The Paraquat litigation continues to move toward trial dates in both the national MDL venued in Southern Illinois (where Khaldoun Baghdadi is a co-lead) and the California JCCP venued in Contra Costa (where Mike Kelly is a co-lead). Trial dates have now been set in both jurisdictions. Judge Rosenstengel in the MDL has selected a date in October 2023 for the first federal bellwether, and Judge Treat in Contra Costa has picked a date in January 2024 for the first state court trial. Expert depositions are almost all complete, and the volume of new Paraquat Parkinson’s disease cases being filed continues to increase. In the MDL the total cases count now exceeds 3,700. Current scheduling has Daubert hearings to be heard in August in the federal cases, and Sargonne motions shortly thereafter in state court. Paraquat is a highly toxic herbicide used to control weeds and grasses in a variety of crops. It works by interfering with photosynthesis in plant cells, ultimately leading to their death. It is also highly toxic to humans and animals, causing a range of health problems. The Paraquat litigation is focused on the link between Paraquat exposure and an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease based on research indicating that Paraquat damages the cells in the human brain responsible for producing dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for normal movement. Epidemiological analyses have shown that individuals with Parkinson’s disease are more likely to have been exposed to Paraquat than those without the condition.

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