A Paraquat lawsuit lawyer can help if you or someone you care about was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to this dangerous chemical. Farmers, agricultural industry workers such as landscapers, groundskeepers, and gardeners, and others who suffered neurological injuries from this herbicide in the United States do have legal rights.
Paraquat is a toxic chemical widely used in the United States as an herbicide, or plant killer, for weed and grass control. The US Environmental Protection Agency classifies the chemical product as “restricted use.” This means that it can be used only by licensed applicators.
It is used in commercial crop settings for weed control and desiccation of crops, like cotton, prior to harvest. Paraquat is a popular alternative to other herbicides and pesticides like Monsanto’s Roundup.
However, Paraquat has been banned in 32 countries. Most notably, Swiss manufacturer Syngenta produces the herbicide, but it has been banned in Switzerland since 1989.
China also produces the herbicide Paraquat, but China announced it would begin phasing out Paraquat in 2012. In 2013, Paraquat was banned in England, yet one of Syngenta’s largest manufacturing facilities is located in Northern England.
Multiple studies suggest long-term exposure can cause Parkinson’s disease. Buckfire Law’s top-rated lawyers provide free confidential case reviews if you or a loved one was exposed to Paraquat and later diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Contact our skilled product liability attorneys today to start your case.
How Are People Exposed to Paraquat?
Paraquat exposure can occur in a variety of ways. One method for Paraquat poisoning would be through ingestion, like swallowing. It can be mistakenly consumed on its own or can be easily mixed with food, water, or other beverages and accident consumed by a person. It can also be inhaled and cause damage to the lungs.
Paraquat claims are generally related to skin exposure. This occurs when the chemical comes in direct contact with the skin and is absorbed into the human body. It often happens over a long period of time with frequent exposure to the dangerous herbicide. The extent of the poisoning depends on a number of factors, including the route of the exposure, the amount of the chemical, and how long a person was exposed to the chemical product.
What are the Risks of Paraquat Exposure?
Paraquat is only available to those licensed in accordance with EPA regulations and isn’t available for general consumer usage. Paraquat was introduced in 1964 and has also been sold under a variety of brand names in the United States, including:
- Paraquate Concentrate
- Cyclone SL 2.0
- Bonfire Herbicide
The EPA requires certified Paraquat applicators go through a training program before they’re allowed to mix, load, or apply Paraquat. Additionally, Syngenta adds a blue color dye, a strong odor, and a chemical that induces vomiting, as precautions.
However, even when precautions are taken, Paraquat exposure may still occur through skin absorption, inhalation, or accidental ingestion. Once entering the human body, Paraquat can result in oxidative stress causing cells to degenerate and die, which is a major contributing factor in Parkinson’s disease. Even low levels of exposure can mimic the cellular changes that are associated with Parkinson’s disease.
Immediate Signs and Symptoms of Paraquat Poisoning
The immediate signs and symptoms of Paraquat poisoning differ based upon the route of exposure, duration of exposure, and quantity absorbed into the human body.
For small to medium amounts of exposure, a person may develop adverse health effects including heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, and lung scarring.
Large amounts of Paraquat poisoning can cause more serious health effects like acute kidney failure, confusion, coma, heart damage, seizure, and other serious health problems.
Longer, more sustained exposure, to the chemical herbicide as been linked to neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease.
Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disease that causes limb stiffness and tremors, balance and coordination problems, and other symptoms that get worse over time. It is believed that only 1 in 10 cases of Parkinson’s disease is caused by genetics.
According to a December 2016 study, researchers found that exposure to Paraquat may lead to Parkinson’s disease. Another study found that a person’s risk for Parkinson’s disease increases by 200-600% depending on how young in age their exposure began.
Additionally, a 2009 study in the America Journal of Epidemiology found that any exposure to Paraquat within 1,600 feet of their home increased their risk of Parkinson’s disease by 75%. Another study in 2011 found that farmers using Paraquat are 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
In 2017, the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council sent a five-page letter to the Pesticide Re-Evaluation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the link of the disease to Paraquat. The letter cited scientific studies that found “Paraquat increases the likelihood of an exposed person developing Parkinson’s disease.” The organization recommended the EPA more strongly restrict and scrutinize the herbicide product due to its significant neurotoxicity.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease that you believe was caused by Paraquat, you may be eligible to receive compensation from Syngenta. A Paraquat lawsuit lawyer at Buckfire Law will help you get your claim started immediately.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes impaired movement and damages other brain functions. Common symptoms include:
- Tremors and shaking, frequently in the hands and fingers
- Noticeable slowed movement, like things taking much longer to complete than previously
- Stiff muscles and joints
- Impaired posture or balance, like hunching over forward
- Changes in speech and speech patterns
Symptoms typically start gradually and increase in severity over time. Symptoms can differ from person to person and can be mild and start on a single side of the body.
The chart below shows the number of deaths per 100,000 people due to Parkinson’s disease in the United States. As you can see, the overall number of deaths due to Parkinson’s disease continues to increase every year.
Can I Sue the Company That Makes Paraquat?
If you or someone you care about suffered personal injuries from exposure to Paraquat, you may be able to sue the company that made and sold the product. The product liability lawsuits allege Syngenta must be held accountable to poisoning victims because it:
- Knew or should have known Paraquat was highly toxic and that exposure to the chemical could cause Parkinson’s disease
- Failed to warn the public of the dangers and health consequences of Paraquat exposure
- Negligently designed and marketed the product to the public
- Failed to take reasonable steps to prevent users and others from harm
The company continued to sell the product in the United States despite bans in other countries. By putting profit over people, thousands of people were continuously exposed to a dangerous chemical that could cause life-changing medical conditions and diseases.
What are the Criteria for Filing a Paraquat Lawsuit?
To qualify to participate in a Paraquat lawsuit, you must prove exposure to Paraquat in a setting such as:
- Working on a farm
- Applying herbicide
- Chemical mixer or tank filler
- Living around a farming community
- Medical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or a related neurological condition
It is recommended you hold onto any medical-related bills, as well as notes or directions from your healthcare providers. Both may be important in proving your case.
Have there been any Paraquat Settlements?
The law allows for two types of damages in dangerous product cases. You may qualify for both types in a Paraquat lawsuit.
The first type of recoverable damage is non-economic damages. These are settlement payouts for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These are different for every claimant. Your medical records provide strong evidence of these damages.
The second type is economic damages. This is compensation for your financial losses caused by your injuries. It includes lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses.
We will work hard to win you the maximum possible Paraquat settlement payout amount. There are no lawyer fees unless you get a settlement.
Is there a Class Action Lawsuit against Syngenta for Paraquat?
At least one class-action lawsuit has been filed against Syngenta and has since been amended to include Growmark and Chevron Chemical. The suit was filed in St. Clair County, Illinois on behalf of farmers and agricultural industry workers who developed Parkinson’s after exposure to Paraquat.
The class-action lawsuit demands compensation for people who suffered from exposure to the herbicide. Allegations include:
- Failure to warn about Parkinson’s risks
- Failure to ensure workers receive adequate protection
- Misrepresenting safety of Paraquat
- Negligently disregarding the potential risks
You may be eligible to join the Paraquat class-action lawsuit. If the case is successful, you may be entitled to a significant settlement.
Contact a Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been exposed to Paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, contact Buckfire Law today.
There are time limits to file dangerous product lawsuits, so it’s best to act as quickly as possible.
Call our Paraquat lawsuit lawyers today for your free case review.
References and Resources
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