Paraquat Lawsuit: Exposure to Toxic Herbicide Thought to Cause Parkinson’s Disease
Lawsuits related to Paraquat have been filed claiming the herbicide is responsible for causing Parkinson’s disease after prolonged exposure.
What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat dichloride, known as “paraquat” and sold under brand names, such as Gramoxone, Parazone, and Firestorm, is a cheap, widely used, highly toxic herbicide used as a weed killer. Farmers and agricultural laborers are at most risk for being exposed to paraquat. However, residents who live in rural communities near industrial farms are also at an increased risk of paraquat exposure.
Paraquat was first introduced in 1961 in commercial settings to control grass and kill weeds. It’s also used to defoliate crops, such as cotton before it’s harvested. It works against most plants and its popularity for being used for prevented planting acres is growing. Additionally, paraquat also works well as a burndown before planting specific crops, particularly soybeans.
Across the country, injured consumers have filed paraquat lawsuits against the makers and distributors of paraquat. These lawsuits claim that this dangerous herbicide caused their Parkinson’s Disease and that the makers of paraquat knowingly produced and distributed a known toxin. Currently, paraquat is banned in more than 30 countries. These injured consumers and their loved ones are seeking financial compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced due to their exposure to paraquat. A paraquat settlement may help cover the medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering that a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease brings.
Our law firm is on the frontlines of this legal issue and we are accepting clients who have had significant exposure to paraquat and subsequently developed Parkinson’s Disease.
Our award-winning paraquat lawsuit lawyers have successfully handled large and complex mass tort lawsuits across the country. We have earned a reputation for being aggressive legal advocates for consumers who suffered injuries at the hands of negligent and reckless corporations. We have the financial resources and experience to take on large corporations like the makers of paraquat. In fact, other law firms often refer their biggest and most complicated clients to us because of our reputation in the legal community.
Evidence from the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council shows that paraquat exposure may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease by 200-600%
Our Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyers Are Here to Help
Why Choose Our Law Firm?
When you are looking for a paraquat lawsuit attorney, you must ensure they have the experience to properly build your case. These cases are complex and require substantial resources to build. You need a law firm with a track record of success winning multi-million dollar cases. We are that law firm. Just look at what our past clients had to say about working with Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A. While past success never guarantees future results, you can rest easier knowing you have a team of experienced and dedicated trial lawyers on your side.
Attorney Matthew Dolman is no stranger to large and complex litigation. He is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum which honors lawyers who have secured verdicts and/or settlements over $2 million. Fewer than 1% of practicing lawyers have achieved such status.
When you choose our paraquat lawsuit attorneys you get:
- A Free Case Review: we offer a free, no-obligation case evaluation to help you examine your legal options after your paraquat exposure.
- Law Firm with Successful Track Record: we routinely handle multi-million dollar injury cases and are experienced, trial lawyers.
- National Reach: we not only handle cases throughout Florida but all across the nation. From coast-to-coast, our law firm delivers.
- Big Law Firm Results: we are proud to offer big law firm results with small firm personal attention. It is what sets us apart.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers is a nationally recognized personal injury and consumer justice law firm with over 120+ years of combined experience. As of date, we have recovered over $200 million for injury victims and represented over 6000 clients. Our firm has been built on word-of-mouth referrals from very satisfied former and current clients. We are presently handling many mass tort projects including Zantac, AFFF Fire Fighting Foam, Elmiron, Roundup, and Talc Powder injury cases. We remain available 24 hours a day for a free case review to determine your eligibility regarding paraquat lawsuits.
Pursing Paraquat Lawsuits and Settlements
If you worked with paraquat in your profession or you lived in a community near a farm that did and you developed Parkinson’s Disease, you may be entitled to compensation. To obtain this compensation, you must file a paraquat lawsuit against the makers of this toxic poison. Paraquat is so toxic that there is no known antidote. Because of its high toxicity, the U.S. placed several safeguards to prevent it from being ingested, including adding a chemical that induces vomiting if accidentally consumed. We believe that manufacturers knew of the dangers of Paraquat, yet ignored the evidence.
