in this litigation so victims better understand what the compensation might be.
Our attorneys update this page regularly. Bookmark and come back to get the latest information on the Paraquat lawsuits. Come back for the latest news on Paraquat litigation.
PARAQUAT LAWSUIT UPDATES:
What Is Paraquat?
May 16, 2022 Update: The Paraquat lawsuit is growing at an increasing rate. There are now 1,153 claims pending in the Paraquat class action lawsuit. The first week of May 2022 saw 57 new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits added into the Paraquat MDL in Illinois, making it the highest number of new Paraquat lawsuits filed or transferred into the MDL in a single week. The second week of May saw another 35 new cases opened in the Paraquat MDL, the second highest weekly volume.
May 11, 2022 Update: Bayer suffered a loss in the Roundup cases yesterday that will have a huge impact on the Paraquat lawsuit. In the Roundup litigation, Bayer was pursuing an appeal to the Supreme Court arguing that Roundup cancer lawsuits were preempted by the federal law governing pesticides. So if Bayer won that appeal, the defendants in the Paraquat Parkinson's disease lawsuit could piggyback on that same argument and argued all Parquat claims should be preempted by federal law.
The Biden administration filed a brief yesterday urging the Court to reject this argument and stating that “approval of labeling that does not warn about chronic risks does not by itself preempt a state-law requirement.” The Supreme Court had asked the Biden administration for their opinion before deciding whether to consider the appeal. This should effectively end any hope Bayer had of winning this argument. This will take a big arrow out of the defendants' quiver in the Paraquat lawsuits. Paraquat is also a pesticide governed by the same federal law. If the SCOTUS rejects Bayer’s preemption argument, it will also preclude Chevron and Syngenta from pursuing the same legal argument in the Paraquat litigation.
May 6, 2022 Update: Victims want their Paraquat settlement money sooner rather than later. A key to that is keeping our trial date in November 2022. Trial dates in lawsuits like Paraquat are expected to lead to a large verdict that will drive settlement payouts or a settlement that will spawn other Paraquat settlements. So it is not good news that there is some reason to fear if that date will hold.
Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel suspended the May 16, 2022 deadline to complete fact discovery and medical examinations for the Paraquat lawsuit slated for full workup for trial. The judge is likely frustrated/annoyed that the defendants have named 16 additional fact witnesses and plaintiffs' Paraquat lawyers have named 121 more fact witnesses, many of whom have not been identified by name.
Hopefully, the parties can find a path to get done what needs to get done to get at least one case ready for a November 15, 2022. trial.
May 2, 2022 Update: The MDL judge in the Paraquat class action lawsuit has selected a group of six Paraquat lawsuits for the opening round of bellwether trials that are scheduled for the start of fall. The parties had previously picked a group of sixteen Paraquat claims. The attorneys began some limited pre-trial fact discovery to learn more about the specifics of these claims. Then lawyers for each side gave the judge a list ranking the sixteen cases in order of which they would prefer as bellwether trials. The judge then picked out six cases from this group of sixteen. Lawyers are now vigorously conducting fact and expert pre-trial discovery to prepare these cases for trial.
April 14, 2022 Update: In the last two weeks, 44 new Paraquat lawsuits have been transferred into the MDL. At this rate, April 2022 would have the highest volume month yet for new filings. The parties submitted their class action bellwether selections to the Paraquat MDL judge last week. But those selections have not been made public.
April 1, 2022 Update: The monthly status conference in the Paraquat MDL will be held today, April 1, 2022, before Judge Nancy Rosenstengel. The agenda will include an update on the size of the litigation with a summary of new cases added to the MDL over the last month. The details regarding the upcoming bellwether trial selection process will also be up for discussion with Judge Rosenstengel.
March 21, 2022 Update: The Paraquat Parkinson's disease class action lawsuit continues to press forward. A pool of 16 cases has been identified for the first round of bellwether trials (8 plaintiff selections and 8 defense picks). Fact discovery in these initial class action bellwether lawsuits will be concluded by the end of this month. Last week, the MDL Judge issued an order giving the parties until April 8, 2022, to submit a preference ranking of their 5 case selections to assist the court in scheduling the opening trials.
