Paraquat Lawsuit Updates & News | May 2024

Editorial Team

ConsumerShield

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.

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The latest news on the Paraquat lawsuit keeps evolving through the courts.

The Paraquat class action MDL experienced a significant increase, with 241 new cases added in 2024, marking the highest monthly volume since November 2023. The MDL now comprises 5,318 pending cases.

Here are the latest updates on the Paraquat lawsuit:

  1. An Arkansas widow filed a lawsuit yesterday, claiming her husband’s regular exposure to Paraquat caused his Parkinson’s Disease. Her husband, exposed to Paraquat from 1965 to 1975 on their Rison farm, began showing Parkinson’s symptoms in 2007 and was diagnosed soon after. He passed away on May 15, 2021, with Parkinson’s contributing to his death. The lawsuit alleges that he, like many farmers, was unaware of the risks associated with Paraquat exposure.

  2. After a slow March, the Paraquat class action MDL experienced a resurgence in April, adding 225 new cases. This increase restores the monthly average typical for this litigation, bringing the total number of pending cases to 5,590.

  3. Chief Judge Rosenstengel dismissed four key Paraquat lawsuits, citing the exclusion of essential testimony from Dr. Martin Wells, a primary expert on causation. This decision, detailed in a 99-page opinion, critically impacts the plaintiffs' ability to prove a causal link, effectively ending these cases.

    Despite the setback, the litigation is not concluded. The remaining Paraquat legal team is tasked with strengthening their expert testimonies, as reliance on Dr. Wells alone is insufficient. The judge has directed the parties to select 16 new cases for limited fact discovery. Plaintiffs will choose eight cases, while Chevron and Syngenta will select four each, adhering to specific criteria including complete Plaintiff Assessment Questionnaires.

    Following case selection, a new Case Management Order will schedule discovery and set trial dates. The dismissed plaintiffs have the option to appeal, while their attorneys focus on reinforcing their arguments with more compelling expert evidence to establish the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

  4. Paraquat MDL has seen a slowdown in new case filings, with only 47 new cases added in March. This follows a significant increase in filings during February. Since the start of the year, around 300 new cases have been filed, with the bulk of 280 cases occurring in February.

  5. The Paraquat class action MDL experienced a significant increase, with 241 new cases added in the last month, marking the highest monthly volume since November. The MDL now comprises 5,318 pending cases.

    • 60 Lawsuits at Risk: Special Master advises dismissal due to non-compliance with questionnaire.
    • Majority from One Firm: Significant portion of affected cases linked to a single law firm.
    • Reduced Case Influx: Notable decline in new Paraquat MDL cases.
    • Previous vs. Current Rate: Shift from monthly average of 250 to less than 50 in recent months.
  6. The influx of new cases in the Paraquat class action MDL has significantly decreased. After averaging about 250 new cases monthly over the last two years, only 26 new cases were added in January, bringing the total to 5,077 pending cases.

  7. The Paraquat Multi-District Litigation (MDL) has recently observed a significant reduction in its case count. Key updates include:

    • Drop in Pending Cases: The MDL has seen a decrease of 21 cases over the past month.
    • Comparison to Past Trends: This reduction is notable given the MDL's history of averaging over 150 new cases per month for the last two years.
    • Possible Causes: The decrease is likely attributable to a combination of large groups of inactive cases being dismissed and a slowdown in the filing of new cases.
  8. The Paraquat Multi-District Litigation (MDL) has now exceeded 5,000 pending cases. However, the past month saw only 86 new cases added, marking the lowest monthly case volume in over two years. This trend of reduced case filings has been observed for the second consecutive month, indicating a notable decrease in the rate of new case submissions in the MDL.

  9. Contrary to the previous month's slower pace, the Paraquat class action Multi-District Litigation (MDL) has witnessed a substantial influx of over 200 new cases in the last 30 days. This increase significantly alters the recent trend, elevating the total count of pending cases to nearly 5,000. This recent development suggests that the earlier slowdown in new case filings may have been a temporary deviation rather than a long-term trend in the litigation.

  10. The Paraquat class action Multi-District Litigation (MDL) experienced an uncharacteristic decline in new cases this past month, with only 30 new filings, marking the lowest monthly influx since the inception of the MDL over two years prior. This comes after a consistent 18-month period during which the Paraquat MDL emerged as one of the most active, witnessing an average of 200-300 new cases monthly and a striking total of 1,000 cases in the recent two-month span alone. This abrupt decrease in new cases suggests the possibility that the litigation is entering a new stage, characterized by a decelerated pace of growth.

  11. What was anticipated to be a pivotal month for the Paraquat class action, highlighted by the commencement of the first bellwether test trial, has instead ushered in a period of uncertainty. The litigation's trajectory now seemingly hangs in the balance as Judge Rosenstengel deliberates on the resolution of Daubert challenges concerning expert opinion evidence. With all briefs submitted, the involved parties find themselves in a state of expectancy, awaiting her critical decision. Given the intricate and extensive nature of Daubert rulings in such complex cases, and with no new trial date on the horizon, there's a growing possibility that a conclusive ruling might not materialize until 2024.

  12. Currently, among 4 Bellwether cases, the first trial will be held in October 2023.

  13. Both the Defendants and Plaintiffs of the case are submitting documents of Daubert motions. It refers to a stage in legal proceedings where one party challenges the credibility or validity of an expert witness.

  14. Both parties are trying their hardest to strike each other's expert witness so they won't testify.

  15. However, at this point, defendants have a chance to claim Dismiss the Motions. Defendants can file a request that some Plaintiffs claim to dismiss entirely.

  16. Court has already set the date of hearing for this trial on the 21st of August, 2023.

  17. The Court has appointed an Executive Committee official for Plaintiffs, Chad Finely, who is working hard with other counsel of plaintiffs on these responses and motions.

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