Paraquat Lawsuit | Parkinson’s Disease Attorneys

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Attorney Jessie Paluch, founder of TruLaw, has over 25 years of experience as a personal injury and mass tort attorney, and previously worked as an international tax attorney at Deloitte. Jessie collaborates with attorneys nationwide — enabling her to share reliable, up-to-date legal information with our readers.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and legal experts at TruLaw and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Jessie Paluch, you can do so here.

TruLaw does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us by using the chat on the bottom of this page. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Paraquat Lawsuit | Parkinson’s Disease Attorneys

Paraquat, the toxic pesticide widely used on crops throughout the United States, is under the microscope for its potential link to Parkinson’s disease.

Paraquat-Lawsuit-Farmers-Spraying-Pesticide

With the growing body of research showing that Paraquat could lead to the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disease — why is the United States still using this pesticide on hundreds of our crops?

Table of Contents

Lawsuit Updates

  • May 2024 Updates:

    May 24, 2024

    The Paraquat litigation is ongoing, and TorHoerman Law is currently accepting new cases related to Paraquat exposure.

    Paraquat, a widely-used herbicide, has been linked to significant health issues, including Parkinson’s disease. It ranks among the most extensively employed weed-control agents globally.

    In the United States, farmers apply Paraquat not only for weed management before crop cultivation but also to desiccate crops prior to harvest. Its use spans various agricultural settings including orchards, wheat fields, grazing pastures, cotton fields, and more.

    Manufacturers like Syngenta are facing allegations that they did not adequately warn users about the grave health risks of Paraquat, despite longstanding evidence of its potential to cause neurodegenerative diseases.

    Paraquat is said to trigger oxidative stress that can damage essential brain cells involved in motor control.

    This damage predominantly affects dopamine-producing neurons, which can lead to symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremors and rigidity.

    Compensation in the Paraquat litigation could range from $20,000 to over $1,000,000 per claimant, depending on individual cases and the overall progression of the lawsuit.

    If you or someone close to you has experienced health issues from Paraquat exposure, possibly developing Parkinson’s Disease or other severe conditions, you might be eligible to participate in a Paraquat lawsuit.

    Additionally, you can use the chatbot on this page to instantly determine if you qualify for a Paraquat lawsuit.

    May 1, 2024

    The Paraquat lawsuit remains ongoing, with a significant number of cases currently pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL).

    As per the latest filings from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), there are 5,590 Paraquat lawsuits awaiting resolution.

    Within the past month alone, 225 new lawsuits have been added to the MDL.

    Plaintiffs allege that Paraquat, a commonly used herbicide known for its efficacy in controlling resistant weeds and grass, is associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease.

    Despite its widespread use, concerns over Paraquat’s neurotoxic properties have led to numerous legal actions against its manufacturer, Syngenta.

    Plaintiffs argue that Syngenta failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential risk of Parkinson’s disease.

    In California, legislators are advocating for a ban on Paraquat, citing its significant threat to public health and the environment.

    They contend that Paraquat is fueling a Parkinson’s epidemic, highlighting the herbicide’s high potential for causing injury and death.

    If you or a loved one have been exposed to Paraquat and subsequently developed Parkinson’s disease, you may be entitled to pursue legal action and seek compensation.

    We offer free consultations to discuss your options. 

    Additionally, our website features a chatbot to help determine your eligibility for filing a Paraquat lawsuit promptly.

  • April 2024 Updates:

    The Paraquat Lawsuit continues to unfold.

    In a notable turn of events within the Paraquat Products Liability Litigation, U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel has dismissed the initial group of bellwether trials.

    This decision, which rejected the plaintiffs’ expert testimony, followed an exhaustive evaluation by Judge Rosenstengel, who oversees the multidistrict litigation that involves allegations linking Paraquat exposure to Parkinson’s disease.

    The pivotal cases, having completed the fact and expert discovery stages, relied significantly on the testimony of Cornell University Professor Martin Wells.

    Judge Rosenstengel ruled out his testimony, critiquing it for lacking a credible basis and not adhering to the scientific consensus, which refutes the assertion that Paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease.

    This decision directly affects numerous plaintiffs who claimed that their exposure to Paraquat, marketed as Gramoxone in the U.S. by Syngenta and previously by Chevron until the 1980s, led to them developing the disease.

    Despite being prohibited or restricted in several countries due to its toxicity, Paraquat is still extensively used in the United States.

    The lead attorneys for the plaintiffs, representing over 5,000 pending cases, have declared their plan to appeal and to select new cases for trial.

    They continue to argue that a significant amount of research backs their claims about the dangers of Paraquat and its health implications.

