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Siskinds and its Québec-based affiliate Siskinds Desmeules have filed proposed class action lawsuits regarding Gramoxone®, one of the most commonly used herbicides worldwide. Gramoxone is a non-residual herbicide used for grass and broadleaf weed control, containing paraquat as the active ingredient.

The actions have been filed in Ontario, British Columbia and Québec, and are brought against Syngenta AG, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, Syngenta Canada Inc., Syngenta International AG, and Syngenta Crop Protection AG (the “Defendants”).

Among other things, the proposed actions allege that the Defendants breached their obligations by misrepresenting the safety of Gramoxone, and its active ingredient, paraquat, and by failing to properly, adequately, and fairly warn of the risks associated with using and/or being exposed to Gramoxone and paraquat, as well as the magnitude of these risks.

The actions are brought on behalf of individuals in Canada diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after using and/or being exposed to Gramoxone at any time since July 1963, as well as certain of their family members.

Developments

A class action was commenced before the Quebec Superior Court by Siskinds, Desmeules on April, 30 2021. You can view a copy of the application for authorization to institute a class action here (French only).

Further class actions were commenced by Siskinds in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on August 6, 2021 and in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on August 17, 2021.

Each of these proposed class actions is in the early stages, and none of the proposed class actions have been authorized or certified by a court.

FAQs

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the Gramoxone® class action?

You are affected by the class action and are a “member” of the class if you are a person in Canada who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after having used and/or been exposed to Gramoxone® since 1963 and if you suffer or have suffered damages from the use and/or the exposure to one of the persons above notably, their spouse, father, mother and other ascendants, their children their legal mandataries, their close relatives, other relatives and/or their estate.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I opt-out of the class action?

Yes. Once the class action has been authorized or certified, you will have the opportunity to opt-out of the class action within a period of time to be determined by the Court. If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to any compensation awarded under a settlement agreement or court order. You may however pursue your own action on an individual basis.

Generally, class members will wish to exclude themselves from a class action if they intend to bring their own individual action. In the majority of cases, it will be more economical to participate in the class action because the legal costs will be shared among a very large number of people.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should :

  • Keep all your medical records to confirm your diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Keep any evidence to confirm your use and/or your exposure to Gramoxone®.
  • Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

All personal information provided will remain private and confidential.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in Touch form below.

You may also contact our Quebec firm, Siskinds, Desmeules, by phone at 418-694-2009 or at the toll free number 1-877-735-3842 or by email at [email protected].

A class action was commenced before the Quebec Superior Court by Siskinds, Desmeules on April, 30 2021. You can view a copy of the application for authorization to institute a class action here (French only).

Further class actions were commenced by Siskinds in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on August 6, 2021 and in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on August 17, 2021.

Each of these proposed class actions is in the early stages, and none of the proposed class actions have been authorized or certified by a court.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group of people whose claims share common legal and/or factual issues. Class actions provide a cost-effective way for groups of people with common interests to pursue a legal claim.

What does “certification” mean?

Certification is the motion where the court determines whether the action can properly be pursued as a class action. The court will consider factors such as whether the claims of the class members raise common legal and/or factual issues and whether a class action is the preferable method of pursuing the claims (as opposed to other methods, such as individual actions).

Do I have to pay anything to participate in the class action?

Class action lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. This means that class counsel are only paid if successful. Class counsel are paid a percentage of any settlement or court award. Class counsel fees are subject to court approval.

Who is affected by the Gramoxone® class action?

You are affected by the class action and are a “member” of the class if you are a person in Canada who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after having used and/or been exposed to Gramoxone® since 1963 and if you suffer or have suffered damages from the use and/or the exposure to one of the persons above notably, their spouse, father, mother and other ascendants, their children their legal mandataries, their close relatives, other relatives and/or their estate.

Can I join the class action?

There are no steps required to “join” the class action. Assuming you fall within the scope of the class definition, you are automatically included in the class action unless you “opt-out” (exclude yourself from the class action).

Can I opt-out of the class action?

Yes. Once the class action has been authorized or certified, you will have the opportunity to opt-out of the class action within a period of time to be determined by the Court. If you exclude yourself, you will not be entitled to any compensation awarded under a settlement agreement or court order. You may however pursue your own action on an individual basis.

Generally, class members will wish to exclude themselves from a class action if they intend to bring their own individual action. In the majority of cases, it will be more economical to participate in the class action because the legal costs will be shared among a very large number of people.

What should I do to protect my rights?

To protect your rights, you should :

  • Keep all your medical records to confirm your diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Keep any evidence to confirm your use and/or your exposure to Gramoxone®.
  • Register to receive updates on this case by filling out the form below.

All personal information provided will remain private and confidential.

I still have a question. Who should I contact?

If you have any other questions, please complete the Get in Touch form below.

You may also contact our Quebec firm, Siskinds, Desmeules, by phone at 418-694-2009 or at the toll free number 1-877-735-3842 or by email at [email protected].

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