However, most individuals were exposed to this toxin after it was inhaled or sprayed on plants. This led to toxic levels in their bodies which may have contributed to the development of Parkinson’s disease. Sadly, the risk of paraquat exposure has been known for decades. Yet, companies continued to use this highly toxic substance because they prioritized their profits over consumer health. Now, injured consumers and their families can seek justice by filing a paraquat lawsuit.
Due to several scientific studies in recent years, there is strong evidence of a link between exposure to paraquat, and a greatly increased risk of several serious health complications, such as organ failure, various forms of cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. As a result, more than 32 countries have now banned the sale of paraquat. It makes you wonder, how paraquat remains legal? Although paraquat use in the United States is still legal, several multi-district litigation lawsuits are now being filed throughout the country.
So far, fourteen paraquat lawsuits have been filed in federal courts in three states – California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania – alleging a link between paraquat, the widely-banned herbicide, and incurable Parkinson’s disease.
Paraquat Lawsuits – Multi-District Litigation
A motion was filed recently with the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) to consolidate all paraquat cases that have been filed in Federal Courts. The goal is to consolidate each paraquat lawsuit before one Federal Judge to streamline the process into a multi-district litigation lawsuit (MDL). The motion identified the fourteen aforementioned lawsuits with common questions of both law and fact which made it ripe for being handled as multi-district litigation. In June 2021, an MDL for paraquat was officially formed with all cases being transferred to the Southern District of Illinois to be heard before a judge.
Timeline of the Paraquat – Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuits
There have been significant developments in the paraquat MDL since it was first created. In fact, the first jury trial has now been scheduled and the entire plaintiff’s steering committee has all been set in the last month. Here is a list of updates concerning the paraquat MDL.
April 30, 2021: Parkinson’s Awareness Month
April 30, 2021, marks the final day of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and six lawsuits were simultaneously filed. The defendants named in all six lawsuits are Syngenta AG, Syngenta Crop Protection, and Chevron USA; which comprises all paraquat manufacturers.
June 7, 2021: Multi-district Litigation (MDL) Created for Paraquat Claims
On June 7, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) created multi-district litigation (MDL) for Paraquat claims to be held in the Southern District of Illinois. U.S. District Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengal was appointed by the six-Judge panel to oversee all paraquat litigation. The Judges cited that Illinois is among the top five states in paraquat usage and is home to many similar lawsuits as reasons for their selection as the venue.
June 18, 2021: Notice of Settlement Filed
A notice of settlement has been filed in California stating that 16 paraquat lawsuits filed in the state had reached a settlement agreement.
June 22, 2021: First Paraquat Jury Trial Set
In the initial hearing, U.S. Judge Nancy Rosenstengel set the very first paraquat jury trial against Syngenta for November 15, 2022. There are presently 157 lawsuits pending in both Federal and state courts throughout the nation.
The defendants in these cases include Syngenta, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP, and Chevron USA, Inc; the primary paraquat manufacturers.
July 6, 2021: 16 Attorneys Selected to Serve on Paraquat Steering Committee
Sixteen lawyers have been selected by U.S. District Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengal of the Southern District of Illinois to serve on the steering committee for paraquat. Eleven women and five men have been appointed to steer the 150 plus lawsuits that have been filed in Federal Courts throughout the nation. These lawsuits allege that paraquat causes Parkinson’s Disease.
The three lead co-counsel are Khaldoun Baghdadi of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger; Peter Flowers of Meyers & Flowers, and Sara Shoemake Doles of Carey Danis & Lowe.
The remainder of the steering committee of thirteen lawyers (not including the three lead counsel) are:
- Amy Eskin of Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky
- David Cates of Cates Mahoney
- Chad Finley of Tor Hoerman Law
- Marlene Goldenberg of Goldenberg Law
- Amanda Williamson of Heninger Garrison Davis
- Alicia O’Neil of Watts Guerra
- Aimee Wagstaff of Andrus Wagstaff
- Diandra Debrose Zimmerman of Dicello Levitt Gutzler
- Eric Kennedy of Weisman Kennedy Z& Berris
- Leslie LaMacchia of Pulaski Kherker
- Roopal Luhana of Chaffin Luhana
- Laruby May of Levin Papantonio, Rafferty, Proctor
- Julia Merritt of Beasley Allen
Judge Rosenstengal appointed Louisiana mediator Randi Ellis as Special Master over the paraquat lawsuit cases MDL.