    Both Syngenta and Chevron assert that Paraquat does not cause Parkinson’s disease.

    This crucial ruling not only influences the immediate cases but also establishes an important precedent for the remaining claims in this extensive litigation.

    Our law firm remains open to new clients for the Paraquat Lawsuit. 

    Contact us for a complimentary consultation, or utilize the chatbot on this page to instantly determine if you qualify for the Paraquat Lawsuit

  • April 2024 Updates:

    The Paraquat Lawsuit is still active.

    California is on the brink of implementing a ban on the herbicide Paraquat, a substance associated with significant health hazards, including Parkinson’s disease, childhood leukemia, and respiratory issues.

    A study in central California has shown that residents living within a third of a mile from areas where Paraquat is applied have double the likelihood of developing Parkinson’s disease.

    Although over 60 countries, including those in the EU, have prohibited Paraquat, it continues to be extensively used in the U.S., particularly in California, which is a prominent producer of crops like almonds, grapes, and pistachios.

    Research by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) indicates that low-income Latino communities in California, heavily exposed to Paraquat on nearby croplands, face substantial health risks. Despite its dangers, the herbicide remains approved for use in the U.S.

    Paraquat usage is predominantly concentrated in five counties with high poverty rates and predominantly Latino populations.

    Legislation is underway to phase out all Paraquat usage by January 2026.

    If you have been exposed to Paraquat and have developed Parkinson’s Disease or other health issues as a result, you might be eligible to participate in the Paraquat Lawsuit.

    For a free consultation or use the chatbot on this page to instantly determine if you qualify for the Paraquat Lawsuit.

  • April 2024 Updates:

    The litigation concerning Paraquat and its alleged link to Parkinson’s Disease is actively ongoing. 

    Current records from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) show a total of 5,365 pending Paraquat Lawsuits, indicating a growth with an addition of nearly fifty cases since the 5,318 reported as of March 1st.

    The increment reflects the increasing number of people coming forward to file lawsuits against Paraquat producers, attributing their health complications to exposure to this widely used herbicidal agent.

    Paraquat, a chemical employed predominantly for the management of weeds and grass in agricultural settings, has faced scrutiny and legal challenges due to suspected links to severe health risks, including Parkinson’s disease among other conditions.

    The plaintiffs in Paraquat Lawsuits typically encompass individuals from the agricultural sector, including workers and farmers, who allege that their health issues stem from working with or around Paraquat.

    For individuals or family members affected by Paraquat exposure, TorHoerman Law provides complimentary consultations.

    Assessing eligibility for joining in the Paraquat Lawsuit is straightforward with the help of our chatbot on this webpage or by reaching out to us directly for guidance.

  • March 2024 Updates:

    The Paraquat Lawsuit is ongoing.

    241 new cases were added to the Paraquat MDL in February, as per the latest data from the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).

    Initially, on February 1st, the JPML recorded 5,077 cases, which escalated to 5,318 by March 1st. 

    This lawsuit centers around the allegations against the use of Paraquat, a herbicide linked to severe health risks, including Parkinson’s disease.

    The chemical composition of Paraquat is highly toxic, with a lethal dose as low as 2.5 grams, and it’s associated with increased risks of kidney, heart, and liver failure, as well as lung scarring.

    Victims exposed to Paraquat and subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease are pursuing legal action against the herbicide’s manufacturers, including Syngenta, Chevron, and Growmark.

    These companies face accusations of negligence and failing to adequately inform consumers about the dangers and potential side effects of Paraquat exposure.

    Individuals impacted by Parkinson’s disease following Paraquat exposure are encouraged to explore their legal options.

    TruLaw Law offers free consultations for those who believe they may be eligible to join the Paraquat Lawsuit, with immediate assistance available through the ChatBot on this page. 

  • February 2024 Updates:

    February 19th, 2024:

    Chief U.S. District Judge Nancy Rosenstengel has recently appointed nine new plaintiffs, in the Paraquat Dichloride MDL, to replace those in previous claims that have been dismissed due to concerns over their validity.

    The litigation currently encompasses over 5,000 claims, consolidated from various federal jurisdictions.

    The herbicide is known for its negative neurological effects.

    Judge Rosenstengel initially identified six plaintiffs for early trial phases, aiming to set precedent for subsequent cases.

    However, challenges such as unconvincing liability theories and evidentiary issues have led to the dismissal of several claims.

    Judge Rosenstengel has set a crucial deadline for the completion of dispositions and third-party discovery processes, specfically focusing on distinguishing claims that lack a direct correlation to Paraquat exposure.

