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Paraquat Lawsuits

If you’ve experienced exposure to Paraquat and received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, you might have the right to pursue legal action and seek financial compensation. Our team of Paraquat attorneys is currently assessing new cases related to Parkinson’s disease across all 50 states.

This page outlines the ongoing Paraquat class action litigation and provides guidance on participating. Our legal experts regularly update information regarding the Paraquat class action lawsuit. Additionally, our lawyers offer insights into potential settlement amounts, aiding victims in gaining a clearer understanding of possible compensation.


January 15, 2024: There are now 5,051 cases pending in the Paraquat class action MDL. That is actually a decrease of 21 cases from a few weeks ago.  But there is no question that plaintiffs’ lawyers are still high on these cases, and new lawsuits are still being filed.

January 13, 2024: Who qualifies for a Paraquat lawsuit in 2024?

About Paraquat

Paraquat, also known as paraquat dichloride, is an incredibly potent chemical utilized for eliminating unwanted vegetation, such as weeds and grass, through spraying. Despite being prohibited in numerous countries, it remains one of the most extensively used industrial herbicides worldwide.

While Paraquat is legally available in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes it as a “restricted use” substance. This designation confines its purchase and usage solely to commercially licensed individuals, primarily those in the agricultural sector.

Introduced in the early 1960s, Paraquat’s usage has significantly risen in the last two decades due to weed resistance to alternative products. It is the most prevalent form of restricted-use herbicide in the U.S., typically applied in liquid form with distinct blue coloring and a noticeable odor.

Gramoxone is among Paraquat’s most recognizable names sold under various brands or trade names. It is manufactured by Syngenta, a global agricultural chemicals company headquartered in Switzerland.

The Paraquat lawsuit echoes the precedent of the successful Roundup cancer litigation, sharing similarities to Agent Orange. Both Paraquat and Roundup function as non-selective herbicides. While Roundup’s harm revolves around cancer, Paraquat’s repercussions are associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Paraquat Causes Parkinson’s Disease

Over the past 12 years, a growing body of scientific research has established a clear connection between regular occupational exposure to Paraquat and the development of Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder characterized by the progressive deterioration of specific brain cells, leading to the impairment of the brain’s ability to regulate motor functions in the body. Its symptoms include movement impairment, tremors, balance issues, and muscle stiffness.

One of the defendants, Chevron, openly acknowledges the extensive scientific literature, citing over 1,000 articles discussing Paraquat’s toxicity in animals and humans. The association with Parkinson’s disease emerged later. A pivotal study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2009 was among the first to reveal a link between Paraquat exposure and the onset of Parkinson’s Disease.

This study highlighted that individuals living within 1600 feet of areas where Paraquat was regularly sprayed faced an elevated risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Subsequently, a more comprehensive study published in 2011 strengthened this correlation, categorizing it as a “strong association.”

Initial criticisms of these studies centered around their techniques and reliability due to the absence of “controlled” conditions. However, in 2014, doubts were assuaged by the publication of five separate case-controlled studies in the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, all confirming the heightened risk of Parkinson’s disease due to Paraquat exposure. These findings prompted the EPA to initiate a safety review of Paraquat in 2016.

On March 24, 2021, Greenpeace released “The Paraquat Papers,” detailing attempts by Syngenta and its precursor, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), to conceal Gramoxone’s risks. Allegedly, ICI claimed to have added the emetic PP796 to Paraquat products to prevent fatal poisoning.

However, internal company documents revealed the failure to carry out this claim and the company’s awareness of the issue. Despite this, ICI continued publicly asserting PP796’s effectiveness and misrepresented its addition to maintain Gramoxone’s market presence.

Jon Heylings, a former Syngenta toxicologist, reported low PP796 levels in Gramoxone and cautioned against the inadequate emetic levels to induce vomiting in those consuming the “minimal lethal dose.” He flagged that a former toxicologist from ICI had manipulated data to falsely suggest that human sensitivity to PP796 was ten times greater than in other animal tests.

Heylings raised these concerns in memos to superiors, arguing that correcting PP796 levels could reduce paraquat poisoning fatalities. However, ICI disregarded Heylings’ warnings, and the PP796 levels in Gramoxone became the standard for paraquat-based weed killers, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

Parkinson’s Disease and Chemical Exposure

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that primarily affects movement. It is characterized by tremors, stiffness, and slowness of movement and can also impact balance, coordination, and speech. The disease primarily affects neurons in a specific area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.

As the disease progresses, it can lead to more severe physical and cognitive issues. The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is not fully understood, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Regarding the potential role of chemicals in inducing Parkinson’s disease, research has suggested that exposure to certain chemicals may increase the risk of developing the condition. Two giant chemicals are thought to cause Parkinson’s disease:

  • Pesticides and Herbicides: Studies have shown that exposure to certain pesticides and herbicides, such as paraquat and rotenone, may be linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. These chemicals are thought to cause damage to neurons in the brain that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter critical for controlling movement.  This is the Paraquat litigation.
  • Industrial Chemicals: Exposure to certain industrial chemicals, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), used in cleaning and degreasing agents, has also been associated with a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease. TCE and similar compounds may accumulate harmful substances in the brain, contributing to neuronal damage. This is the Camp Lejeune litigation.

