A new petition is calling for the consolidation of claims against paraquat manufacturers into what’s called multidistrict litigation. If successful, the move could have big implications for those suffering from Parkinson’s or kidney disease because of paraquat exposure.
On April 7, 2021, the petition was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to create a multidistrict litigation docket for the growing number of lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers such as Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, Syngenta AG, and Chevron U.S.A.
The petitioner cited several similar legal actions across multiple districts in the U.S., which makes these lawsuits uniquely qualified for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
If a multidistrict litigation docket is created, lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers could move forward faster than they would as separate cases. It would also make it easier for plaintiffs’ attorneys to coordinate in the discovery process, which often requires extensive time and resources.
At the center of these lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers is the assertion that paraquat exposure leads to Parkinson’s and kidney disease. This development highlights the growing pressure against paraquat manufacturers and could usher in even more claims against Syngenta and Chevron.
When several mass tort cases bear similarities to each other, they can be consolidated and placed before one judge. This creates efficiency in the legal process and consistency across all rulings on these cases.
Multidistrict litigation is different from class action lawsuits. In class action lawsuits, one injured party has the authority to tie other plaintiffs to the outcome of their lawsuit. But in multidistrict litigation, individual plaintiffs aren’t obligated to the outcome of any single plaintiff. Instead, each plaintiff is free to either accept or reject the outcome of the proceedings.
If the petition to consolidate these cases is successful, plaintiffs filing lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers would have more resources at their disposal. Multidistrict litigation lets the legal counsel of plaintiffs work together to make a strong case against manufacturers.
This can be important for all plaintiffs because large companies like Syngenta and Chevron often have significant legal “war chests” that can fund lengthy lawsuits, essentially outlasting parties that sue them. However, when plaintiffs’ attorneys can combine their efforts, it helps level the playing field for people injured by potentially dangerous products.
The petitioner recommended the paraquat claims be set in the Northern District of California. The district is just 40 miles from Chevron’s U.S.A.’s headquarters and is the site of another pesticide MDL docket regarding Roundup.
If paraquat multidistrict litigation is placed in this district, the claims would go before Judge Edward M. Chen. The petitioner said that Judge Chen is qualified to preside over these cases because he has experience with MDL dockets and is currently overseeing one of the paraquat cases.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s or kidney disease after being exposed to paraquat, this news should get your attention. It’s a sign that momentum is growing for plaintiffs, which means that time could be of the essence for those injured by paraquat.
The Indiana paraquat lawsuit attorneys at Wagner Reese are closely monitoring these developments, and we’re accepting inquiries from those considering filing paraquat lawsuits. Contact our team today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.