March 16, 2022 Update: There are now 875 Paraquat lawsuits in the MDL class action. This pesticide litigation has a much lower volume of victims than the Roundup lawsuits. This is relevant because fewer plaintiffs may ultimately mean higher Paraquat settlement amounts for victims. Why? It is easier for defendants like Chevron and Syngenta to offer reasonable individual settlement compensation payouts to victims when the overall settlement payout does not overwhelm the company's balance sheet.
March 3, 2022 Update: The judge in the Paraquat class action lawsuits ruled on several motions to dismiss previously filed by the defendants. Judge Rosenstengel ruled that the plaintiffs’ public nuisance and Minnesota consumer protection were not valid and properly dismissed. That is no big deal. The remainder of the claims being asserted by the plaintiffs in the Paraquat exposure lawsuit is allowed to move forward. Notably, Paraquat plaintiffs won on the statute of limitations/statute of repose issues that worried some Paraquat lawyers.
This clears the way for the opening round of bellwether trials in the MDL in 10 months. The first Paraquat lawsuit will go to trial on November 15, 2022. Pretrial discovery is going well for plaintiffs. So there is a strong possibility the defendants will offer reasonable settlements for Parkinson's disease plaintiffs before that first trial.
February 10, 2022 Update: As the Paraquat class action continues to grow, the MDL judge handed the plaintiffs' Paraquat lawyers a victory Tuesday in a minor discovery battle. The plaintiffs' lawyers were seeking transcripts of depositions from Syngenta corporate witnesses from a prior case in Illinois state court. The defense attorneys' objected based on privilege, which is a truly ridiculous argument. Yesterday, Judge Rosenstengel rejected the argument and ordered that the transcripts be produced.
It is a minor victory because it was expected. But, as our lawyers discuss below, the speculation is that the confidential settlement amounts in the Parkinson's disease Paraquat lawsuits in Illinois state court were very high. If this is correct, getting all the pretrial discoveries in that those pesticide claims may go a long way to large payouts for victims in the MDL class action.
February 4, 2022 Update: Over a dozen new paraquat lawsuits were filed yesterday in the Southern District of Illinois by plaintiffs who developed Parkinson’s disease from occupational Paraquat exposure. The complaints name Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, Syngenta AG, and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. as defendants and assert the same general causes of action seen in previous paraquat cases (e.g., negligence and strict liability based on failure to warn). Paraquat lawyers have different ideas as to whether state court or federal court is the most advantageous venue for victims of this pesticide.
February 1, 2022 Update: A group of 16 cases in the Paraquat class action was selected for the first round of bellwether test trials which will begin in November of this year. Eight of the cases were selected by the plaintiffs and eight were picked by the defense. Four out of the 16 will be picked for a trial. The MDL class action judge in this herbicide lawsuit ordered that all discovery be completed by June 17. So the lawyers have some work to do. Fact discovery is now fully underway in these 16 bellwether discovery cases and plaintiff depositions are being taken over the next few weeks.
January 21, 2022 Update: There are now 589 Paraquat lawsuits in the MDL. That is up 107 since December, underscoring the increased pace of the Paraquat litigation.
A motion to dismiss was filed by the defense last month arguing that certain cases were time-barred under the applicable statute of limitations. Plaintiffs filed an opposition to that motion arguing that the applicable limitations period was extended by the concealment of the dangers of Paraquat. This week, the MDL judge set a deadline of Monday, January 10, 2022, for the defendants to submit replies in support of their motion.
January 15, 2022 Update: Syngenta and Chevron settled a Paraquat lawsuit last year for a dozen or so plaintiffs with Parkinson's Disease in Hoffmann v. Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC. The settlement amount was confidential. But the word on the street is that there were large settlement amounts for the plaintiffs. Syngenta and Chevron desperately want to keep the amount of that Paraquat settlement and the testimony in those weed killer lawsuits confidential. So these defendants have withheld some deposition transcripts in the class action. Plaintiffs' Paraquat lawyers are seeking relief from the court to order the defendants to produce these depositions.