The Story of the Paraquat Litigation

A herbicide called Paraquat was developed and introduced into the market. Paraquat, known for its effectiveness in controlling weeds and grass, quickly became popular in the agricultural sector. Manufactured and distributed by several companies, including those named defendants in the lawsuit, Paraquat was sold as a solution to farmers’ and agricultural workers’ crop maintenance needs.  It worked.  It killed the weeds, and farmers made more money as a result.

Yet despite its efficacy in weed control, reports and studies started to suggest that Paraquat might be linked to severe health issues, including Parkinson’s Disease. It was alleged that exposure to this chemical, even when handled according to the instructions, could lead to devastating health consequences.

The defendants in this story, the manufacturers and distributors of Paraquat, are said to have knowledge of these potential dangers. Yet, they continued to promote Paraquat as a safe product. Paraquat lawsuits allege that the defendants provided misleading and false information about Paraquat’s safety. This misinformation allegedly downplayed the severity and risks associated with its use, leading users to expose themselves to harm unknowingly.

According to the allegations, the defendants did not just fail to warn users adequately. They also actively concealed and suppressed information about the risks of Paraquat exposure. While promoting the benefits of their product, they were accused of overlooking the health and safety of those using it.  In fact, they funded studies linking Paraquat to Parkinson’s but buried the results deep within research archives. Regulatory agencies, swayed by carefully crafted marketing campaigns and hefty lobbying efforts, turned a blind eye to the mounting evidence.

So despite these alarming revelations, the manufacturers continued to market Paraquat as safe, even though they allegedly knew about the potential dangers.  They learned some tricks to keep the risk hidden. One example many lawsuits have cited is that in 2003, amid legal challenges involving another herbicide, atrazine, a Syngenta communications manager highlighted the focus on atrazine to divert attention from Paraquat, which was also under scrutiny for its potential link to Parkinson’s Disease.

Another way to divert attention many lawsuits have mentioned is that Syngenta, one of the defendants, established a website to persuade the public of Paraquat’s safety. However, this website’s statements, proclaiming Paraquat’s safety and disregarding its dangers, were designed to mislead the agricultural community and the public, including those living in areas where Paraquat was heavily used.

Years passed, and the usage of Paraquat continued, with many agricultural workers and farmers being regularly exposed to it. It wasn’t until much later that the true potential impacts of Paraquat exposure began to be widely recognized. By then, unfortunately, many, including the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, claimed to have already suffered significant health issues, such as Parkinson’s Disease, because of their exposure to Paraquat.

Driven by their experiences and the defendants’ alleged actions, the plaintiffs sought legal action. They filed a lawsuit alleging negligence, misinformation, and failing to warn users adequately. They claimed that the defendants had prioritized their profits over the safety and well-being of the users, leading to irreversible health consequences.

The underlying facts of this lawsuit serve as a grim reminder of the potential consequences when safety and transparency are not prioritized in product development and distribution. Through their legal battle, the plaintiffs aim to hold the defendants accountable for their actions and seek justice for the harm they had suffered.

Key Allegations in Every Paraquat Lawsuit

Every one of these Paraquat lawsuits is a unique tragedy.  But there are themes common to all Paraquat Parkinson’s disease claims:

  • Failure to Provide Adequate Warnings: This is the core issue of every Paraquat lawsuit. The defendants are accused of not giving sufficient warnings and precautions about the risks of using Paraquat. This includes failing to inform users of the correct and safe way to handle the product to avoid injury.
  • Misleading Information: Not only do the lawsuits allege failure to warn, they claim that the information provided by the defendants about Paraquat was inaccurate, false, and misleading. This misinformation allegedly failed to communicate the severity, duration, and extent of the risk of injuries associated with Paraquat use and exposure.
  • Concealment of Risks: The complaint includes allegations that the defendants concealed, downplayed, or otherwise suppressed information about the risks and dangers of exposure to Paraquat. This is particularly significant in light of studies and evidence linking Paraquat to severe health conditions like Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Violation of Consumer Protection Laws: The lawsuit also includes claims under consumer protection laws, suggesting that the defendants engaged in deceptive business practices by misrepresenting the safety and effects of Paraquat.

File a Paraquat Lawsuit

The Paraquat attorneys at Miller & Zois are currently seeking new Paraquat cases. If you used or were exposed to Paraquat and you have been formally diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, you may have a valid Paraquat lawsuit.

Contact a Paraquat lawyer today to see if you qualify for a Paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuit. Contact us at 800-322-3010 or get a free online consultation.