Numerous paraquat lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming months. The first paraquat-related Parkinson’s disease jury trial has been set by Judge Rosenstengal for November 15, 2021. We are presently investigating numerous claims of paraquat causing Parkinson’s disease.
The purpose of the paraquat MDL is consolidated handling of all future Paraquat cases before a single federal Judge as opposes to thousands of cases in numerous Federal circuits.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, P.A., we can help you determine what your legal options may be, including taking part in the national multi-district litigation that is currently pending. Call us today at 866-975-6242. We are already investigating numerous potential cases in which the individual (often agricultural workers) has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after continued exposure to paraquat.
Compensation in Paraquat Lawsuits
How Much is My Paraquat Lawsuit Worth?
Our law firm will help you fight for justice and the compensation you are entitled to. By filing a paraquat lawsuit, you can hold negligent manufacturers accountable for their decisions to place profits over people. You can also obtain the money you need to help you pay for:
- Medical care
- Long-term care costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
It is difficult to determine how much your case might be worth without performing a case evaluation. However, you may stand to recover a substantial amount by filing a paraquat lawsuit. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and help you obtain the maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and you believe paraquat exposure may be to blame, call us today at 866-975-6242.
Am I Eligible to File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
Without a full case evaluation, it is difficult to know whether you qualify to file a paraquat lawsuit. The best way to determine eligibility is to call our law firm immediately. We can meet with you in person, virtually, or in your home to better assist you. We want to answer your questions and learn more about your case. As a national law firm with decades of experience, we can help you file a paraquat lawsuit if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Do I Need to Prove I Was Exposed to Paraquat?
Believe it or not, proving your exposure to paraquat may be easier than you realize. If you worked on an industrial farm or lived near one, this is often enough to establish a cause. However, gathering the necessary evidence to win your case is difficult without the help of an experienced paraquat lawsuit attorney. We want you to focus on your health and your loved ones during this time. Let us investigate the farm, the pesticides they used, and the exposure of others in the community. We know how to build a case from the ground up and we can work quickly to help you establish your claim.
Paraquat Use Can Lead To Parkinson’s Disease
Paraquat is highly poisonous, and its ingestion or absorption can immediately lead to severe illness and even death. In addition, it’s also considered an environmental risk factor for Parkinson’s Disease. Because of this, The United States Environmental Protection Agency classifies paraquat as “restricted use” and it can only be used by licensed individuals. However, even for licensed users in hazmat suits, paraquat exceeds the reasonable risks of danger that manufacturers have not adequately disclosed for decades. A 2019 article in Environmental Health uncovered that paraquat is one of only two herbicides still being used by the U.S.
In 1997, the EPA disclosed that exposure to paraquat during the mixing, loading, or application process was dangerous and should not be used on residential properties. They also suggested that homes near industrial farms were at risk for toxic exposure.
Since the 2000s, studies have shown the link between paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease. However, the use of paraquat continues and is even increasing as a result of the increase in glyphosate-resistant weeds. In 2009, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology linked exposure to paraquat with a 75 percent increased risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. In 2011, a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed concern that paraquat exposure was strongly linked to Parkinson’s Disease cases. Furthermore, the authors of the study became increasingly worried that the potential exposure to paraquat toxins reached far beyond occupational and agricultural exposure. In fact, they stated that many people may have suffered exposure to paraquat without their knowledge.
In 2017, the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council sent a letter to the EPA listing their concerns regarding paraquat and Parkinson’s disease development. They urged the EPA to deny paraquat’s registration. According to this letter, they believed the economic costs to each person equated to $26,400 per year.
What Manufactures are responsible for Paraquat Exposure?
Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. is one of the two corporate defendants named thus far in reviewing each paraquat lawsuit. Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. has the license to make and sell paraquat in the U.S. under the name Gramoxone. Syngenta is the other named defendant. They are the manufacturer of paraquat. Both defendants claim paraquat is safe and have vowed to aggressively defend the forthcoming paraquat herbicide lawsuits.
