The toxic chemical paraquat is banned in 32 countries but remains an approved commercial herbicide in the U.S. Since its introduction in 1962, scientists have found a connection between exposure to paraquat and the development of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s patients have filed numerous lawsuits against the chemical manufacturers Chevron and Syngenta. If you’ve developed Parkinson’s after exposure to paraquat, you may be entitled to compensation. Filing a paraquat lawsuit for Parkinson’s disease isn’t difficult when you have a winning law firm on your side. Jim Ferraro of The Ferraro Law Firm has a winning record of fighting against large chemical manufacturers. Against incredible odds, Mr. Ferraro won a $4 million verdict for his client’s birth defect involving herbicide exposure against chemical giant DuPont. Let him win for you.
Paraquat Exposure Alert: Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease Agricultural Workers Could Be Entitled to Compensation
Farmers commonly use the toxic herbicide paraquat to kill weeds and grasses while growing food crops, including soybeans, peanuts, and wheat. Direct application to weeds has less risk than spraying or “broadcasting.” Farmers use the broadcasting method for dry crops like cotton and tobacco to expedite harvest and reduce seed loss. Because the U.S. has approved paraquat only for commercial farming, agricultural workers are most at risk of exposure. People living near farms also experience environmental exposure from food and water contamination or wind drift. The EPA has recognized the risks to bystanders within 150 feet from the field edge.
What Is Paraquat Poisoning?
Exposure to paraquat through inhalation or ingestion can cause heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, and damage to brain cells. Ingestion is the most deadly form of paraquat poisoning. Manufacturers produce the herbicide as a concentrated liquid chemical called paraquat dichloride. It does not naturally have a smell or taste unless the manufacturer uses an additive. A person needs to swallow only one to two teaspoons to ingest a fatal dose.
Farmers who spill the concentrate directly on their skin can experience hives, chemical burns, blisters, or lesions. Continued contact through broken skin can lead to more severe health problems. Residue on food crops is a possibility.
What You Need to Know About Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a progressive nervous system disorder that can significantly affect a person’s quality of life. Children are most at risk from exposure to paraquat. They are 200% to 600% more likely to develop Parkinson’s after exposure. Farmers who apply or mix paraquat are twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease than other farmers. When paraquat enters the body, it causes a chemical reaction within the cells called oxidative stress. The result is a loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain, which scientists have identified as a cause of Parkinson’s. The brain requires dopamine to command the body’s movement. The brain’s loss of control of the body leads to the tremors commonly associated with the disease.
What Should I Know If I’m Considering a Paraquat Lawsuit?
Parkinson’s does not currently have a cure and usually requires lifelong treatment. The disease often does not develop until many years after paraquat exposure. All states have a time limit to file a lawsuit for injuries caused by others, including dangerous products. These “statutes of limitations” range from one year in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee, to six years in Maine and North Dakota. Most states dismiss suits if you do not file within two to three years of the incident.
However, most states allow suits through a “discovery rule” for injuries that do not occur until after exposure. This rule says that the “clock” does not start until a person can reasonably discover what caused their injury. The discovery rule is an exception, and you’ll need a lawyer to argue that the rule applies to your case.
Typically, when you think of large-scale litigation, you may think of class-action lawsuits. Plaintiffs often use class-actions when the individual claims are too small to justify the expense of an individual lawsuit. However, as another option to consolidate complex cases with many plaintiffs, Congress enacted a system known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). Under MDL, a panel of judges can consolidate cases with common facts for discovery and pretrial proceedings. When it is time for trial, the cases return to the original court, where they may receive an individual verdict. Several existing paraquat cases have been consolidated under MDL in the Southern District of Illinois. If you file a lawsuit against Syngenta and Chevron, your case may join the existing cases in MDL until trial or be filed in state court in your home state.
What Are Paraquat Settlements?
Many large companies want to settle outside of court and avoid a trial. In a settlement, you could recover damages for past, present, and future medical expenses, lost wages, and funeral expenses for those who have died as a result of exposure. Although a company may directly offer you a settlement to withdraw a lawsuit, you can get a higher settlement if you have an attorney negotiate for you. In addition, a settlement will likely not include recovery for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, or lost quality of life. A person with Parkinson’s disease spends an estimated $26,400 per year on medical bills. With lifelong treatment, these expenses can add up quickly. Your best option for financial recovery is to contact an experienced law firm that will handle your case through settlement or trial.
Choosing a Paraquat Lawyer
Jim Ferraro and the legal team at The Ferraro Law Firm have been fighting for injured people since 1985 with proven results. Because of our history with toxic tort law, we have the resources and experience to investigate and represent victims of toxic chemicals. Filing a paraquat lawsuit for Parkinson’s disease doesn’t have to be frightening. Read more about Jim and let The Ferraro Law Firm fight for the recovery you deserve.