​How Long Does It Take to Settle a Paraquat Lawsuit?

March 10, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
​How Long Does It Take to Settle a Paraquat Lawsuit?

If you were exposed to paraquat and diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you may pursue compensation by participating in a paraquat lawsuit. However, with the number of cases linking paraquat to the disease growing, many people have asked how long it will take to settle a paraquat lawsuit.

That is why in the below post, we will go over this timeline in detail, provide you with further updates regarding what is happening with these lawsuits, and help you better understand what legal action you should take if you believe you have a viable claim.

Paraquat: What Is It And How Is It Used?

Paraquat Lawsuit

Paraquat is a toxic chemical that kills grass, weeds, and other unwanted vegetation. While many countries have banned the chemical, it is still one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. In fact, in the United States, paraquat is legal.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified the herbicide as a restricted use chemical. Only licensed applicators, such as commercial farmers, can use this chemical. Yet, this decision by the EPA has led to a significant amount of controversy, with many organizations calling for a ban on paraquat in the United States, primarily due to the herbicide’s connection to Parkinson’s.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the chemical is more toxic than other herbicides, and ingesting a few drops of paraquat could be fatal. However, paraquat toxicity can also result from skin absorption and inhalation.

Paraquat Lawsuit Updates: How Long Will It Take To Settle A Paraquat Lawsuit?

Most of the earliest paraquat lawsuits were filed against paraquat manufacturing companies in 2016. However, although this was years ago, there have only recently been major movements on the status of these suits. For instance, recently, the chief U.S. district judge denied the defendant’s request to dismiss the paraquat litigation.

In addition, while the first trial to adequately address the paraquat claims was scheduled more recently, the trial date was pushed back to complete the depositions for the growing number of cases. Consequently, the first paraquat bellwether trial will begin later.

This also means that defendants may offer settlement amounts to victims before the lawsuits go to trial. Still, it is more likely that the majority of plaintiffs should not expect to see a paraquat settlement until much later.

Defendants in the Paraquat Lawsuit

The primary defendants in the paraquat lawsuits include Syngenta (a Swiss agrochemical company), which owns Syngenta Corporation and Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company. Syngenta is the current manufacturer of paraquat, while Chevron Phillips makes and sells Gramoxone in the United States, which contains paraquat.

Why You Should Still File a Paraquat Lawsuit Even With This Delay

While the timeline to settle a paraquat lawsuit is still ongoing, filing a paraquat lawsuit can help you obtain compensation for the losses you have suffered as a result of a manufacturer’s negligence, including payment for medical bills, lost income, ongoing medical treatments, pain and suffering, and other losses

Filing a lawsuit can also pressure chemical companies to stop the production of these dangerous chemicals or at least publish safety warnings on their products.

In fact, these paraquat-containing herbicides do not include any warnings that indicate that exposure to paraquat can cause Parkinson’s disease. Even worse, paraquat manufacturers continue to deny that their products are unsafe. Sadly, legal action is usually the only way to get these manufacturers to own up to their negligence and remove dangerous products from the market.

What Is a Bellwether Trial and What Does It Mean for Potential Settlements?

Bellwether trials are the equivalent of a test case in large mass tort litigation that involves thousands of plaintiffs. When you have this many individuals bringing a claim, it is not physically possible to take every case to trial. As a result, only a handful of sample cases are tried to give everyone involved in the litigation a better idea of the settlement compensation payouts victims can receive.

These trials will also allow attorneys for both the plaintiffs and the defendants to test their arguments and establish certain guidelines for later trials within the multidistrict litigation (MDL).

MDLs are similar to class-action lawsuits, as they allow multiple cases to be tried simultaneously with one judge or jury. However, unlike class-action lawsuits, the plaintiffs in an MDL are not all combined. Rather, the MDL groups them to make multiple decisions on one presentation of arguments and evidence. This also means that plaintiffs can get different amounts of compensation, and it is also possible for group members to accept a settlement while others can opt out.

For further information regarding these MDLs and whether your lawsuit will be joined into one, reach out to an experienced paraquat attorney today. These lawyers can help you better understand what this litigation entails and how it will affect your legal case.

Paraquat Global Settlements

Because it is still early in the litigation phase, paraquat settlement payouts are still speculative. In addition, the expected settlement amounts will continue to fluctuate as litigation progresses.

However, there is a chance that a global settlement may be reached, especially since bellwether trials are generally used to start these settlement negotiations with the other side. For instance, if a bellwether trial results in a major victory for the plaintiffs, the defendants may be forced to agree to pay a large settlement amount for the remaining paraquat legal claims, referred to as a global settlement in consolidated mass torts.