Paraquat lawsuits filed against manufacturers allege that these companies knew or should have known of the risk of harm. However, they failed to take necessary action to prevent harm to consumers and workers. As a result, many people now suffer from various illnesses, including Parkinson’s Disease.
Paraquat In The United States
More than 10 million pounds of paraquat is produced annually, making it one of the most popular herbicides in the world. Due to its dangers, manufacturers of paraquat within the US are lawfully required to add a “blue dye” to distinguish it from other liquids, especially beverages to avoid paraquat poisoning. Furthermore, they give paraquat herbicide a very sharp, unpleasant odor to act as a warning and an added agent to induce vomiting.
Nonetheless, studies have shown that long-term exposure to paraquat, such as absorption through the skin or airways, can lead to lung scarring, heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, severe muscle weakness, and Parkinson’s Disease.
Despite its dangers, these same precautions may not be used to identify paraquat outside of the US. However, more than 32 countries have banned paraquat entirely, including the European Union because of its toxicity. Therefore, you must be cautious of this when traveling abroad.
If you or a loved one may have been exposed to paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or any other health complications, we may be able to help you with a free case review. You may be eligible to be included in a multi-district litigation lawsuit. Please contact our law firm today at 866-975-6242 for a free consultation. You need an experienced paraquat lawyer that can make sure you get the financial compensation you deserve. We take on giant corporations every day and we are passionate about helping those who have been injured and wronged. Let us help you! Paraquat lawsuits are being filed at an increased pace. We expect to find at least 200 active paraquat lawsuits in United States Federal Courts by August.
Was I Exposed To Paraquat?
To be eligible for a paraquat settlement, determining whether you have been exposed to paraquat is the first step. Something as simple as inhalation, such as breathing in droplets through the mouth, nose, or airways, or absorption into the skin, can expose a person to paraquat poisoning. This type of exposure is often in very small amounts and occurs over long periods of time. Regardless, immediate symptoms can still develop.
Particularly, such type of exposure is more likely to occur in the following individuals:
- Farmers, farmworkers, individuals with high environmental exposure
- Agricultural and landscaping workers
- Loaders, mixers
- Applicators, sprayers of weed killers, crop duster pilots
- Owners of property, especially farmland or in rural areas
- Individuals living in rural areas, especially children who may be attending school near locations where paraquat is sprayed
Although these individuals may have a greater risk of being exposed, they are not the only ones at risk. Anyone living, working, attending school on or near properties that apply paraquat also run the risk of being exposed. Being paraquat is an herbicide due to herbicide drift, herbicide overspray, and herbicide runoff.
Herbicide drift is the physical movement of the herbicide particles through air, when applied or soon after, to any area other than for which it was intended. There are three ways this drift to non-target areas may occur:
- Vapor Drift
- physical spray-particle drift
- herbicide-contaminated soil
Although drifts are often caused by high winds, that’s not always the case. For example, vapor drift, in particular, can travel more than a mile, especially when used in warm climates, and thus not needing high winds to spread.
Similar to herbicide drift, herbicide overspray is exactly that – the result of misusing the product by spraying beyond the intended areas. For instance, a crop-dusting pilot may be spraying paraquat over farmland and ends up spraying it over residential areas as well. Essentially, this would have a similar effect to herbicide drift in the way it travels throughout the air.
Herbicide runoff is when the chemical finds its way into running water. This occurs because the herbicide has the ability to bind to soil. Soils more prone to runoff, such as bare or impermeable soils, are more susceptible to herbicide runoff than those soils that are vegetated. Furthermore, herbicides in sandy soils may cause leaching, which may result in groundwater contamination.
Aside from direct use, these types of exposure demonstrate how paraquat can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Additionally, exposure through contaminated water or food would occur through ingestion, which is the most common form of poisoning, and another means of being exposed. Therefore, any food, water, or other beverages which may become contaminated with paraquat, can put anyone at risk. However, like inhalation and skin absorption, even ingesting the smallest of amounts over a prolonged period of time can still result in severe health complications down the road.
