Paraquat herbicide: 2021’s top mass tort ad target

Feb 22, 2022

Paraquat herbicide: 2021’s top mass tort ad target

More was spent on television ads soliciting claims related to the commercial herbicide paraquat last year than on ads targeting any other product. On average, a paraquat litigation television ad aired every 6 minutes in 2021.

Often sold under the brand name Gramoxone, use of paraquat allegedly increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Over 90,000 of these ads aired in the United States in 2021 at an estimated cost of $16.2 million.

Ads soliciting paraquat claims aired locally in every media market in the United States and nationally on cable and broadcast networks, as well as during nationally syndicated television programming. Over 50 law firms, lead generation companies, and other advertisers sponsored these ads in 2021.


The volume of paraquat litigation advertising jumped at the end of 2021 when more than twice as many TV ads aired in December as in November.

Paraquat Litigation TV Advertising

Number of Ads, Nov-Dec 2021

Paraquat SC - Nov-Dec 21

This spike in paraquat litigation advertising follows a period of a number of years in which another agricultural product, Roundup (glyphosate), was the dominant target of plaintiffs’ law firms and others soliciting legal claims on television. Since 2015, $130 million has been spent on over 600,000 TV ads soliciting Roundup claims.

The top paraquat litigation TV ad last year was sponsored by Guardian Legal Network and aired nearly 14,000 times:

In addition to heightened TV ad activity, X Ante has captured a number of ads and posts on social media and elsewhere designed to solicit claims:

Sample Paraquat Litigation Facebook, Google Ads, & Webpages, 2021

Paraquat is one of the most widely used industrial herbicides in the world. It is manufactured and sold under several brand or product trade names with Gramoxone being the most common. Gramoxone is manufactured by Syngenta, a global agrochemical company, and was previously sold in partnership with Chevron.

Scientific studies in recent years suggest a possible link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

In June, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) transferred lawsuits accusing Syngenta and Chevron of selling the herbicide paraquat despite knowing it causes Parkinson’s disease to a multidistrict litigation (MDL) proceeding in Illinois federal court.

By February 2022, plaintiffs filed nearly 800 cases with the paraquat MDL. In addition, a state court action in California consolidated a number of paraquat state claims there.

The first lawsuit alleging a paraquat-Parkinson’s disease link was filed in Missouri in 2017 against Syngenta. The Court later required plaintiffs to amend their complaint to include Chevron Chemical as an additional defendant in the case.