Key Issues That Can Affect How Much Money You Can Obtain From a Paraquat Lawsuit Settlement

Unfortunately, until litigation progresses, it will be hard to determine how much settlement compensation payouts will be. From the defendant’s standpoint, they will be fighting to pay the least amount possible.

Consequently, numerous factors can impact these payouts, including:

  • The result of the bellwether trials
  • The number of paraquat claims that have been filed and consolidated into the MDL
  • The causation evidence presented by the plaintiffs showing a connection between the paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease

For further information regarding these settlements and how these factors may impact your case, consider discussing your claim with a skilled paraquat attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can go over the settlement process with you in detail, answer any questions regarding this process, and help you better understand these timelines and potential settlement offers.

Eligibility Criteria for Pursuing a Paraquat Lawsuit

There are certain eligibility criteria needed to qualify for a paraquat lawsuit, including:

  • You handled paraquat (and were properly licensed) or were otherwise exposed to it, or
  • You were exposed to paraquat by groundwater contamination, paraquat drift, or agricultural overspray, and
  • You were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

Unfortunately, proving these criteria and obtaining evidence to establish each factor can be incredibly challenging. For these reasons, if you want to determine your eligibility, consider having your case evaluated by a knowledgeable attorney with experience handling mass torts. These lawyers can go over your case in detail, decide whether or not you qualify to pursue a paraquat lawsuit, and assist you in what to do next.

Who Qualifies for a Paraquat Lawsuit?

While countless individuals may have been exposed to paraquat and have developed Parkinson’s disease, potentially due to their exposure.

Some people are exposed to paraquat more frequently than others, including:

  • Farmers and other agriculture workers
  • Herbicide and other pesticide applicators
  • Those attending rural schools that are close to farms spraying paraquat
  • Those living near areas or farms spraying paraquat

However, if you directly handled paraquat or lived or worked in a place sprayed by this herbicide and have since developed Parkinson’s disease, you may be eligible to pursue legal action. To determine your legal options, contact an experienced paraquat attorney as soon as possible for further information about your eligibility and what to do to pursue the financial damages you need.

​How Long Does It Take to Settle a Paraquat Lawsuit?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressing and chronic neurological disorder that results from the degeneration or the dying off of certain cells (dopaminergic neurons) located in the substantia nigra portion of the brain.

This disease results in uncontrollable or unintended movements, including shaking, stiffness, and balance issues. Yet, while the symptoms tend to begin gradually, they will worsen over time. As the disease progresses, most individuals will have problems with walking and talking and experience behavioral and mental changes, depression, memory problems, fatigue, and sleep problems.

Regarding paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease, there has been an alarming amount of research indicating that paraquat increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

For instance:

  • A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicated that exposure to paraquat within 1,600 feet of a residence increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 75 percent.
  • A study published by Environmental Health Perspectives indicated an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease due to paraquat exposure. The report stated that Parkinson’s disease was positively associated with two pesticides, including paraquat.
  • A University of Guelph study found that even minimal exposure to pesticides such as paraquat could lead to the disruption of human cells that could cause mutations that are known to cause Parkinson’s.

Finally, a study from the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health found a 25 percent greater chance of developing Parkinson’s for those frequently exposed to the pesticide and an even greater regularity for those exposed to the chemical for more extended periods.

How Long Do You Have to File a Paraquat Parkinson’s Lawsuit?

When filing a paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuit, it is important to note that time is limited. The statute of limitations will restrict you time to file a paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuit. Yet, while this time will depend on the jurisdiction and the type of claim filed, these deadlines tend to range from one to six years. However, if exceptions apply, this period may change.

For these reasons, if you want to ensure you do not run out of time to pursue a paraquat lawsuit, consider discussing your case with an experienced paraquat attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers understand the specific state regulations regarding these deadlines and can ensure that the proper documents and motions are prepared and submitted before this time expires.

If you believe you have a viable paraquat legal claim or want further information regarding the time frames involved with these lawsuits, reach out to an experienced paraquat lawyer today.

Once hired, your skilled legal professionals can:

  • Review your situation in detail, determine whether you have a valid legal case, and help you figure out the legal action you can take, such as filing a paraquat lawsuit.
  • Gather relevant evidence to prove your legal claim, including medical reports, witness testimony, and other records related to your paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s diagnosis.
  • Help you fight for maximum compensation and the justice you deserve.

If you have questions regarding a paraquat lawsuit, do not wait to get the answers you need. Instead, contact an experienced paraquat lawyer for a free case evaluation and let your lawyers provide you with further information regarding how long it may take to settle your case and what you can expect if you decide to pursue legal action.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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