Immediate Health Effects To Paraquat Exposure
Chances are, if you’ve been exposed to paraquat, you’ll likely begin to experience severe symptoms of paraquat exposure, especially if immediate, and would require immediate medical attention. Even in small amounts, especially through ingestion, paraquat can be fatal. When ingested, paraquat causes direct damage the moment it contacts the lining of the mouth, stomach, or intestines.
When dealing with small to moderate amounts, some immediate paraquat symptoms include:
- Pain and swelling in the mouth and throat
- Digestive tract symptoms and abdominal pain
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Upon ingestion, it is dispersed throughout the body and causes toxic chemical reactions within the lungs, liver, heart, and kidneys. This can lead to liver failure, heart failure, and kidney failure that can occur within days or several weeks of being exposed. Lung scarring may also develop over several weeks.
Larger amounts of paraquat are more dangerous and presumably even more severe and can lead to the following in just a few hours or a couple of days:
- Liver, kidney failure
- Confusion, coma, seizures, muscle weakness
- Faster lung scarring, the buildup of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
- Severe breathing (respiratory) complications
- Injury to heart, rapid heart rate, heart failure
Long Term Impact of Paraquat Exposure
Unfortunately, when someone is exposed to a large amount of paraquat, they are not likely to survive. If one is fortunate enough to survive immediate exposure to a small or moderate amount of paraquat, long-term health effects are still very likely to occur. The same can be said for prolonged exposure to paraquat.
These long-term health effects may include the following:
- Long-term lung damage and heavy lung scarring
- Scarring, swelling of the throat, and esophageal strictures
- Heart, kidney, liver failure
- Parkinson’s Disease
What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that affects the functions of the central nervous system and results in extreme slowness in movement. Nerve cell damage in the brain causes dopamine to drop, leading to tremors and shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance, walking, and coordination. It is a chronic, progressive disease that usually begins gradually and gets worse over time. As Parkinson’s progresses, it can make what used to be easy, everyday functions, like walking and talking, now very difficult.
- Mild motor symptoms that usually don’t interfere with everyday activities but can cause sleep problems; tremors may occur, but only on one side of the body; changes in posture, walking, and facial expressions are also possible.
- Symptoms worsen, tremors begin to occur, along with rigidity other movements on both sides of the body; the person can still live on their own, but everyday tasks become more difficult.
- This is known as the mid-stage and is where individuals usually begin to experience loss of balance and slowness in movements. Activities like eating and getting dressed start to become significantly impaired. Falls are also more common in this stage.
- Symptoms are now severe and very limiting. At this stage, individuals may be able to stand up without help, but to move likely requires a cane or walker. Individuals in this stage require help with all daily activities and are no longer able to live alone.
- Stiffness in the legs may now make it impossible to walk or even stand up. At this stage, a wheelchair is required, and the individual requires full-time care around the clock. Hallucinations and delusions may also occur.
It is important to note that regardless of the symptoms, to officially determine if one has Parkinson’s disease, a professional medical diagnosis is needed. So, if you are experiencing any symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, get to a doctor as soon as possible. If it has been medically determined that you have Parkinson’s disease and you feel you have been exposed to paraquat, you want to make sure that you reach out to an experienced paraquat attorney as soon as possible. You are eligible to file a Parkinson’s disease lawsuit.
Paraquat Exposure & Parkinson’s Disease Studies
In 2017, The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council suggested that individuals who’ve been chronically exposed to paraquat have a 200-600% greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Over the last 10 years, several other scientific studies have been conducted that have shown that paraquat is a chemical that causes Parkinson’s disease. They include:
- 2009 – American Journal of Epidemiology
- 2011 – Environmental Health Perspectives
- 2011 – National Institute of Health (Farming and Movement Evaluation Study)
- 2012 – Genetic Modification Association of Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
- 2016 – Environmental Protection Agency
- 2016 – Nature Chemical Biology
As of today, there are medications and remedies available to treat and attempt to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s disease. However, unfortunately, there is no cure.
Contact Our National Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyers Today!
If you or a loved one may have been exposed to paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or any other health complications, we may be able to help you. You may be eligible for compensation via a Paraquat lawsuit. Please contact our law firm today for a free case review and consultation at 866-975-6242.
Contact us today for your free case review!
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