    Special Master Randi Ellis is tasked with overseeing document requests and third-party depositions.

    This includes obtaining subpoenas for retail purchase records and affidavits from supervisors verifying the plaintiffs’ exposure to Paraquat.

    In taking a meticulous approach to ensure claim validity, the court has not yet finalized a trial schedule.

  • February 2024 Updates:

    February 6th, 2024:

    The pace of new cases in the Paraquat class action MDL has notably slowed. In January, only 26 new cases were added, following a trend of decreasing additions over the past two years. The total number of pending cases has now reached 5,077.

  • January 2024 Updates:

    January 23, 2024:

    The Court addressed concerns regarding implausible theories of liability in paraquat exposure cases through Case Management Order No. 18 (CMO 18). The order identified 25 cases with questionable claims and mandated limited discovery to assess their viability. This initiative aims to streamline the docket by addressing cases lacking substantial evidence.

    January 4th, 2024:

    The Paraquat MDL now encompasses over 5,000 pending cases. However, the past month has seen a notable decrease in case volume, with only 86 new cases added. This marks the lowest monthly case volume in more than two years, and it is the second consecutive month with unusually low activity.

    The final week of 2023 proved to be a sluggish period for the Paraquat class action MDL docket. A total of twelve new cases were directly filed within the MDL, and an additional ten cases were transferred in from other districts.

  • December 2023 Updates:

    December 1st, 2023:

    In the past month, an additional 200 cases have been included in the Paraquat class action MDL, bringing the total number of pending cases to 4,986. This increase indicates that the decline in new case filings observed last month was likely an anomaly.

  • November 2023 Updates:

    November 1st, 2023:

    Dr. Douglas Weed is seeking to quash a subpoena from the plaintiffs’ attorneys, which is related to his article on paraquat’s potential link to Parkinson’s disease. In his article, titled “Does paraquat cause Parkinson’s disease? A review of reviews,” published in the journal NeuroToxicology in September 2021, he concludes that there is a scientific consensus that paraquat does not cause Parkinson’s disease.

    Dr. Weed argues that he has no direct involvement in the case and contends that the extensive document requests are overly burdensome, relate to ongoing research, and exceed the geographical limits defined by Rule 45.

    The plaintiffs’ attorneys are interested in understanding how he reached this conclusion, particularly in regard to his funding disclosure, which lacks a specific grant for the article. They have until the end of this week to respond to the motion.

  • October 2023 Updates:

    October 17th, 2023:

    The Paraquat class action MDL has rapidly expanded in the past two years, with an average of 300 new cases per month and a significant surge of over 1,000 new cases added in July and August. However, only 30 new Paraquat cases were added in September, marking a considerable drop and potentially signaling a changing trend for the MDL.

    October 2nd, 2023:

    The start of the first Paraquat bellwether case in October has been delayed, casting uncertainty over the future of Paraquat lawsuits. The awaited decision on Daubert challenges, known for their complexity and length, could potentially extend the wait until 2024.

  • September 2023 Updates:

    September 27, 2023:

    In the Paraquat class action MDL, the final supplement Daubert briefs have been submitted, and a ruling is now pending. Judge Rosenstengel postponed the initial bellwether trial last month to allow more time for reviewing Daubert motions, following a week of hearings.

    This extended deliberation by Judge Rosenstengel raises concerns among plaintiffs, as it implies a potential ruling that could exclude plaintiffs’ experts and potentially conclude the MDL.

    September 18, 2023:

    The Paraquat class action MDL has seen a significant increase with over 1,000 new cases added since Memorial Day. The total number of plaintiffs in the Paraquat MDL has now surpassed 4,700, solidifying its position as one of the largest mass tort cases currently ongoing.

    September 6, 2023:

    Judge Nancy Rosenstengel has decided to postpone the upcoming Paraquat bellwether trial, which was originally scheduled for October. The reason for this delay is to allow her more time to consider the matters related to the Daubert hearings.

    In the context of Multidistrict Litigations (MDLs), a bellwether trial serves as an initial trial that helps establish how other similar cases will be handled. A Daubert hearing involves a dispute between the plaintiff and defendant, overseen by the judge, to determine the admissibility and scope of expert testimony in court.

    Judge Rosenstengel has requested both parties to submit additional briefs regarding the Daubert hearings and any issues that have arisen during these proceedings. This additional information will aid her in making informed decisions regarding the trial.

