Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Hears Arguments to Create a Paraquat MDL
Several complaints have been filed by individuals who allege that Paraquat caused their Parkinson’s Disease in Illinois and around the country over the past few months. In the complaints, the plaintiffs say manufacturers failed to warn the public that Paraquat could cause Parkinson’s, among other claims.
Given common questions of fact and law presented in the complaints that have been filed in the federal court system over the past few months, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) held hearing last week to consider whether the cases should all be centralized before one judge for coordination.
If a Paraquat MDL, or multidistrict litigation, is established, the Court will supervise coordinated discovery into facts common to all claims, and likely establish a “bellwether” process where a small group of cases are prepared for early trial dates, to help assess how juries are likely to respond to evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout all cases. The JPML heard arguments in favor of establishing an MDL in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, among other venues, but has not yet made a determination whether and where an MDL will be established.