December 20, 2021 Update: A few weeks ago, the Parkinson's disease Paraquat MDL class action judge issued a case management order. This order set key protocols and procedures for the selection of the first pool of potential bellwether trial cases. Every judge in an MDL class action lawsuit does it differently. For the Paraquat lawsuits, an initial pool of 16 bellwether Zantac lawsuits will have eight cases picked by plaintiffs’ lawyers and eight lawsuits selected by the defense lawyers. The Paraquat cases chosen must meet specific eligibility criteria to be selected.
Paraquat lawyers will have until March 31, 2022, to conduct fact discovery in the cases. This involves interrogatories, depositions, the production of documents, and other pre-trial discovery.
Based on the results of that fact discovery process, each side will get to strike two Paraquat lawsuits from the pool. The remaining lawsuits will then engage in expert discovery. This involves the medical doctor who will testify as to whether the victim's Paraquat exposure caused Parkinson's disease. The twelve remaining claims will be scheduled for the opening round of bellwether Paraquat trials beginning March 2023.
Getting a trial date in the Paraquat Parkinson's class action is key to pushing the defendant to offer reasonable settlement amounts to resolve these claims.
December 4, 2021 Update: There are now 319 lawsuits pending in the Paraquat MDL. The MDL class action judge recently issued an order requiring all incoming Paraquat plaintiffs to complete a Plaintiff's Assessment Questionnaire (PAQ). The PAQ is like a preliminary discovery request that requires each plaintiff who alleges Parkinson's disease from Paraquat exposure to provide certain documents and answer a series of questions regarding their work and medical history and detailing their alleged exposure to Paraquat.]
November 11, 2021 Update: Plaintiffs' lawyers owe the court a response to the Defendants' motions to dismiss that argues some cases filed in the Paraquat class action are time-barred because of the statutes of limitation and arguments that some of the Parkinson's disease lawsuits fail to adequately state a claim. The plaintiffs' attorneys' response was due on December 13, 2021. Our Paraquat lawyers would be surprised if the court dismissed any of the individual lawsuits in the Paraquat class action.
October 1, 2021 Update: Our Paraquat lawyers have two new updates of interest.
First, despite calls to ban the use of paraquat in the U.S., in July the EPA re-approved the controversial herbicide for use by licensed farmers. In September 2021, a collection of public interest groups filed a petition in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking to overturn the EPA’s decision. If the petition is successful, there could be a Paraquat ban or even a Paraquat recall in the U.S.
A French research study was published in September 2021 which found that paraquat exposure in pregnant women can cause a type of prenatal neurodevelopmental toxicity that is very similar to Parkinson’s Disease. This is the first study to link paraquat exposure to prenatal health defects. This could become a big deal in the Paraquat lawsuits if children are also victims.]
Defendants timely filed motions to dismiss, arguing that many cases in this MDL are partially or fully time-barred by statutes of limitation and repose, that the public nuisance claims filed by some Plaintiffs fail to state a claim, and that Plaintiffs’ warranty and consumer protection claims must be dismissed for a variety of reasons specific to state law.
August 19, 2021 Update: Last month, MDL class action District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel held an initial conference with the plaintiff and defense counsels. She announced that she would set a schedule that will timely ensure that these Paraquat lawsuits go to trial. The court anticipates that the first Paraquat/Parkinson's Disease bellwether jury trial will begin on November 15, 2022. It also scheduled the final pretrial conference for October 27, 2022.
This may not feel like soon to victims who are eager for a settlement. But for plaintiffs' Paraquat lawyers, it is good news to get a trial date because it is the first big step towards getting victims the settlement compensation amount they deserve.
Paraquat (paraquat dichloride) is an extremely toxic chemical that is used to kill weeds, grass, and other unwanted vegetation. Despite being banned in many countries, Paraquat is one of the most widely used industrial herbicides in the world.
