Have you been exposed to paraquat and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease? You’re not alone; you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and suffering.
Contact Rosen Injury Lawyers to find out how our law firm can help you fight to maximize your financial recovery.
Why are People Filing Paraquat Lawsuits?
Agriculture is one of America’s most dangerous industries. In 2017 alone, 416 farm workers were killed on the job. The industry workplace fatality rate is almost six times higher than the U.S. average. The EPA estimates that occupational exposure to chemicals causes up to 20,000 farmworker deaths every year.
Exposure to harmful chemicals like pesticides and herbicides is one of the greatest risks for farmers and agricultural workers. Paraquat is one of the most widely used and dangerous chemicals in agriculture. This toxic chemical has been linked to Parkinson’s disease and other health risks, which means paraquat lawsuits are on the rise.
Tens of thousands of workers were exposed to paraquat and other dangerous chemicals without understanding the risks they faced. The manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers about unreasonable and foreseeable risks of paraquat is the basis for the paraquat lawsuits.
Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers have a duty to provide adequate instruction and warning about the risks of their products. Failure to warn is considered a dangerous product defect. In most states, manufacturers are held strictly liable for defective products that cause injury.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a highly toxic herbicide restricted to commercial use. It was introduced in the 1960s to kill most plant tissue on contact. It is typically used between crop plantings to destroy all grass and plant growth once harvest is finished.
Paraquat has been manufactured and sold by Syngenta, Growmark, and Chevron Chemical under the following brand names:
- Bonfire Herbicide
It is one of the most widely used commercial herbicides in the U.S., despite facing bans in 32 other countries. In fact, its use in the United States has only grown in recent decades.
Paraquat is a popular alternative to Roundup, which has also been linked to health risks, such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Many weeds have developed a resistance to the glyphosate in Roundup.
What are the Risks of Paraquat Exposure?
Paraquat poses many serious health risks. There is no known antidote, and even a tiny amount of exposure can cause paraquat poisoning. A single sip is enough to kill a human, and it is equally deadly when inhaled. Inhalation, ingestion, and contact exposure can all result in paraquat poisoning.
Paraquat exposure can result in:
- Difficulty breathing
- Elevated heart rate
- Muscle weakness
- Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea
- Swelling and pain in the throat and mouth
However, chronic exposure to paraquat is believed to pose the highest risk. In addition to symptoms of poisoning, exposure to paraquat can result in multi-system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, and Parkinson’s disease.
Does Exposure to Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?
The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council states that chronic paraquat exposure increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 200% to 600%.
While the link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease is not yet definitive, studies continue to find a strong association:
- People exposed to paraquat and/or the fungicide maneb within 500 meters of their home have a 75% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease. The risk is highest when exposed at a younger age. Depending on the length of exposure and age, younger people face up to a 600% higher risk.
- A 2011 study associated Parkinson’s disease with exposure to paraquat through oxidative stress.
- An NIH study in 2011 found farmers who used paraquat were 250% more likely to develop PD.
- A 2012 study found that people with certain genes are 11x more likely to develop PD after being exposed to paraquat.
These studies suggest that low-level paraquat exposure disrupts cells in a way that is similar to the effects of mutations that result in Parkinson’s disease. Chemicals like paraquat can result in oxidative stress that may cause PD.
In 2017, the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council urged the EPA to end paraquat use due to its risks.
The EPA announced in 2016 that it would explore potential health risks of paraquat exposure. The EPA reviews all herbicides every 15 years to ensure federal safety compliance. It has until October 1, 2022, to decide if it will reregister paraquat.
Likewise, legislation has been introduced to end the use of paraquat. The Protect Against Paraquat Act is pending in the House of Representatives. The Protect Children, Farmers, and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2019 has been introduced in the Senate.
Am I Eligible to File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
Agricultural workers, farmers, and people who live close to industrial farms are at the greatest risk of paraquat exposure. Suppose you have been exposed to paraquat, rotenone, or a similar chemical and later developed Parkinson’s disease or a nervous system disorder. In that case, you may be eligible to file a paraquat lawsuit.
The best way to determine if you have a case is to schedule a free consultation with Rosen Injury Lawyers. We will help you explore your legal options.
What Compensation is Available in Paraquat Lawsuits?
If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after paraquat exposure, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered.
You may recover economic and non-economic damages for your illness, including:
- Medical expenses, including the anticipated cost of your future medical needs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity and benefits of employment
- Non-economic losses, including your mental and physical pain and suffering, reduced enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and more
Our paraquat injury lawyers will help you pursue the full compensation you deserve from the herbicide paraquat.
How Do I Prove a Toxic Tort Case?
Paraquat lawsuits are toxic tort cases based on product liability law. Entities in the supply chain, including the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer, have a duty to provide a product that meets consumer expectations and is reasonably safe. Cases involving injuries caused by dangerous chemicals are based on failure to warn. This is considered a product defect and typically allows the manufacturer to be held strictly liable.
Because a paraquat case is based on a failure to warn defect, it is not necessary to prove the manufacturer was negligent in any way – only that they did not provide adequate warning about the dangers of their product and how to use it properly.
To win a toxic tort case, you must establish that you were exposed to paraquat and that there is a connection between the exposure and the illness you suffered. While the proof necessary depends on the state, you must generally show that the chemical was dangerous, and it was more than likely the cause of the harm you suffered.
Proving a toxic tort case can be complex. Despite a growing body of evidence demonstrating the risks of paraquat exposure, there is not yet a firm causal link. However, evidence is becoming increasingly clear. Your paraquat injury lawyer will build your case based on the latest scientific research and expert medical testimony.
How Long Do I Have to File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
It depends on your state’s specific laws. In most states, the statute of limitations, or the deadline to file a lawsuit, does not begin until you discover or should have discovered your injury. This is because the adverse effects of toxic exposure may not be apparent for many years.
Litigation involving a toxic chemical can take years to resolve as research establishes causation. It usually takes several personal injury lawsuits reaching a jury before the next step is taken. This involves combining groups of cases in federal court, a process called Multi-District Litigation (MDL).
The first class action paraquat litigation occurred in June 2021 when a paraquat MDL was formed.
How Rosen Injury Lawyers Can Help After You After Harmful Paraquat Exposure
Toxic tort cases are among the hardest personal injury cases to litigate and win. These claims involve a complicated combination of medicine, science, and personal injury law. Despite a growing body of research demonstrating the risks of paraquat exposure, manufacturers still fight back against claims that the product causes Parkinson’s disease. Even proving exposure can be complicated.
When you become ill due to paraquat exposure, it’s crucial to choose a lawyer with the legal experience and resources necessary to prove your case.
Here is what our mass tort law firm is prepared to do for you:
- Provide guidance and legal advice
- Handle all paperwork, court filings, and communications
- Investigate how your exposure happened
- Determine if you qualify for a mass tort action
- Work with top experts to demonstrate the link between your paraquat exposure and illness
- Accurately value the full extent of the damages you have suffered
- Negotiate with the insurance company to seek a fair settlement
- Take your case before a jury to seek maximum compensation when a settlement cannot be reached
Rosen Injury Lawyers is committed to helping you seek justice and the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Call our law firm today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help.
Contact Rosen Injury Lawyers to Discuss Your Paraquat Lawsuit
If you have suffered serious effects from exposure to paraquat, the manufacturers should be held accountable. Rosen Injury Lawyers has decades of experience handling complex toxic tort claims, and we are prepared to fight for you.
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case review with a paraquat lawyer near you. We will help you explore your eligibility for a paraquat lawsuit and help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve.