PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 3, 2021) – Six lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across three states – Pennsylvania, California and Illinois – alleging a link between Paraquat, the widely-banned herbicide, and incurable Parkinson’s disease. The lawsuits include the first cases filed in the Pennsylvania courts.
The Complaints were jointly filed by a team of leading national toxic torts attorneys from DiCello Levitt Gutzler (“DLG”), Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C. (“SMB”) and Searcy Denney. Parkinson’s Awareness Month events concluded Friday, the same day as the filings.
Mark DiCello, of Midwest-based DLG and frequent lead plaintiff’s counsel in pivotal multidistrict litigation (MDL) in a wide range of mass tort and product liability cases, said the simultaneous filings signal a significant milestone in the rapidly increasing Paraquat-Parkinson’s disease litigation as “three of the nation’s leading catastrophic injury and mass tort firms join forces in the fight against the manufacturers and marketers of Paraquat who have long known they were peddling this poison. They must be held accountable through the American justice system.” He added, “Our firms have collectively been retained by several hundred clients to date; we’ll be seeking a leadership seat at the litigation table, and strongly believe the science is conclusively on the side of the plaintiffs.”
These filings are only the tip of the iceberg with what is expected to be the next major mass tort. The manufacturers of paraquat knew for decades that their product was linked to Parkinson’s disease yet chose to hide this information from regulators and the public.
Jeffrey P. Goodman
The defendants named in all six complaints are: Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, a Delaware corporation, Swiss-headquartered Syngenta AG, and Chevron USA, Inc., a Pennsylvania-registered corporation.
Lawrence R. Cohan, also an SMB partner, heads the firm’s mass torts practice and commented “We are honored to file the first Pennsylvania-Paraquat cases to obtain justice for our current and future clients who unknowingly were exposed to this hazardous agricultural chemical – banned in more than 32 countries, among them China and the European Union nations,” said Mr. Cohan, who has successfully litigated against global producers of toxic products over his career. Joining Mr. Goodman and Mr. Cohan on SMB’s legal team are firm President Robert J. Mongeluzzi and attorneys Josh Cohan and Samuel B. Dordick.
Co-counsel Cal Warriner, of West Palm, Florida-based Searcy Denney, has also served in a plaintiff’s leadership role in numerous other mass tort cases, and did not hesitate to join the group in the fight for justice. He said, “We are honored to be a part of this distinguished team of nationally recognized trial lawyers. Our clients need and deserve a strong voice to underscore the injustice they’ve been dealt. To be stricken with such a horrible disease from an innocent workplace exposure is very sad. We are ready to fight for them.” Co-counsel on the California cases is Pete Kaufman with Panish, Shea & Boyle LLP.
NOTE: Legal team members will be available for interviews on behalf of the plaintiffs. More information about Parkinson’s, including activities during Parkinson’s Awareness Month can be found from numerous sources including the Parkinson’s Foundation and Michael J. Fox Foundation / Unified Parkinson’s Council. The 2011 National Institutes of Health report on the Paraquat-Parkinson link is at NIH 2011 Study. The six U.S. District Court lawsuit filing numbers are 1) Eastern District of Pennsylvania, No. 2:21-cv-01996-JMY; 2) E.D. Pa. No. 2:21-02013; 3) E.D. Pa. No. 2:1:02016 4) Southern District of Illinois, No. 3:21-cv-00439; 5) Northern District of California, No. 3:21-cv-03233; 6) N.D. Cal., No. 3:21-cv-03229.
Mark DiCello/ firstname.lastname@example.org / 216.554.5130
Jeffrey P. Goodman / email@example.com / 215.840.6450
Lawrence R. Cohan / firstname.lastname@example.org /215.575.3887
Calvin Warriner, III / CCW@SearcyLaw.com / 561-722-6552
Steph Rosenfeld / email@example.com / 215.514.4101