Paraquat is legal in the U.S., but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), classifies it as a “restricted use” chemical. This means that Paraquat can only be bought and used by commercially licensed users (mostly commercial farmers).
The Paraquat herbicide has been around since the early 1960s. The use of Paraquat has rapidly increased over the last 20 years because weeds have become resistant to other products. According to the EPA, Paraquat is currently the most commonly used type of restricted use herbicide in the U.S. Paraquat comes in liquid form and is sprayed onto crops in a variety of ways. Paraquat has a bright blue color and a distinctive odor.
Paraquat herbicides are manufactured and sold under several different brand or product trade names. Gramoxone is the most common trade name for Paraquat. Gramoxone is manufactured by Syngenta, a global agrochemical company based in Switzerland.
The Paraquat lawsuit is reminiscent of the Roundup cancer lawsuit, a very successful litigation for victims. (Eerily, they both have similarities to Agent Orange.) They are both used as non-selective herbicides. With Roundup, the injury is not Parkinson's disease but cancer.
These products contain Paraquat:
- Paraquat Concentrate
- Helmquat 3SL
- Cyclone SL 2.0
- Para-Shot 3.0
Paraquat is an extremely toxic chemical that is highly poisonous if ingested. Paraquat has been used commercially in the U.S. since 1964. The health risks associated with Paraquat - most notably the risk that exposure causes Parkinson's disease - have led 32 countries to ban the chemical completely.
How toxic is Paraquat? In 2022, we are told just about everything is toxic. So let's put Paraquat's toxicity in context. If you take one sip of Paraquat, it will kill you 70% of the time. That tells you a lot.
So what other harm can this toxic chemical cause? Over the last 12 years, a growing body of scientific research has established that normal occupational exposure to Paraquat can cause Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurologic disorder in which deterioration of certain cells in the brain gradually impairs the brain's ability to control motor functions in the body. Symptoms of Parkinson’s include impaired movement, tremors, lack of balance, and muscle stiffness.
As one of the defendants, Chevron, readily admits, there are over 1,000 articles in the medical literature discussing Paraquat's toxicity on animals and humans. The Parkinson's disease link came later. One of the first studies showing a link between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s Disease was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2009.
The study found that individuals who lived within 1600 feet of areas where Paraquat was regularly sprayed had a heightened risk of Parkinson’s Disease. The results of a more comprehensive study were published in 2011. This study concluded that there was a “strong association” between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease.
These first two studies faced sharp criticism over study techniques and reliability because they were not “controlled” studies. In 2014, however, these doubts were put to rest when the results of five separate case-controlled studies were published in the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology.
These studies confirmed that exposure to Paraquat resulted in a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease. This eventually prompted the EPA to announce in 2016 that it was conducting its safety review of Paraquat.
On March 24, 2021, Greenpeace published “The Paraquat Papers.” This piece details the history of attempts by Syngenta and its predecessor, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), to conceal Gramoxone’s risks from the public. Allegedly, ICI claimed to have added the emetic PP796 in Paraquat products to prevent fatal poisoning.
Despite this claim, internal company documents revealed that it failed to do this. It also revealed that the company knew of this problem. ICI continued to publicly assert the emetic’s effectiveness. Additional documents suggest that it mischaracterized the addition of PP796 to keep Gramoxone on the market.
Jon Heylings, a former Syngenta toxicologist, also reported on the low PP796 levels in Gramoxone. He warned that the emetic levels were not enough to induce vomiting in individuals that swallowed the “minimal lethal dose.”
Heylings claimed that a former toxicologist for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Syngenta’s predecessors, manipulated data to incorrectly suggest that humans were ten times as sensitive to PP796 than the other three animals that researchers used in tests.
He reported these issues to his superiors in several memos. Heylings argued that the former toxicologist’s data “misled” the business. He advised that higher PP796 doses would reduce the paraquat poisoning fatality rate.
