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Paraquat Lawsuits

Paraquat lawsuits claim that long-term paraquat exposure causes Parkinson’s disease. Plaintiffs diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease say manufacturers failed to warn users about the risk. If you were exposed to paraquat and later developed Parkinson's disease, you may qualify for compensation.

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See If You Qualify for a Paraquat Lawsuit

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease after exposure to paraquat, you may be entitled to compensation. Get a free case review today.

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Last Modified: May 15, 2024
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Why Paraquat Lawsuits Are Being Filed

People exposed to paraquat who developed Parkinson’s disease filed lawsuits against Syngenta, Chevron and other defendants seeking compensation and holding corporations accountable for negligence.

Reasons to seek a paraquat lawyer and file a paraquat lawsuit include:
  • Compensation for Injuries. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and people with the disease will have to undergo treatment for the rest of their lives.
  • Hold Companies Accountable. People who filed paraquat lawsuits claim manufacturers knew the weed killer was toxic for years and that it could cause Parkinson’s disease. Despite this, they continued to sell it and concealed this information from plaintiffs and others.
  • Spread Awareness. Paraquat has been used in commercial farming and agriculture in the United States since the 1960s. Each year more people are exposed to it. Some people use it on the job, while others live near farms that use the toxic weed killer.

Parkinson’s disease can be debilitating. Filing a paraquat lawsuit may help secure compensation to pay for costly medical bills, lost wages and other expenses for past and future care. You may also receive compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering as well as loss of quality of life.

Paraquat Lawsuit Updates

As of May 2024, 5,590 paraquat lawsuits were pending, and a total of 6,509 cases were filed in Illinois federal court. The first bellwether trial, initially scheduled for July 2023, was pushed back to 2024 as the court considers admissible evidence and expert witnesses.

Paraquat updates and court proceedings include:
  • May 2024: The judge allowed plaintiffs an extension until June 10, 2024 to select 16 new potential bellwether cases for limited discovery.
  • April 2024: MDL judge Nancy Rosenstengel dismissed four bellwether test trial lawsuits after throwing out the testimony of the plaintiff’s key expert on general causation.
  • January 22, 2024: The MDL Court issued a case management order requiring depositions in 25 cases to be completed over the next two months. The order stated that Defendants had identified these cases using unlikely theories of liability, which linked the plaintiffs' illnesses to exposure to Paraquat.
  • November 28, 2023: According to ABC News, the manufacturer had been aware of concerns for decades, as shown by internal documents.
  • October 16, 2023: First jury trial delayed into 2024.
  • October 3, 2023: Final pretrial conference.
  • June 26, 2023: Hearing on summary judgment and Daubert motions.
  • April 21, 2023: Status conference.
  • April 17, 2023: Deadline for summary judgment and Daubert motions to be filed.

The majority of paraquat claims are in the Illinois MDL, but another large group of paraquat lawsuits formed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. A judge signed an order on March 31, 2023, allowing cases to proceed with a short-form complaint.

“Lawsuits have been filed in the state courts of California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Washington. The first state court trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 5, 2023, in California. An additional state court trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 8, 2024, in Florida,” according to Syngenta’s 2022 annual report.

Who Can File a Paraquat Lawsuit?

People who worked around paraquat or were exposed to paraquat regularly and later developed Parkinson’s disease may be eligible to file a paraquat lawsuit for compensation.

Most people exposed to paraquat work in commercial agriculture or live near commercial farms. Paraquat is a restricted-use herbicide. This means only licensed, trained applicators can use it, and it’s not licensed for home use.

Ellen Relkin, partner at Weitz & Luxenberg, discusses who can file Paraquat lawsuits.

Those who live near farms may be exposed through spray drift or contaminated water. People who live with licensed applicators may be exposed through contaminated clothing or equipment and by accompanying applicators to work sites.

People who may qualify to file paraquat lawsuits include:
  • Agricultural workers, including farmers, licensed paraquat applicators, growers, pickers and landscapers
  • People who live near farmland sprayed with paraquat
  • Anyone who works around commercial weed killers and pesticides

Contacting a paraquat lawyer is the only way to be sure you qualify. There are time limits to file a lawsuit, so you should contact a lawyer right away. Some types of paraquat exposure are more difficult to determine than others, but an experienced paraquat attorney can help prove your case.

