First Paraquat Trial Postponed
The first Paraquat bellwether trial in the federal MDL was postponed again at the end of December 2022. An Order from Judge Nancy Rosenstengel, who is overseeing the litigation, has moved the date of the first trial to October 2023.
The first Paraquat bellwether trial was scheduled to start in November 2022. However, the progress has been hampered by several postponements. The most recent delay occurred because expert witness depositions occurred beyond the deadline.
We sympathize with our clients’ frustration with these delays as they await their day in court. Our attorneys share their frustration; however, these delays are common in mass tort litigation of this size. All our side can do is continue to push for trials, keep the pressure on the defendants, and forge ahead, hopefully for an eventual Paraquat pesticide settlement.
2022 saw big increase in Paraquat Cases
The year 2022 has seen hundreds of new Paraquat pesticide cases filed in the Paraquat class action MDL. At the beginning of 2022, there were just 482 Paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuits placed in the MDL.
In mid December last year, 2,352 cases were pending in the Paraquat MDL, increasing the size of the docket by 390 percent. There appear to be no signs of a slowdown on the immediate horizon, as the recent MDL docket suggests that we could see another 300 new cases added in the next month.
Crop-Duster files Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuit
In late 2020, a former crop duster filed a Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuit. The man said he developed Parkinson’s from repeated Paraquat exposure from 1969 to 1981. His lawsuit complaint testifies that he “inhaled, ingested or absorbed” Paraquat sprayed on farm fields near Edgerton, Wisconsin and Danville, Illinois. He accuses Chevron, Syngenta, and Growmark of failing to warn about Paraquat’s raising the risk of Parkinson’s. That lawsuit was filed by Michael J. K. on December 21, 2020 in St. Clair County, Illinois — Case No. 20L1006.
The First Parkinson’s Paraquat Lawsuit
The first Parkinson’s Paraquat link lawsuit was a class action lawsuit filed in October 2017. Three farmers in St. Clair County, Illinois filed the suit after they all developed Parkinson’s disease following years of Paraquat herbicide exposures.
More Recent Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuits
Another Parkinson’s disease lawsuit was filed by an Illinois man in January 2019. He alleges his illness was caused by Paraquat exposure (St. Clair County Circuit Court Case Number 18-L-805).
California State Court Case
In April 2019, several Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits were filed in California state court. Those petitioners include ten men who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s after Paraquat exposure during agricultural work.
Paraquat (Gramoxone) — 250% Increased Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) published a study in 2011 called Farming and Movement Evaluation. That study examined links between Parkinson’s disease and Paraquat exposure. It found Paraquat sprayers were 250% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
In 2012, researchers found agricultural workers in central California exposed to Paraquat herbicides used on crops were eleven times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those not exposed.
Animal Studies show Paraquat Parkinson’s Link
While no one knows what causes Parkinson’s disease in most cases, scientists who want to study the disease expose animals to Paraquat to make them develop Parkinson’s. Despite clear links to Parkinson’s, the EPA still allows U.S. farm workers to spray Paraquat on human food crops, though the poison is banned in dozens of other countries.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease causes progressive damage in a part of the brain that controls movement. Classic signs of Parkinson’s include tremors (involuntary shaking), stiff or rigid muscles, slow movements, and/or poor balance.
How Parkinson’s Disease affects the Brain
Nerve cell damage in the brain causes Parkinson’s disease symptoms, cell damage to nerve cells in the brain that make dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemical messengers transmit electrical signals from brain to body. A lack of these neurotransmitters causes movement problems, but also many non-motor symptoms that include mental changes, sleeping issues, depression, memory loss, fatigue, constipation, and more.
Experts agree that the vast majority of Parkinson’s disease is caused by environmental exposure.