Nonetheless, ICI ignored Heylings’ concerns. The PP796 levels in Gramoxone became the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization’s standard for paraquat-based weed killers.
A watershed moment in the Paraquat litigation might be when Heylings gives his deposition in the soon-to-be MDL Paraquat class action lawsuit.
- PP796 and Paraquat: the accidental swallowing of Paraquat is a whole different issue but it may have caused the deaths of thousands of people worldwide
- Paraquat mice study on inhaling Paraquat and the loss of smell which underscores the toxicity with limited exposures
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of the brain that alters the central nervous system's ability to control movement. This can lead to motor symptoms such as tremors, slowed movement, freezing of gait, slurred voice, poor balance, muscle spasms, and stooped posture.
Unfortunately, we do not have a cure for Parkinson's disease to slow or stop the progression of this insidious disease. There are medications to relieve the symptoms. But many have side effects that cause more disruption than the disease.
Paraquat is believed to cause Parkinson's disease because it causes oxidative stress. Paraquat kills plants by creating oxidative stress that causes the degeneration and death of plant cells.
Scientists know that oxidative stress causes the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (“SNpc”) in the human brain. This impacts dopamine production. Dopamine is the chemical that transmits motor signals from the brain throughout the body.
So the same oxidation stress that makes Paraquat toxic to plant cells also makes Paraquat toxic to nerve dopaminergic neurons. So it makes sense that Paraquat exposure would increase the risk of Parkinson's disease.Paraquat Lawsuit
The link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease may have been known to manufacturers for years, but it was never publicly disclosed. This means that companies who manufactured and sold Paraquat can be held liable for selling a dangerous product without proper warnings. There are also Paraquat drifter lawsuits for victims who lived near farms and were exposed to high levels of Paraquat.
Individuals who used or were exposed to Paraquat and subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson’s may be entitled to significant financial compensation. As we discuss below, our lawyers think the settlement amount in the Paraquat lawsuits will be high.
The first Parkinson's disease Paraquat lawsuit was filed in Missouri in 2017 against Syngenta, the Swiss-headquartered, Chinese-owned agrochemical company that now makes the drug, and Growmark (another company that makes Paraquat products).
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit included farm owners and agricultural laborers who either applied Paraquat or worked on farms where Paraquat was used and later developed Parkinson’s disease. Several other similar Paraquat weed killer lawsuits have been filed in other states since then.
There is now a Paraquat class action MDL. This means all Parkinson's disease lawsuits in federal court will be consolidated under one judge in what is called an MDL.
As our Paraquat lawyers talk about in the update above, there will be a trial in November 2022. A year away from that trial, attorneys on both sides are in the discovery phase of the Paraquat litigation. The judge in a July 14th Case Management Order announced that Randi S. Ellis will be the special master for this MDL. Ms. Ellis will work with both plaintiffs’ lead Paraquat attorneys and defense lawyers to set a schedule for motions and discovery. She will also work on establishing discovery protocols, a plaintiffs’ database, and a procedure for selecting which plaintiffs’ Paraquat lawsuit goes to trial first.
If a class action MDL is created for the Paraquat Parkinson's lawsuits, it will probably lead to some type of global settlement in which all Parkinson's disease plaintiffs receive an agreed-upon settlement payout.
The first Paraquat trial is six months away. There have not been any settlements yet outside of the Illinois lawsuits our lawyers discussed above.
Based on settlements in prior cases involving similar claims and injuries - and, frankly, the speculation about the settlement amounts in the Illinois lawsuits - our lawyers believe a Paraquat lawsuit settlement in the highest settlement tier could yield a compensation payout between $250,000 and $600,000 (our attorneys increased our projected Paraquat settlement compensation amounts in 2022 - twice - based on what we have seen and from talking to other Paraquat lawyers because the cases are going very well). Almost certainly, there will be settlements above that range.
Our Paraquat lawyers have revised our expected average settlement amounts as this litigation has progressed. These are very good cases for the plaintiffs with what our attorneys believe have a high probability of a successful settlement or jury payout.
