What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a highly poisonous chemical commonly used across the United States as an herbicide to kill weeds and grass. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes paraquat products as “Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs),” which means only certified applicators can apply it.
Farmers and other people who work in the agricultural industry are most likely to be exposed to paraquat. However, people who live near commercial farms may also be at risk.
Paraquat, also known as paraquat dichloride, is not a new herbicide. It has been around for more than 60 years.
Although more than 30 countries have banned Paraquat because of how dangerous it is — just a sip can be fatal — it is still widely used in the United States.
The EPA reapproved paraquat in 2020, which means it is scheduled for use until 2035.
U.S. farmers use more than 8 million pounds of paraquat each year on corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and other crops.
Paraquat & Parkinson’s Disease
Scientists have published research showing a link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.
A National Institutes of Health study found that people who used paraquat developed Parkinson’s disease 2.5 times more often than those who did not use the chemical.
Other studies, however, have found conflicting results.
The Parkinson’s Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and some environmental health groups have urged the EPA to cancel the registration of paraquat based on research connecting the herbicide to Parkinson’s disease.
If you or a loved one were exposed to Paraquat and later developed Parkinson’s disease, you may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit. Contact our team today for a free case review.
How Does Paraquat Poisoning Happen?
Paraquat poisoning can cause severe injury and even death.
A 2021 study published in Toxicological Sciences concluded that paraquat can travel to the brain when inhaled. The researchers found that long-term exposure to low levels of paraquat in mice caused the toxin to enter the brain and affect the sense of smell in male mice. A reduced sense of smell is an early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
People can end up with paraquat poisoning by:
- Inhaling paraquat
- Skin exposure (especially through a cut or rash)
- Swallowing paraquat
- Touching plants sprayed with paraquat
Paraquat typically contains a blue dye, an odor additive to discourage people from drinking it, and a vomiting agent if ingested.
If you have swallowed paraquat, get immediate medical attention. Doctors often use activated charcoal or a clay called Fuller’s earth to treat ingestion of paraquat.
Once paraquat enters the body, the herbicide causes toxic chemical reactions.
The organs most likely to be affected by paraquat poisoning are:
What Products Contain Paraquat?
Use of paraquat is common on commercial farms in the U.S.
You need a special license to apply paraquat. That means you will not find it on the shelves of your local home improvement store with Roundup and other popular weed killers.
Paraquat formulations are sold under different trade names. The most popular one is Gramoxone SL 2.0 Herbicide.
Some paraquat trade names include:
Different companies manufacture paraquat. Syngenta, Growmark, and Chevron are some companies that people have sued in paraquat lawsuits.
If you worked with or near these chemicals and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, call our team at LawFirm.com at (888) 726-9160 to learn whether you may qualify for a paraquat lawsuit.
Paraquat Poisoning Symptoms
Even brief exposure to paraquat can lead to paraquat poisoning. However, prolonged exposure or exposure to large amounts is more likely to cause severe injury or death.
Immediate paraquat exposure side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Breathing problems
- Fast heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Mouth and throat pain and swelling
- Muscle weakness
People who ingest small to medium amounts of paraquat may develop these health conditions days or weeks later:
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Lung damage and scarring
If a person survives an incident of paraquat poisoning, they may be at risk for developing Parkinson’s disease, respiratory failure, and other serious long-term health problems.
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that gets worse over time. While people with the disease have tremors and movement-related symptoms, many also experience other symptoms.
Here is a look at both types of symptoms:
- Balance problems
- Slowness in movement (Bradykinesia)
- Cognitive impairment
- Digestive problems
- Loss of sense of smell
Non-movement symptoms may begin before movement-related symptoms. And they may be more of a problem than movement symptoms.
There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease.
How Can a Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyer Help Me?
The dangers of paraquat have been known for decades. However, companies kept manufacturing the chemical. This placed agricultural workers and people who lived near industrial farms at risk.
If you have Parkinson’s disease because of paraquat exposure, a paraquat attorney may be able to help.
If you qualify for a paraquat lawsuit, an attorney can seek on your behalf:
- Compensation for medical bills and other expenses
- Legal justice against the companies responsible for making you sick
Toxic exposure cases are complicated. However, experienced paraquat lawsuit attorneys have the skills and resources to secure maximum compensation.
A paraquat lawsuit lawyer can help prove that paraquat caused you to develop Parkinson’s disease.
If you are ready to take legal action, contact our team at LawFirm.com. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be owed money.
Filing a Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuit
Paraquat lawsuits allow people exposed to paraquat and later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease to seek legal justice and compensation.
People who worked with or around paraquat or lived near a commercial farm are most likely to have been affected.
“Licensed applicators of paraquat are the people most at risk for exposure.”
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Paraquat lawsuits are a type of product liability lawsuit. When companies place dangerous products like paraquat on the market, a paraquat lawsuit can force them to take responsibility for harming innocent people.
Paraquat lawsuits allege that the companies that made this toxic herbicide failed to warn that it caused Parkinson’s disease. Thousands of claims have been filed against the chemical companies that manufacture paraquat.