    September 1, 2023:

    Commencing on August 20, the Daubert proceeding involving an epidemiologist is underway. Dr. Martin Wells, who has previously asserted a notable link between paraquat and the development of Parkinson’s disease, is undergoing evaluation by Judge Nancy Rosenstengel to determine the admissibility of his testimony in court. As of August 22, 2023, a total of 4,554 paraquat-related lawsuits are awaiting resolution in the federal court of Illinois, and the first bellwether trial, initially slated for an earlier date, has been rescheduled to take place in October 2023.

  • August 2023 Updates:

    August 1st, 2023

    The Judge presiding over the Paraquat MDL is expected to make a ruling on the admissibility of scientific causation evidence connecting Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease.

    Both parties have submitted their Daubert motions, and Judge Rosenstengel has scheduled a hearing on the motion for August 21, 2023.

    The Judge has mandated that Dr. Martin Wells, the plaintiffs’ key expert witness, must appear at the hearing and provide testimony crucial to the decision on admissibility.

    Following the hearing, Judge Rosenstengel has granted the parties the opportunity to submit closing briefs by September 8, 2023.

  • July 2023 Updates:

    July 1st, 2023:

    Defendants Syngenta and Chevron have identified 611 claims in the MDL that they consider questionable.

    The defendants argue that some claims lack sufficient evidence and were filed based on targeted advertising campaigns and lead generators.

    It is unlikely that all 611 claims are non-viable, and eventually, the issue of whether Paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease will be decided by a jury.

    The first bellwether trial is set to commence in October, 2023.

    July 18, 2023

    A total of 223 new Paraquat lawsuits were transferred into the class action MDL, raising the overall pending case count to 4,306.

    This figure is slightly lower than the average number of new cases seen in the past 16 months, hinting at a potential delay in new filings for this litigation.

  • June 2023 Updates:

    June 16th, 2023:

    The Paraquat class action MDL has recently seen an addition of 353 new plaintiffs, raising the total number of claims pending in the MDL to 4,083.

    Since the beginning of 2023, 1,731 new Paraquat cases have been included in the MDL.

    June 12th, 2023:

    Chevron and Syngenta AG have filed for summary judgment in the MDL, contending that the plaintiffs’ claims linking Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease lack scientific evidence.

    They argue that no peer-reviewed studies have confirmed this connection, challenging the validity of the claims.

    Although it is unlikely, approximately 3,700 claims could be dismissed if the motion is passed.

  • May 2023 Updates:

    May 1st, 2023:

    The court denies the motion filed by Syngenta and Chevron to strike Martin Wells’ rebuttal expert report in the Paraquat class action MDL.

    The report is deemed to adequately address the opinions and criticisms of the defendants’ expert.

    The order instructs any further objections from the defendants to be raised through a Daubert motion.

    Additionally, Judge Rosenstengel orders all parties to propose a Case Management Order by April 19, 2023, specifying agreed-upon deadlines for submitting summary judgment and Daubert motions, as well as any guidelines or limitations for these motions.

    May 10th, 2023:

    Defense counsel accuses plaintiffs’ lawyers in the Paraquat class action MDL of filing pleadings on behalf of deceased clients.

    This occurrence, while undesirable, does not significantly prejudice the defendants.

    A request is made for the court to address this issue

    May 15th, 2023:

    The Paraquat class action MDL experiences a surge in new lawsuits, with over 500 Paraquat Parkinson’s disease cases added in the past month.

    This is the highest monthly total in over a year, following consecutive months of over 200 new cases.

    Since the beginning of the year, the MDL has seen 1,300 new cases added.

    If this pace continues, the number of pending cases is projected to surpass 5,000 by year-end.

  • April 2023 Updates:

    There are currently over 2,000 Paraquat lawsuits pending in the Paraquat MDL in Illinois, as well as 264 cases in the Pennsylvania state court system.

    The Judge in the Pennsylvania Paraquat class action has ruled that new plaintiffs can use a Short Form Complaint when filing their case.

  • March 2023 Updates:

    March 1st, 2023:

    The defense team in the Paraquat class action MDL filed a motion to strike a supplemental expert report submitted by plaintiff expert David Mortensen.

    The report was submitted after the deadline for expert reports and sought to clarify certain issues raised during Mortensen’s deposition.

    The Court is expected to rule on the motion soon.

    March 5th, 2023:

    Syngenta produced documents indicating that the company may have known about the potential health risks of exposure to Paraquat as far back as the 1970s and was aware of the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease by 2001.

    March 16th, 2023:

    277 new plaintiffs joined the Paraquat class action MDL in the last month, bringing the total number of pending cases up to 2,998.

    This marks the second month in a row that the Paraquat MDL has posted an above-average volume of new case filings.

    With the first bellwether test trial coming up in the summer, both sides are starting to battle over what evidence will be permitted at trial.

