Chevron Corp. and Syngenta AG could face billions of dollars worth of lawsuits alleging that the herbicide paraquat caused Americans to develop Parkinson’s disease.
Lawsuits have been filed almost daily for the past seven months regarding the link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. The lawsuits are being filed as Bayer AG has set aside up to $16 billion for current and future litigation regarding Roundup, an herbicide which lawsuits allege causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
University of Kentucky law professor Richard Ausness told Bloomberg that even if there aren’t as many paraquat cases as Roundup cases, Syngenta and Chevron could offer several billion dollars “just to make it go away.”
Bloomberg litigation analyst Holly Froum said that Syngenta’s acknowledgment that it settled an undisclosed number of paraquat cases in June for $187 million may mean that they will be exposed to billions of dollars in claims.
A lawyer told Reuters that the prominence of defendants Chevron and Syngenta could cause litigation to “snowball,” and that the success of Roundup plaintiffs signals that paraquat litigation could end up being “highly lucrative.”
Roundup Lawsuits Successful, And Evidence Against Paraquat May Be Clearer
Roundup litigation has led to multiple multi-million-dollar verdicts, including a $289 million award in August 2018 (later reduced to $21.5 million), an $80 million award in March 2019 (later reduced to $26 million), and a $2 billion award in May 2019 (later reduced to $86.7 million).
While Roundup litigation has led to millions of dollars of payouts to plaintiffs, the case for damages to be awarded in paraquat lawsuits may be more clear-cut. AgbioInvestor analyst Garry Mabon told Bloomberg that while glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is not well-understood to be a possible carcinogen, paraquat is, meaning “the weight of evidence would seem to be against paraquat in any litigation.”
Paraquat’s Links To Parkinson’s Disease
A 2011 National Institute of Health study found that those exposed to paraquat were 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those who were not exposed to paraquat, and that exposure to paraquat can cause oxidative stress, which can kill dopaminergic neurons. The death of dopaminergic neurons can lead to the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, since our brains need dopamine for motor function.
A 2013 study found that paraquat exposure was associated with a doubling in risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.
Nadrich & Cohen offers free consultations to those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to paraquat. Our paraquat lawyers don’t charge a fee for our services until and unless we obtain a paraquat lawsuit recovery.