Chances are good that Parkinson’s disease affects you or someone you know. Some medical conditions involve genetic factors, but scientists have linked many illnesses, like Parkinson’s disease, to environmental causes. Specifically, recent studies have linked Parkinson’s disease to chemical exposure. People exposed to paraquat, a toxic herbicide, are filing paraquat lawsuits claiming their exposure to this chemical caused their Parkinson’s disease.
If you or someone you know were exposed to paraquat herbicide and doctors subsequently reached a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease or another serious health complication, contact our Paraquat Parkinson’s disease legal team today. You may have legal grounds to bring a paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuit and request compensation of your related financial losses.
Parkinson’s Disease Basic Information
In medical terms, Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the neurons that produce dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls your nervous system by sending messages between cells. Improperly sent or received messages can change your physical movements, memory, attention, and behavior.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms usually develop slowly over time and vary from person to person. People with Parkinson’s disease may experience motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms.
Common motor symptoms include:
- Tremors, usually while resting,
- Slow movements and walking,
- Stiff or rigid limbs,
- Balance issues and posture instability.
Non-motor symptoms can present greater challenges and may include:
- Sleep disorders,
- Loss of smell, and
- Other cognitive issues.
Parkinson’s disease progresses through five defined stages, from mild motor symptoms to needing full-time care. As the disease progresses, everyday activities such as walking and talking become difficult or impossible. As you can imagine, the necessary treatment and support to help Parkinson’s patients get through the day and retain as much independence as possible can cost thousands of dollars.
If you were exposed to paraquat and professionally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, talk to a mass tort lawyer to determine if you may file a lawsuit and request compensation for your losses. Keep in mind, Parkinson’s disease symptoms alone are legally insufficient to file a claim. You must have a professional medical diagnosis to qualify for legal action.
What Is Paraquat and Who Is at Risk of Paraquat Exposure?
Basic Information About Paraquat
Paraquat dichloride, known simply as paraquat, is sold under different brand names, including Gramoxone, Firestorm, and Parazone. It is a cheap, extremely toxic herbicide widely used as an agricultural weed killer.
Paraquat is banned in more than 32 countries, including the European Union. However, it is still legal in the United States and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Paraquat cannot be applied in residential settings or by average consumers. Only licensed applicators may handle this dangerous chemical and can only be used in commercial and agricultural settings.
Knowing how toxic paraquat is, the EPA requires certain additives to help prevent accidental poisoning.
- Paraquat must contain a blue dye to ensure no one confuses it for a beverage,
- A strong odor is added to warn people that they should not consume it, and
- A vomit-inducing substance is also added, so in the case of accidental ingestion, the person will expel the poison.
Several manufacturers continue to produce this poisonous substance, knowing it is dangerous and harmful to humans, and the EPA still allows its use. The following list includes known Paraquat manufacturers. We believe these companies may be held liable for Parkinson’s disease caused by their herbicide:
- Chevron Chemical Company
- Drexel Chemical Company
- Adama Group
- Altitude Crop Innovations
- United Phosphorus
- Helm Agro
- Sinon USA
- Innvictis Crop Care
Who Is Most Likely to Be Harmed by Paraquat?
People in contact with paraquat over long periods of time are the most likely to be harmed by this substance.
This high-risk group includes:
- Licensed paraquat applicators,
- Crop dusting pilots,
- Farm workers, and
- People who live next to industrial, agricultural areas.
Experts have identified at least four ways paraquat exposure can occur:
- Herbicide drift. When paraquat is sprayed on a parcel of land, the droplets can drift through the air in hot and humid conditions, even without strong wind.
- Herbicide overspray. If an applicator makes a mistake or applies paraquat in heavy wind, the spray can cover adjoining areas they did not mean to spray.
- Herbicide runoff. Paraquat can seep into the ground and contaminate the soil and nearby water sources. Paraquat can poison adjoining property owners and others downstream from the area that was sprayed through ground or water contamination.
- Ingestion. If paraquat comes into contact with any food or water source and consumers eat or drink the contaminated items, they can become very sick. Even small amounts of this toxic chemical over a long period of time can lead to chronic medical concerns.
Depending on where you work, live, and play, you might have been exposed to paraquat without your knowledge. People who live near industrial farms, children who attend school in rural areas near farms, and even golfers who play on courses treated with paraquat may have been exposed. The following products are known to contain Paraquat and therefore potentially expose people to the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
- Para-Shot 3.0
- Helmquat 3SL
- Cyclone SL 2.0
- Ortho Paraquat CL
- AH 501
- Bai Cao Ku
Once paraquat is in your body, it travels everywhere. Your lungs, liver, and kidneys are the most susceptible to paraquat damage, especially over time. Ingesting this poison can damage your mouth, stomach, and intestines and can be fatal. There is no cure for paraquat poisoning.
