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A Missouri plaintiff recently filed a Paraquat lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. After using the herbicide for years, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Meanwhile, another plaintiff has filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all federally filed Paraquat lawsuits into one court for more efficient pre-trial proceedings. A panel of federal judges will hear oral arguments on this motion in May.

Plaintiff Exposed to Paraquat for Decades

According to the Missouri complaint, the plaintiff was regularly exposed to paraquat for about 40 years—between 1965 and 2005—via direct exposure, pesticide drift, and contamination of drinking water. He recalls feeling the herbicide on his skin during mixing and application of Paraquat products, and on multiple instances, remembers being coated with it while applying it.

In addition to using and applying paraquat, he also lived near fields where paraquat products were applied. He estimates that he was exposed to paraquat products more than one hundred times. He was not aware during that time his exposure to paraquat could increase his risk of Parkinson’s disease.

In 2016, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he now blames on his exposure to paraquat.

JPML to Hear Arguments Concerning a Potential Paraquat MDL

Many other plaintiffs have filed paraquat lawsuits similar to this one, stating that after years of exposure to the herbicide, they were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. One plaintiff, who is currently involved in a paraquat lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, filed a motion for transfer of actions to that same court on April 7, 2021.

At the time the motion was filed, 14 paraquat lawsuits were pending in six different federal district courts. Each case so far is in the early stages of litigation and alleges the same wrongful conduct on the part of the same defendants.

Centralizing these and all future federal cases before one judge, the plaintiff argued, would promote the just and efficient conduct of the actions, prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings and duplicative discovery, and conserve the resources of the judiciary, the parties, and their counsel. The plaintiff added that all actions brought so far by plaintiffs suffering from Parkinson’s disease as a result of exposure to paraquat are excellent candidates for coordination.

In a recent notice of hearing session, the JPML stated that a hearing session has been scheduled for May 27, 2021, during which they will hear arguments concerning the potential centralization of paraquat lawsuits, along with arguments concerning other litigation.

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