Paraquat lawsuits are becoming more and more prevalent, as it’s clear that this herbicide is very dangerous and can lead to serious diseases, illnesses, and even death. PR Newswire reported on March 30, 2021, that two product defect lawsuits were filed against Syngenta Group in U.S. District Courts in California and Illinois, alleging that exposure to the herbicide Paraquat caused the onset of Parkinson’s disease in two men. Syngenta is the leading manufacturer of paraquat-based herbicides. Chevron USA was also named a defendant in the lawsuit as a licensed seller of paraquat products from Syngenta.
By June 2021, lawyers had filed twelve more Paraquat lawsuits across several U.S. states in federal courts. A judicial panel on multidistrict litigation agreed to consolidate at least 14 cases in one class lawsuit in Illinois. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to Paraquat, you might want to consider consulting with a Washington, D.C. Paraquat injury lawyer. You can contact us online or by calling (202) 919-6463.
What is Paraquat?
Initially manufactured in the U.S. in the early 1960s, Paraquat products have been widely used to control weeds in orchards and farms. Paraquat is a chemical herbicide sold as Gramoxone, its brand name. The herbicide is used to kill weeds and unwanted grasses. Despite the fact that Paraquat is an herbicide that is widely used all over the world, it is incredibly toxic. If you ingest or inhale paraquat, it can be fatal. It has been suggested that at least 70 percent of poisonings related to Paraquat exposure are fatal.
Restricted use of Paraquat
Due to the toxic nature of Paraquat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed the chemical under restrictive use guidelines in 2016. Paraquat is only permitted to be used by licensed applicators who have been trained in safety measures. The EPA states that there are no current products able to be purchased by consumers for residential areas.
Over 30 countries, including China, have banned the use of Paraquat. Yet, Paraquat continues to be sold in the United States.
Health Effects of Paraquat Use
According to medical studies, exposure is hazardous because the body easily absorbs Paraquat. Paraquat is commonly applied manually using handheld sprayers and aerially using sprayers attached to tractors and airplanes. In addition, surfactant chemicals are added to the Paraquat to penetrate the wax-like surface of weeds and reach plants deep at the cellular level. These additives increase dangers for human exposure.
Scientific studies have established a link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s, including research by the Agricultural Health Study that found that people exposed to the chemical were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s. The use of Paraquat dichloride has been linked to increased rates of Parkinson’s disease in farmers and agricultural workers.
Parkinson’s Disease: What is it?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease characterized by stiffness, coordination issues, and shaking. Symptoms will be mild early in the disease. However, symptoms become severe and debilitating over time, rendering victims confined to a wheelchair or bed.
Many people who were exposed and then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease noticed symptoms before their diagnosis. If you feel that something is off and you’ve been exposed to Paraquat, it’s a good idea to see a medical professional as soon as possible.
Who Is at Risk?
Farmers and agricultural workers that work directly with and around Paraquat are at the most significant risk of being exposed to this herbicide. Paraquat is typically used in farm and agricultural production settings on more than 100 different crop varieties.
Exposure is most likely to occur from:
- Mixing and loading of Paraquat
- Spraying of Paraquat
- Maintaining tanks and equipment used for spraying Paraquat
- Spending time in areas where Paraquat was sprayed
Paraquat can drift from the initial application site to neighboring communities. People living in agricultural areas might be exposed to Paraquat that is applied to nearby crops. Paraquat can contaminate ground or well water and even contaminate vegetables and food sold to the public.
Product Liability Lawsuits in Washington D.C.
Many plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and Syngenta. They are claiming that their product can have extreme health risks. Manufacturers of herbicides such as paraquat must produce and distribute safe products without unreasonably dangerous defects. When risks are associated with a product, the product’s manufacturer should provide warnings to users.
Manufacturers have a duty to adequately warn or instruct a user about the dangers of their products which they knew about or should have known about at the time when a product left a manufacturer’s control. A Washington D.C. mass torts lawyer may be able to hold the manufacturer accountable for any injuries that you sustained due to Paraquat use under theories of strict liability and negligence.
What Damages Can You Collect for a Paraquat Injury Claim?
When a product injures a person due to a manufacturer’s negligence, the victim may be entitled to financial compensation for their injuries or losses. You might be eligible to receive:
Medical expenses: Medical costs can add up quickly. Victims should be compensated for medical expenses relating to their condition, including surgical procedures, doctor visits, or medications.
Lost wages: When a person cannot work temporarily or permanently due to their condition, they should receive compensation for lost current and future wages. Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease can eventually make it impossible for a person to continue working.
Pain and suffering: Victims may suffer physically and emotionally and should be compensated for the pain and suffering they have had to endure.
Contact a Washington, D.C. Paraquat Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease due to Paraquat exposure, or you are suffering from any other injuries or illnesses related to exposure to this toxic herbicide, you might qualify to file a Paraquat lawsuit. Contact an experienced attorney right away for assistance.