Paraquat Lawsuit Updates: What You Should Know About the Upcoming Trial

After some scientific research linked exposure to paraquat, a chemical compound used as an herbicide since the 1950s, to an elevated risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, multiple lawsuits have been filed alleging harm to individuals. One class action lawsuit already has thousands of plaintiffs, and there have been a number of paraquat lawsuit updates in the past few months that you should be aware of if you believe you or a loved one may be affected. 

What is Paraquat?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. Paraquat, also known as paraquat dichloride, is primarily used for weed and grass control and is a well-known weedkiller. 

In the U.S., paraquat is considered a restricted-use pesticide, meaning that applicators must be trained and certified in its use, according to Forbes. Licensed paraquat applicators have the highest risk for exposure, but there are other ways people can be exposed to the chemical compound – for instance, if you currently live or previously resided in an agricultural community where paraquat may have been used.

Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Reporting from Scientific American shows Parkinson’s disease and other neurological problems may result from pesticides and herbicides, including paraquat. 

Plus, “A 2011 study of data from the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) indicates that the use of paraquat is positively correlated with mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, which led to an increase in Parkinson’s disease among the surveyed group,” Forbes reported. 

Recent Paraquat Lawsuit Updates

A class action lawsuit alleging harm by paraquat added more than 200 plaintiffs per month in 2022, and by the end of the year, there were 2,352 plaintiffs involved. By the end of June 2023, the total number of pending claims in the multi-district litigation (MDL) had increased to 4,083.

In an Order issued in December 2022, Judge Nancy Rosenstengel, who is handling the multidistrict litigation, ruled that the opening trial is set for October 2023. In the meantime, people who may have potentially been impacted by exposure to paraquat continue to explore their legal options. 

The two main defendants in the trial, Chevron and Syngenta AG, filed for summary judgment in the MDL in June 2023, saying that the plaintiffs’ claims connecting paraquat to Parkinson’s disease are not supported by scientific evidence. The motion, if granted, would dismiss thousands of claims in the paraquat class action lawsuit, but such a development currently seems unlikely. 

Syngenta’s Paraquat ‘Swat Team’

Finally, in another recent paraquat update, The Guardian reported in early June 2023 that Syngenta attempted “to secretly influence scientific research regarding links between its top-selling weedkiller and Parkinson’s.” 

The outlet alleged that internal corporate documents revealed Syngenta created what officials called a “Swat team” to respond to independent scientific reports that could interfere with Syngenta’s ability to sell paraquat. The goal of the team was to “create an international scientific consensus against the hypothesis that paraquat is a risk factor for Parkinson’s disease,” the documents stated, according to The Guardian. 

In response to The Guardian’s reporting, a Syngenta spokesperson said: “We care deeply about the health and wellbeing of farmers and are dedicated to providing them safe and effective products. As a responsible company, we have spent millions of dollars on testing our products to make them safe for their intended use.”

The company further added that there had been more than 1,200 studies of paraquat and claimed none have “established a causal connection between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.”

Phillips Law Group Paraquat Claims

However, the first paraquat trial examining evidence of such a link is still moving forward. If you believe you or a loved one have a potential paraquat lawsuit claim, please get in touch with the team at Phillips Law Group to discuss your options. 

At Phillips, we believe product manufacturers that put people at risk for serious illnesses should be held accountable. We want to help protect others from dangerous products and help you or your loved one who may have been affected by paraquat exposure seek justice. 

You can give us a call or fill out the form on this page 24 hours a day, seven days a week to contact us and schedule a free consultation to discuss a potential paraquat lawsuit. As these paraquat lawsuit updates continue to develop, we may be able to help you determine if you have your own claim. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we may be able to help you or a loved one with a paraquat claim today!