Lawyer ads surge for paraquat weedkiller claims – X Ante report

FILE PHOTO: A logo can be seen at the headquarters of the agrochemical manufacturer Syngenta in Basel, Switzerland, Jan. 30, 2020. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

(Reuters) – Televised commercials of lawyers seeking plaintiffs allegations about the herbicide paraquat sold by Chevron Corp and Syngenta Group has increased in recent months, according to a report released Wednesday by research firm X Ante.

Lawyers spent $ 812,280 on paraquat ads in March and April, compared to $ 160,600 in January and February, a 406% increase, the firm said, citing data from advertising analytics firm Kantar Media CMAG. The number of advertisements relating to Paraquat rose accordingly by 418% from 1,957 to 10,131 during this period.

No other statewide mass product liability infringement has seen a comparable increase, despite the fact that advertising increased more than 1,000% in terms of spending and more than 2,000% in terms of litigation ads during the Texas power outages last winter.

The surge in paraquat advertising came in the months leading up to last week’s rioting before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation over whether and where to consolidate claims that the weedkiller causes Parkinson’s disease. Groups of plaintiffs have requested consolidation in the Northern District of California and Southern District of Illinois, while Defendants said the Eastern District of Missouri would be a better place.

Paraquat is banned in many jurisdictions, including China and Europe. Chevron and Syngenta, a subsidiary of ChemChina, deny the allegations.

Some mass crime, which previously attracted significant ad spend, saw declines this year, according to X Ante. Ad spend on Bayer’s weed killer Roundup decreased 25% from approximately $ 1.6 million to $ 1.3 million in March and April compared to January and February.

Spending on ads related to Zantac heartburn medication that plaintiffs claim causes cancer topped the list in terms of total spending – more than $ 6 million in the first four months of the year. The drug has been sold at different times by Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer, who have denied liability.

Zantac spending decreased by 26% from January-February to March-April. However, according to X Ante, it rose 43% from $ 1.14 million to $ 1.6 million from March to April. Only paraquat expenditure rose more sharply during this period.

Spending on claims that 3M Co’s military earplugs were defective and causing hearing loss also increased 34% in those two months. It remained relatively low, however, with just $ 69,330 spent in April, despite the largest cross-district lawsuit over the earplugs in US history.

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