Scientific Studies Link Paraquat Exposure to an Increased Risk of Developing Parkinson’s Disease
Michael J. Fox is one of the most famous Parkinson’s disease (PD) advocates. He created the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council to share important information and help others dealing with PD. One of its studies showed that people exposed to paraquat at a young age and over a long timeframe have a 200 to 600 percent greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
In the past several years, other studies have also shown a link between paraquat exposure and PD, including these scientific reports:
- 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
Overall, researchers believe that high levels of the chemicals found in paraquat contribute to the development of PD. Although the manufacturers have known the risks for decades, they still produce paraquat for use in the United States and the EPA still allows its use.
A study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Services determined that people exposed to paraquat because of their employment were two and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. This is why farm workers and paraquat applicators are in the highest risk category for paraquat-related PD.
What Paraquat Exposure Symptoms Should You Look For?
In addition to the long-term issues related to Parkinson’s disease, paraquat poisoning is a real concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating or drinking the toxin is the most common way paraquat poisons people. Skin exposure can also lead to problems, especially with broken skin, such as an open wound or cut. Also, inhaling paraquat can lead to lung damage, among other issues.
Potential symptoms of paraquat poisoning include:
- Pain and swelling in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract,
- Dehydration, low blood pressure, and electrolyte imbalances,
- Long-term complications such as:
- Heart and kidney failure.
- Liver damage and scarring, and
- Lung scarring.
- A large amount of paraquat poisoning can lead to these severe problems within a few short hours or days:
- Acute kidney failure,
- Heart damage,
- Liver failure,
- Muscle weakness,
- Fluid build-up in the lungs,
- Respiratory failure,
- Seizures, and
Most people who are exposed to paraquat in large quantities do not survive. There is currently no antidote or cure for paraquat poisoning.
Recently, personal injury lawyers have filed several lawsuits to protect people using these toxic chemicals and others who were inadvertently exposed to these dangerous substances who then developed Parkinson’s disease and other serious health issues. A nationwide multi-district litigation (MDL) was established to consolidate all federal paraquat lawsuits. Every month, injured plaintiffs are joining this MDL in an effort to streamline pre-trial discovery and motion hearings and ensure consistent court rulings about important legal issues.
What Compensation Can I Request From a Paraquat Lawsuit?
To file a paraquat lawsuit, you must have been exposed to paraquat and then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. You can request financial compensation for your related expenses, losses, and mental distress in your claim. Our legal team can help you hold negligent chemical manufacturers responsible for their actions.
Specifically, you can request money to help you pay:
- Medical bills related to your paraquat-related conditions, including Parkinson’s disease issues,
- Rehabilitation costs,
- Long-term costs for therapies, assistive care, and other related services,
- Lost income,
- Future lost earnings,
- Pain, suffering, emotional distress, anguish, and other mental health concerns,
- Loss of life enjoyment and family relationships, and possibly
- Punitive damages to punish the manufacturers under certain circumstances.
During a free case consultation, our mass tort lawyers can evaluate your claim, create a legal strategy, answer all your questions, and explain what you might recover in a paraquat lawsuit. Our mission is to help hard-working agricultural workers, and innocent bystanders who were exposed to paraquat recover the maximum compensation possible.
How Much Is My Paraquat-Related Parkinson’s Lawsuit Worth?
As with most personal injury cases, it is difficult to place a value on a paraquat Parkinson’s disease claim. Since every situation is different and every person reacts differently to dangerous products, we need to learn all about your unique circumstances before we can provide a solid legal analysis.
In general, the value of your case will depend on:
- The extent of your paraquat contact. Did you eat or drink the chemical in tainted food or water? Was it sprayed near your home, and you inhaled it? How much paraquat were you exposed to, and for how long?
- The severity of your medical issues. Parkinson’s disease is different for each person. What are your limitations? Can you care for yourself, or do you need assistance? Are you in pain occasionally, frequently, or constantly?
- The length of time you will deal with Parkinson’s disease. If you were exposed at a young age and developed early onset Parkinson’s disease, you will have many more years dealing with this progressive condition than an older person who was recently exposed.
- The amount of financial losses you incurred. Are you incurring expenses annually, monthly, or daily? Have you lost your job because of the complications paraquat created?
- The emotional and mental anguish you face. How are you handling your diagnosis and treatment? How are your family relationships?
If you were in contact with paraquat at work or exposed by a nearby agricultural business and developed Parkinson’s disease, you may bring a mass tort claim against the manufacturers and request compensation for your losses. Talk with an experienced paraquat lawsuit attorney to learn more.
Contact an Experienced Product Liability Attorney For Help With Your Paraquat Lawsuit
Suffering the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease as a result of chemical exposure is something no one should have to go through, and especially not alone. Our paraquat lawyers want to support you during this difficult time by negotiating a settlement that compensates you for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.
The companies that manufacture and sell paraquat have deep pockets and large legal teams ready to defend these lawsuits. As a result, it’s imperative that anyone who has been injured by these products partners with a legal team that has the resources and experienced to challenge big corporations and succeed. To protect your future, we are prepared to take on these corporate giants and we won’t back down until justice is served.
We offer free consultations for injured clients who want to explore their legal options. You can reach us at (727) 451-6900 or through our online contact form. Our team can provide valuable insight into the personal injury claims process as we help you recover the maximum compensation available for your injuries and related damages.