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Judge Denies Defense Motions, Allows Most Paraquat Lawsuits to Advance

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  March 3, 2022   |  

Defendants’ Motions Denied in Paraquat Litigation

Paraquat Defense Motions DeniedA federal judge in southern Illinois has ruled that hundreds of paraquat lawsuits can proceed against Syngenta Corp. and Chevron USA, the major manufacturers and distributors of the herbicide (weed killer) in the United States.

Chief U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengel denied motions filed by Syngenta and Chevron, which asked that claims against them for product liability, negligence, breach of an implied warranty, and violation of consumer protection laws be dismissed.

This is a big win for hundreds of claimants who allege that they developed Parkinson’s disease after occupational exposure to paraquat and were not appropriately warned about the risks associated with the chemical.

IMPORTANT: If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat herbicide, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call 1-800-525-7111 for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced product liability attorney handling paraquat claims.

Paraquat Manufacturers Respond

Paraquat manufacturers continue to push back against claims that long-term exposure to paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease when used as directed. A statement on Syngenta’s website focuses on the company’s commitment to safety but does not seem to directly address claims about Parkinson’s, stating instead:

“We find it heartbreaking that people have been harmed through accidental or intentional ingestion of paraquat, and we empathize with the pain of those who have lost loved ones. We believe that society needs to address the root cause and focus on mental health issues, not deprive the world of important agricultural products.”

In response to paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuits brought against them, Syngenta and Chevron have filed motions to dismiss them, claiming that there isn’t evidence to support they failed to inform the public about an association between Paraquat and Parkinson’s. Their most recent attempts, as noted above, were rejected.

Global Response to Paraquat Claims

As more information about the risks of paraquat has been revealed, many countries have decided to severely restrict its use or ban it altogether. Currently, more than 24 independent nations have either banned or restricted the use of paraquat in commercial and residential agriculture. Most leaders agree that paraquat should only be used in commercial agriculture, deeming it too dangerous for residential use.

Notably, the United States has not banned paraquat. Instead, US authorities have imposed certain restrictions that only allow application of paraquat in commercial agriculture by certified paraquat applicators.

Unfortunately, issues like paraquat drift, overspray, and groundwater contamination continue to cause concern for people who live near commercial agriculture operations and fear that they may still be unintentionally exposed to paraquat.

What’s Next for Paraquat Lawsuits After Dismissal of Defendants’ Motions?

The plaintiffs in the cases against Syngenta and Chevron continue to claim that these manufacturers were aware of the studies demonstrating a link between occupational exposure to paraquat and an elevated risk of developing Parkinson’s, but they continually failed to warn users about said risks.

Since these discoveries, lawsuits have been filed alleging that Paraquat exposure has led to long-term health problems for people exposed to paraquat daily in their jobs or by proximity to commercial farming and that the manufacturers of paraquat have not taken the necessary steps to warn people of the long-term risks associated with exposure.

According to the Judicial Panel of Multidistrict Litigation, currently, there are more than 600 cases filed against the paraquat manufacturers, with more being added regularly.

Last year, plaintiffs moved to convert the multiple claims against Syngenta and Chevron into one multi-district litigation (MDL). Judge Nancy Rosenstengel is expected to preside over the first trial in November 2022, which will likely set a precedent for following cases against paraquat manufacturers — and may lead to a potential “global settlement” of Paraquat claims, possibly resulting in significant Paraquat lawsuit payouts for qualifying plaintiffs.

Do You Have a Paraquat Claim?

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat, please call 1-800-525-7111 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You may be entitled to compensation in a Paraquat lawsuit and we would love to help however we can.

We will review your claim, advise you on your available legal options, and if you decide to hire us, fight tirelessly for your right to justice and compensation. Please call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s review your case.

Justice Counts.