Two of the plaintiffs among those who have filed at least 14 federal lawsuits accusing Syngenta and Chevron of selling the herbicide paraquat despite knowing it causes Parkinson’s disease have asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to consolidate the cases for pretrial proceedings.
The lawsuits are spread across six different federal district courts, and all claim that exposure to paraquat manufactured and sold by Syngenta and Chevron caused “incurable and debilitating” Parkinson’s disease. They raise common factual questions focused on that same injury, and the litigation is already national in scope.
It makes most sense to centralize the litigation in California federal court in San Francisco, Rakoczy contends, as it’s within 40 miles of Chevron’s headquarters, allowing for easy access to documents and witnesses.
But Jerry Burnette, a plaintiff pursuing claims against Syngenta and Chevron in Illinois, said that while consolidation is “appropriate and warranted,” it shouldn’t happen in Rakoczy’s requested district because it is geographically inconvenient for all parties and counsel.