Sixteen lawyers will steer lawsuits over the herbicide paraquat as part of a diverse team assembled by the Illinois federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation.

More than 150 lawsuits across the country allege that paraquat, first sold in the 1960s to professionals to kill weeds and grasses prior to planting crops, causes Parkinson’s disease. In a June 6 order, U.S. District Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengel of the Southern District of Illinois appointed 11 women and five men, including three co-lead counsel: Khaldoun Baghdadi, of San Francisco’s Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger; Sarah Shoemake Doles of Carey Danis & Lowe in St. Louis; and Peter Flowers, of Chicago’s Meyers & Flowers.