Paraquat Class Action Lawsuit vs MDL: What is the Difference?
With hundreds of farmers and agricultural workers diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease now filing Paraquat lawsuits throughout the federal court system, a coordinated judicial proceeding has been established, which is known as an MDL (Multi-District Litigation).
What is the Paraquat MDL?
A transfer order (PDF) was issued earlier this month, establishing a Paraquat MDL, which will be centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. All individual Parkinson’s disease lawsuits filed in federal courts nationwide will be transferred to U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel for coordinated discovery, pretrial proceedings and a series of early bellwether trials, which may lead to future Paraquat settlement negotiations and avoid the need for hundreds of separate trials nationwide.
The Paraquat MDL is Not the Same as A Class Action Lawsuit
While the Paraquat MDL process is often confused with a Paraquat class action lawsuit, there are important differences for each individual plaintiff to understand:
- Centralizing the Paraquat cases in an MDL is intended to avoid the time and expense of conducting depositions and discovery on the same factual issues that will be be repeated throughout hundreds, or thousands, of separate cases;
- Although common fact discovery will be completed in the MDL for Paraquat, each individual plaintiff still retains their own lawyer and must establish that exposure to Paraquat caused their Parkinson’s diagnosis;
- Paraquat statute of limitations deadlines still apply to each case, requiring claimants to file their case in court within a limited amount of time after the diagnosis or discovering the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease;
- Since each case of Parkinson’s disease from Paraquat will result in different injuries, individual settlement awards or outcomes through the Paraquat MDL will still be based on the specific circumstances in each claim;
- Each plaintiff maintains control over whether to settle their Paraquat case or proceed through the court system to trial;
Will there be a Paraquat Class Action Lawsuit in addition to an MDL?
Even though the MDL has been established, there will still likely be a class action Paraquat lawsuit filed on behalf of all individuals exposed to the herbicide, regardless of the injury they experienced. Those claims will be limited to funding for medical monitoring, refunds or other damages that are the same among all claimants.
- Coverage for Medical Expenses and Parkinson’s Disease Treatments
- Compensation for Pain and Suffering
- Past and Future Lost Wages or Earning Capacity
- Other Neurological Damages Caused by Paraquat
Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. provides free consultations and claim evaluations to help determine if financial compensation and settlements may be available through the Paraquat MDL, or participation in separate class action proceedings. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no out-of-pocket costs associated with hiring our law firm and there are no attorney fees or expenses unless an individual recovery is obtained in your case.
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