Paraquat Lawsuit Examples

Most people who filed paraquat lawsuits said the weed killer led them to develop Parkinson’s disease, but some lawsuits include other injuries, such as kidney disease. Some of the earliest lawsuits were filed in 2016, according to Syngenta’s 2018 Financial Report.

As the number of lawsuits continued to grow, plaintiff’s lawyers petitioned the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate lawsuits before one federal court. These paraquat class-action suits and individual injury claims are now consolidated in Illinois federal court under Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel.

Paraquat lawsuit examples include:
  • Holliday et al. v. Syngenta et al.: Iowa farmer Doug Holliday filed a class-action lawsuit against Syngenta and Chevron USA on behalf of himself and others for putting people at increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and failing to warn them. Holliday had been spraying paraquat on thousands of acres of crop ground since the 1990s.
  • Adams v. Syngenta et al.: Missouri resident Robin Adams and her husband routinely sprayed paraquat products. She developed Parkinson’s disease after more than 15 years of paraquat exposure by pesticide drift, direct exposure and drinking water contamination.
  • Ratcliffe v. Syngenta et al.: Louisiana resident Thelma Ratcliffe filed a paraquat lawsuit on behalf of her deceased husband, Harvey, who died from complications of Parkinson’s disease after years of paraquat exposure.

In most cases, plaintiffs worked with paraquat for many years before receiving a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Some paraquat lawsuits are part of a paraquat class-action suit, while others are individual injury lawsuits.

Paraquat Lawsuit Settlements

Some experts think an average paraquat settlement amount could be between $100,000 and $500,000, depending on the severity of injuries. But this is just an estimate. The outcome of the first trial in October 2023 will provide more information for potential case values.

In June 2021, Syngenta and another defendant reached a settlement agreement with a few paraquat claimants for $187.5 million, according to Syngenta’s 2022 annual report. There haven’t been any other court-approved settlements since then.

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Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?

The same properties that make paraquat toxic to plants and animals are what cause Parkinson’s disease in humans, according to studies cited in each Parkinson’s disease paraquat lawsuit. Scientists think Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of neurons that produce dopamine in the brain.

Studies have shown paraquat creates oxidative stress that kills dopamine-producing neurons. The scientific community has known about paraquat’s oxidative stress qualities since the 1960s, according to lawsuits.

Ellen Relkin, partner at Weitz & Luxenberg, explains the link between Paraquat and Parkinson's disease.

Some people may confuse the herbicide Roundup with paraquat, but Roundup does not contain paraquat. Roundup’s active ingredient is glyphosate, a chemical that has been linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. People have filed Roundup lawsuits against Bayer and Monsanto that claim they hid the risks of the weed killer from the public.

Is Paraquat Banned in the United States?

Paraquat is not banned in the United States, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has restricted its use to licensed applicators. Because of its toxicity, some lawmakers and activists have fought to get it banned. So far, legislation to ban paraquat hasn’t been successful.

After reviewing more than 70 articles on paraquat exposure, the EPA concluded “there is insufficient evidence to link registered paraquat products to any of the health outcomes investigated, including Parkinson’s disease, when used according to the label.”

Questions to Ask a Paraquat Attorney

Do I qualify to file a paraquat lawsuit?
Simply being exposed to paraquat and developing Parkinson’s disease may not be enough to qualify to file a paraquat lawsuit. Make sure to tell your paraquat lawsuit attorney all the details of how you were exposed to paraquat.
How can I prove my paraquat exposure?
Proving paraquat exposure can be complicated. Many people were exposed over several years. Your paraquat lawsuit lawyer will tell you what documentation or evidence can help you prove your case, and they can help you find it.
What is the average paraquat lawsuit settlement amount?
An experienced paraquat lawsuit attorney will also have familiarity with similar cases. They may know what the average settlement amount is based on similar jury verdicts or other settlements.
How can a paraquat attorney help me file a lawsuit?
Filing a paraquat lawsuit is a complicated process. Ask any potential attorney about what they can do to make the litigation process easier for you and your family, and how much experience they have.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.