The First Paraquat Lawsuit

Paraquat-Lawsuit-Farmers-Spraying-Pesticide; The First Paraquat Lawsuit

The first Paraquat lawsuit was filed in St. Clair County circuit court on behalf of Thomas Hoffman who sued Syngenta and Growmark on September 15th, 2017, claiming he was exposed to the pesticide from farming starting in the fifth grade and subsequently was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Mr. Hoffman passed away 23 days after the suit was filed.

farming pesticide paraquat

Robert Sprague, the attorney who filed the complaint on behalf of Mr. Hoffman stated:

“Paraquat is toxic to both plant and animal cells, and that its creation of oxidative stress in cells is the source of its toxicity has been known since the 1960s. Paraquat is among the handful of toxins that scientists use to produce animal models of Parkinson’s disease.”

Studies Link Paraquat To Parkinson’s Disease

Paraquat-Lawsuit-Farmers-Spraying-Pesticide; The First Paraquat Lawsuit; Studies Link Paraquat To Parkinson’s Disease

In 2011 a study was released known as the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) study which investigated the relationship between Parkinson’s disease and exposure to pesticides that are toxic to nervous tissue.

This study found that people who used Paraquat developed Parkinson’s disease approximately 2.5 times more often than non-users.

The authors followed 110 people with Parkinson’s and 358 matched controls.

FAME was part of a larger Agricultural Health study that followed over 80,000 licensed pesticide applicators as well as their spouses.

This was a very influential study even among those who were skeptical of the connection between Paraquat and Parkinson’s.

On May 23, 2018, Scott Ryan, a University of Guelph professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, published a study in which he determined that low-level exposure to pesticides like Paraquat disrupt cells in a way that mimics the effects of mutations known to cause Parkinson’s disease.

“People exposed to these chemicals are at about a 250% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than the rest of the population,” said Ryan.

parkinson's disease shaking

He believes that safety standards need to be updated to protect those who are more likely to develop Parkinson’s after pesticide exposure and may not even know it.

Currently,  there is no cure or therapy to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s disease.

The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but research points to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

A Widely Used Toxic Pesticide

Paraquat was first introduced commercially in 1961 and is used by farmers several times a year to control weeds where they plant multiple crops in a growing season or year.

Crops that are sprayed with this toxic pesticide include orchard crops, row crops, fruits, and vegetables.

Paraquat-Lawsuit-Farmers-Spraying-Pesticide; The First Paraquat Lawsuit; Studies Link Paraquat To Parkinson’s Disease; A Widely Used Toxic Pesticide

Paraquat is only registered for industrial and commercial settings and not for any residential use.

Monsanto’s Roundup is the world’s most popular weedkiller but weeds are becoming resistant to it and Paraquat is being marketed as an alternative.

The New York Times reports that over seven million pounds of Paraquat is being sprayed on almost 15 million acres in a year period.

Will The EPA Take Action?

Paraquat-Lawsuit-Farmers-Spraying-Pesticide; The First Paraquat Lawsuit; Studies Link Paraquat To Parkinson’s Disease; A Widely Used Toxic Pesticide; Will The EPA Take Action

In 2016 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said:

“There is a large body of epidemiology data on paraquat dichloride use and Parkinson’s disease.”

The agency is said to weigh in this year on whether or not to continue allowing Paraquat to be used on crops throughout the United States.

The EPA has recently introduced policies to protect farmers working with Paraquat.

toxic pesticide paraquat

These include restricting its use only to certified individuals and these individuals are now required to participate in additional training.

It is important to note that Paraquat is banned in several countries including Europe, Switzerland, and China has been phasing it out since 2012.

Hopefully, the United States will follow.

Speak to an Attorney about Paraquat Lawsuits Today

TruLaw and its attorneys are investigating Paraquat lawsuits now.

If you or a loved one has subsequently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease after exposure to the herbicide, you may be entitled to recover money for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.

You can speak with our virtual assistant by clicking on the chat icon found at the bottom right hand of the page.

Paraquat-Lawsuit-Farmers-Spraying-Pesticide; The First Paraquat Lawsuit; Studies Link Paraquat To Parkinson’s Disease; A Widely Used Toxic Pesticide; Will The EPA Take Action; Speak To An Attorney About Paraquat Lawsuits Today

By answering the questions prompted, we can help you discover instantly if you have a lawsuit to file against the manufacturer of Paraquat.

We will continue to update our readers on the status of these cases as the litigation progresses.

Written By:
Jessie Paluch
Jessie Paluch

Experienced Attorney & Legal SaaS CEO

With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three.  She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.

In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.

In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!

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