July 2023 is the date scheduled for the first bellwether trials for those included in the mass tort claim against the manufacturer of Paraquat, which is alleged to cause a wide variety of serious and/or fatal ailments. Bellwether trials are important because they let those involved in the cases know what to expect and lead to negotiations that result in mass settlements. Although the initial dangerous herbicide bellwether trial was originally scheduled for May 2023, the judge had scheduling conflicts and pushed the trial to July.
Additional Cases Added Due to the Growth of Cases
Additional cases created by the multidistrict litigation Judge were included in the pool of 20 bellwethers for limited discovery. Over 1,700 cases are currently pending, so the list was generated randomly. Due to the massive growth in the size of the litigation during 2022, Judge Nancy Rosenstengel said this expansion of the bellwether pool was necessary.
What Diseases Have Been Linked to Paraquat?
Paraquat is an herbicide that has been widely used around the country. It has been banned by a number of countries due to its toxicity, including Great Britain, Austria, Germany, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. Usage has been linked to the following, including:
- Kidney and heart failure
- Lung scarring and damage
- Parkinson’s disease
- Liver damage
- Reproductive problems
- Esophageal scarring
Initial Lawsuits Filed in 2017
The first class action suits filed due to the herbicide’s toxicity originated in 2017. However, the increased awareness by the public to the herbicide’s link to these dangerous defective products increased in 2019, when a flood of lawsuits against the manufacturers. By 2021, the number of cases had increased so much it became class action multi-district litigation. The Parkinson’s cases became centralized and assigned to Judge Rosenstengel, who serves in Illinois’ Southern District.
What Could Happen With the Paraquat Lawsuits in 2023
The defendants, in this case, may opt to settle rather than risk more major liability verdicts in subsequent bellwether trials. Therefore, there is a reasonable chance that a global settlement will be reached before the first bellwether trial in 2023. An early summer or late spring settlement is possible. It is important to note, however, that these predictions assume that no additional postponements will occur during the bellwether trials this summer.
Strong Evidence Links the Herbicide With Parkinson’s Disease
The science behind the links between the herbicide and Parkinson’s disease are strong and may very well result in high settlements. If this happens, many more people who were injured might come forward to file lawsuits. This means the companies involved know they might be better off going to the settlement table than delaying until the date of the bellwether trials in July.
Olinde Law Firm: Class Action Lawsuit Attorneys
We at Olinde Law Firm represent individuals and families harmed by defective devices, pharmaceuticals, and drug interactions caused by the negligence of large corporations. You can reach us at (800) 587-1889 for a free case review anywhere in the country. Also, we offer online services. The use of Paraquat can lead to Parkinson’s, so you may be eligible for compensation if you develop the disease or other serious complications after using the product. Don’t wait. The first bellwether trials are coming up soon.