Mass tort litigation that is quickly growing involves the herbicide paraquat and allegations that exposure to Paraquat increases the chances of developing Parkinson’s disease. Hundreds of cases have been filed in the multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is overseen by Judge Nancy Rosenstengel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
At a hearing in late October 2021, Judge Rosenstengel told the parties that the first Paraquat Parkinson’s disease trial should begin around the same time next year, which would be late 2022. Between now and the time of the initial trial, plaintiffs will be completing initial assessment materials (including medical records) and sharing them with the defendants, which are Syngenta and Phillips Chemical Company LP.
Which Plaintiff Will Be Chosen for Trial?
The process of choosing a plaintiff for the first trial in the paraquat MDL involves an extensive review by attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants. The parties will review initial case assessment materials for hundreds of plaintiffs to determine which plaintiff or group of plaintiffs best represents the majority of all plaintiffs.
The first trial in mass tort litigation is much like a test trial, which is often termed a “bellwether trial.” The outcome of a bellwether trial is to help determine how juries may decide in similar cases involving paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease. Regardless of whether a plaintiff wins or loses the first trial, subsequent trials are likely to happen both within the MDL and in state court actions.
Most mass torts are product liability actions, and while the general allegations may be the same, the injuries will vary in terms of severity from plaintiff to plaintiff. As such, bellwether trials are helpful but not necessarily indicative of how most cases will turn out, especially because jury pools vary greatly from county to county and state to state.
Syngenta Faces Paraquat Lawsuits From Across the Country
Syngenta faces lawsuits from around the country, with many lawsuits being filed in the state of California. California has a consolidated state action for Paraquat lawsuits, which is much like an MDL. California is a unique state that is home to numerous mass tort consolidated actions.
Plaintiffs who have developed Parkinson’s disease following paraquat exposure may choose to file a lawsuit in the state of California, depending on whether doing so makes strategic sense. A qualified Paraquat lawyer evaluates each client’s situation to determine where a case should be filed. Where an injured plaintiff resides often plays a role in where a case is filed.
Contact Searcy Denney Today for a Free Consultation
If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to the herbicide paraquat, you may have an opportunity to seek compensation by filing a lawsuit. However, the first step to investigating potential legal rights is speaking with a Paraquat lawyer who routinely handles mass tort cases.
At Searcy Denney, we have a team of lawyers who dedicate their careers to representing the rights of injured clients. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation with one of our Paraquat lawyers, contact our office today by calling (800) 780-8607 or by completing a free case evaluation form on our website.