As of May 2022, there were almost 1,000 Paraquat Parkinson's disease lawsuits pending in federal courts and approximately another 70 or so in state courts. The number of claims may double over the next year. Our law firm is increasingly getting calls from victims who had Paraquat exposure and have now developed Parkinson's disease.
In the U.S., Paraquat is only legal for use by licensed applicators (commercial farmers). This means that you would only be exposed to Paraquat if you worked on a farm or if you lived near a farm where the herbicide Paraquat was applied.
The central defendants in the Parkinson's disease lawsuits have been Syngenta (a Swiss agrichemical company) and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. Syngenta is the current manufacturer of paraquat and Chevron Phillips makes and sells Gramoxone (which contains paraquat) in the U.S.
Paraquat is widely used on soy, corn, and cotton. It is used on commercial farms in the U.S. to control invasive weeds and grasses in fruit and vegetable fields. It is a strong herbicide that inhibits photosynthesis. This destroys cell membranes.
Paraquat is sold in the U.S. under the brand name Gramoxone. Paraquat is also sold under less common brand names such as Parazone, Para-Shot, and Quick-Quat.
Yes. Although Paraquat has been outlawed in over 30 countries (including the European Union) it remains legal in the U.S. but can only be purchased by licensed applicators (commercial farmers). The reason Paraquat is still legal is that it is an effective herbicide for agriculture production in the U.S., particularly on certain crops such as soy and corn. But if the price is Parkinson's disease, we can all agree the price is too high.
If Paraquat develops like most class actions in the MDL, there is little for victims to do except having a lawyer file a Paraquat lawsuit for you and wait and hope these Parkinson's disease lawsuits yield a global settlement amount. When you bring a Paraquat lawsuit, you do have to fill out some paperwork. For many, your efforts will be limited to this questionnaire. Otherwise, there is not much for victims need to do except let the Paraquat lawyers fight for a fair settlement.Example Paraquat Lawsuit
Let's talk about a recent Paraquat lawsuit that is somewhat typical.
David Culpepper of Calhoun County, Florida, became one of the most recent plaintiffs to join the ongoing Paraquat litigation. Culpepper filed a Paraquat product liability lawsuit against Syngenta and Chevron on December 2, 2021. Culpepper opted to file his Parquat lawsuit directly in the Parkinson's class action MDL in the Southern District of Illinois rather than filing in Florida and having the case transferred into the MDL.
Culpepper alleges that he was occupationally exposed to Paraquat when he worked as a farmer in Calhoun County, FL from the 1970s to the 1980s. During these ten years as a farmer, Culpepper alleges that he experienced regular and direct Paraquat exposure when he mixed and applied it to crops and from direct contact with sprayed plants. In addition to his 10 years of occupational exposure, Culpepper alleges that he has lived on the property since 1956 that is surrounded by farms where Paraquat is used.
Culpepper was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in September 2019. His lawsuit alleges that he developed Parkinson’s disease as a direct result of his prolonged exposure to Paraquat. Culpepper’s Paraquat Parkinson's lawsuit asserts that the defendants knew or should have known that Paraquat was toxic and could cause severe neurological injuries.
Culpepper’s Paraquat suit asserts causes of action for failure to warn, defective design, general negligence, breach of warranty, and punitive damages.Contact Us to File Your Paraquat Lawsuit
One million Americans have Parkinson's disease. If even 10% of these Parkinson's cases are from Paraquat, that is 100,000 possible plaintiffs. Given the severity of Parkinson's disease, this has the potential to be one of the largest MDL class action lawsuits in history.
The product liability attorneys at Miller & Zois are currently seeking new Paraquat cases. If you used or were exposed to Paraquat and you have been formally diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, you may have a valid Paraquat lawsuit.
Contact a Paraquat lawyer today to see if you qualify for a Paraquat Parkinson's lawsuit. You can reach us at 800-553-8082. You can also contact us online or text us with your questions at 410-835-4103. A Paraquat attorney monitors text messages nearly 24 hours a day.