If you are wondering whether you or someone you love qualifies for a paraquat lawsuit, our team at LawFirm.com can help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Paraquat Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
A settlement is an agreement that is reached when a plaintiff and defendant determine a fair value for the plaintiff’s injuries.
The amount of a potential paraquat settlement is likely to depend on the severity of the injury, the age of the person when exposed, and the amount of exposure.
Paraquat maker Syngenta settled an undisclosed number of lawsuits in June 2021 for almost $200 million, according to Reuters.
If you are looking for more information on how much compensation a paraquat lawsuit settlement might yield, the settlements in a group of lawsuits related to the weed killer Roundup could provide a clue. In 2020, the manufacturer of Roundup agreed to pay more than $11 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits.
One law firm has predicted that some paraquat lawsuits could settle for as much as $1 million.
After learning more about your case, a paraquat lawsuit lawyer may be able to give you an idea about what your potential paraquat lawsuit may be worth.
Proving Exposure to Paraquat
Once it is determined that you have a valid paraquat claim, a personal injury lawyer can start gathering evidence to prove that paraquat caused your Parkinson’s disease.
Your legal team has the tools to perform extensive research to collect evidence to strengthen your claim.
Evidence that can prove that paraquat caused your Parkinson’s disease includes:
- Documents showing that a nearby farm used or applied paraquat
- Expert testimony by scientists and others with specialized knowledge
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Photos or videos showing paraquat application
- Purchase receipts for paraquat
- Records showing you were a licensed paraquat applicator
Occupational Risk Factors
People most likely to be exposed to paraquat are:
- Licensed paraquat applicators (including people who worked for pest control or crop dusting companies)
- Farmers, agricultural workers, farm laborers, and landscapers
- Chemical workers who worked with or around paraquat
It is important to note that you do not need direct contact with paraquat to experience paraquat exposure. People who worked around paraquat may have inhaled the toxic herbicide.
Similarly, people who lived near farms or in rural areas where people sprayed paraquat may have been exposed through chemical drifts or contaminated water.
A 2018 map by the U.S. Geological Study shows that farmers use paraquat in all 50 states. However, some states use paraquat more than others.
Paraquat use is exceptionally high in these states:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
If you lived near a farm that sprayed paraquat or worked with or near paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, we may be able to help. Contact our team at LawFirm.com to learn about your legal options.
Choosing a Paraquat Lawsuit Attorney
Finding a paraquat attorney may seem like a daunting task. Many personal injury firms may tell you they can handle a paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuit, but that may not be the case.
And even if they can manage your lawsuit, they may not be able to get you as big a payout as an attorney who specializes in paraquat cases.
An experienced paraquat attorney will be knowledgeable about the latest research linking paraquat to Parkinson’s disease and other health conditions.
When you interview potential paraquat lawsuit lawyers, you should look for these qualities:
- A free case review: Many top paraquat attorneys offer free, no-obligation case reviews.
- Experience: An attorney who has handled toxic exposure cases before is in the best position to maximize paraquat exposure case settlements.
- National presence: A lawyer who works for a law firm with a national reach will not only know the laws in your state but be able to file your case in the state where you have the best chance of securing maximum compensation.
- Successful track record: Ask about the lawyer’s success in handling toxic exposure cases and the amounts they have recovered for other clients.
The lawyers in the LawFirm.com network have one thing in common — they all share these vital characteristics. Get a free case review to determine if you qualify for a paraquat lawsuit.
FAQs About Paraquat Lawsuits
Does Roundup have paraquat?
No, Roundup does not contain paraquat. The active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup is glyphosate.
Researchers have not linked Roundup to Parkinson’s disease. However, scientists have connected it to non-Hodgkin lymphoma and certain other cancers.
In 2020, Roundup maker Bayer AG settled thousands of toxic exposure suits for $11 billion. Many legal experts are looking to the Roundup cases to predict settlement amounts in paraquat lawsuits.
How do you know if you were exposed to paraquat?
People exposed to paraquat probably worked with or around the herbicide or lived near commercial farms that grew crops that workers sprayed with the deadly chemical.
Symptoms of paraquat exposure include various gastrointestinal symptoms, confusion, and seizures.
Studies have shown that individuals exposed to paraquat face a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease. People with this brain disorder experience tremors and other problems with movement and often have depression and anxiety.
How does paraquat cause Parkinson’s?
When a person inhales paraquat fumes or gets paraquat on the skin, the herbicide spreads throughout the body. It is distributed to vital organs like the lungs, liver, and kidneys and causes toxic chemical reactions throughout the body.
In addition, studies have shown that, once inhaled, paraquat enters the brain through the nerve responsible for the sense of smell.
A recent study found that male mice exposed to low levels of paraquat in the air had an altered sense of smell in a way that is similar to the onset of Parkinson’s disease in humans.
Is there a paraquat class action lawsuit?
No, there is no paraquat class action.
However, hundreds of paraquat lawsuits are part of a mass tort lawsuit known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). In an MDL, claims are consolidated like in a class action to speed up the legal process but treated individually with regard to settlements.
Paraquat lawsuits alleging that the herbicide causes Parkinson’s disease have been consolidated in a federal court in Illinois.