A growing number of paraquat lawsuits are continuing to be filed in the national Paraquat Multidistrict Litigation by farmers and agricultural workers across the country diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
On June 7, 2021, the Honorable Chief U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel presiding over the multidistrict litigation appointed a group of 17 plaintiff attorneys, including Meyers & Flowers Founding Partner Peter J. Flowers, to represent the interests of all plaintiffs who have alleged damages as a result of exposure to the toxic herbicide, paraquat. Peter Flowers was appointed as one of three plaintiff’s attorneys to serve as co-lead counsel. At that time, about 80 paraquat cases were pending in various federal courts. Now the lawsuits are mounting with nearly 400 lawsuits filed, as stated in a recent coordination order.
As the paraquat attorneys continue to review and file cases, it is ultimately expected that the litigation will continue to grow into the thousands of claims. During an initial status conference held on June 23, Chief Judge Rosenstengel indicated she intended to set an aggressive schedule to get the cases to trial, with the first bellwether case expected to go before a jury trial on November 15, 2022.
On December 3, Judge Rosenstengel issued a case management order. The order set procedures to move forward with the selection of the first group of potential bellwether trial cases. It was established that the plaintiff’s lawyers will select eight cases, with the Defendant Chevron U.S.A. Inc. to pick four cases as well as the Syngenta Defendants to choose four of their own.
Background on Paraquat
Paraquat made headlines as growing concerns shed light on its association with adverse health effects. Paraquat Dichloride (paraquat), a component of the mainstream weed killer Gramoxone, is one of the most powerful and popular herbicides on the market used primarily on row crops. Paraquat has long been a controversial topic due to its correlation to suicide, as drinking one small sip is lethal, but now a growing body of research is linking the herbicide to a less overt danger – Parkinson’s disease. Since the 90s, numerous studies and clinical research have linked paraquat to an increased risk of Parkinson’s Disease, and, in 2011, an analysis found that paraquat exposure increased the risk of PD by 250%, according to the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives.
With the growing evidence supporting a connection been paraquat and PD, lawmakers need to take action. These regulatory measures are long overdue and are necessary to protect future generations from falling victim to these chemical’s adverse health effects. We should not have to wonder if the food we are feeding our families or air some breath at work is tainted with pesticides that may lead to life-altering effects.
Meyers & Flowers is taking legal action against the manufacturers of paraquat, Syngenta and Chevron, that knowingly produced, marketed, and sold a life-threatening product. Meyers & Flowers is prepared to fight for justice and recover damages for those injured by paraquat. Our team of product liability attorneys have a successful track record taking on major corporations and manufacturers and is primed to do so again.
If you or someone you love has worked with paraquat or believes they have been exposed to paraquat and later was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or developed signs of PD, please contact our office today for a free case evaluation to explore your legal options.