Victims of Paraquat Herbicide May Have Legal Options

farming equipment spraying herbicideResearch has linked some of the chemicals in paraquat herbicide with severe side effects, including Parkinson’s Disease. If you are a farmer or agricultural worker and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s or other serious side effects after exposure to paraquat, you should consider talking to an experienced attorney.

The Phoenix-based defective product lawyers at Phillips Law Group are ready to meet with you to discuss a potential paraquat lawsuit. The initial consultation is free of charge and you are not obligated to hire our firm if we validate your claim. There are no fees for taking your case or while we work on your case.

Your choice of attorney is one of the most important decisions during this difficult time. The attorneys at Phillips Law Group have been assisting injury victims and securing compensation for nearly 30 years. Our firm has recovered more than $1 billion in compensation, including a recovery of $23 million in a defective product case.

Phillips Law Group is here to help. Call 602-222-2222 today.

Paraquat Banned in 32 Countries

Paraquat is currently banned in 32 countries, including Switzerland ”“ paraquat is manufactured by the Swiss company Syngenta. England and the European Union banned paraquat in 2013, and China began phasing it out in 2012.

Despite the risks of this substance, its use has become more widespread in the U.S. in recent years, as weeds and pests become resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Monsanto also faces several lawsuits alleging Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In 2016, 7 million pounds of paraquat were sprayed in the U.S., covering almost 15 million acres.

Dangers of Paraquat Exposure

Upon ingesting a large amount of the herbicide, victims may suffer pain and swelling in the mouth and throat. They may also experience nausea, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Victims may be dehydrated and develop low blood pressure.

Even ingesting a small amount of paraquat can be dangerous. Days or weeks later, victims may suffer:

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Scarring of the lungs
  • Coma
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory failure

While research on this issue is ongoing, studies have suggested a link between Parkinson’s disease and exposure to paraquat. A report from Scientific American shows Parkinson’s disease and other neurological problems may result from pesticides and herbicides, including paraquat.

Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) Study

This is a title of a study done by the National Institute of Health (NIH) to determine if there may be a link between Parkinson’s and exposure to paraquat. The results also included data from the Agricultural Health Study, which studied 80,000 farmers, agricultural workers and their spouses.

For the FAME study, researchers evaluated 110 of 115 people who developed Parkinson’s disease. One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Freya Kamel, said the study was about as persuasive as it could get in linking Parkinson’s to paraquat.

Another study called the Genetic Modification of the Association of Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease, was done in 2012. The results of this study revealed a higher risk of Parkinson’s for those with a specific genetic variation who were exposed.

How People May be Exposed to Paraquat

The Environmental Protection Agency says paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the nation. It is used on more than 100 different types of crops. This substance, also known as paraquat dichloride, is mainly used for weed and grass control. Paraquat is also used as a defoliant prior to crops being harvested.

While it may be possible for others to be exposed to this chemical, licensed paraquat applicators have the highest risk for exposure. They are the only ones who are legally allowed to purchase and use this product.

Licensed applicators could be exposed in the following ways:

  • Swallowing ”“ This is the most likely way people may be exposed.
  • Eating or drinking contaminated food ”“ Unless a dye, odor or vomiting agent was added to the paraquat, a person might be unaware he or she was ingesting contaminated food.
  • Through the skin ­”“ Generally, the skin would need to be exposed for a long time to put the victim at risk for side effects. However, if the paraquat was particularly concentrated, or it leaked onto on an open sore or cut, it may be more likely to enter the body.
  • Inhalation ”“ Breathing in this herbicide could cause lung damage.

Damages from a Paraquat Lawsuit

If your attorney validates your claim and you move forward, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for the cost of your medical treatment, along with lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

If you lost a loved one due to side effects of paraquat, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for your losses. The types of damages may include things like:

  • Lost care
  • Lost companionship
  • Lost guidance
  • Pain and suffering
  • Benefits/wages the deceased would have earned
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses

Compensation can be so important for those diagnosed with a debilitating illness. A letter from the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council to the EPA discussed the cost of battling the disease, stating it costs approximately $26,400 per year for individual care of a person with Parkinson’s.

The value of every claim needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. At Phillips Law Group, our goal is to secure maximum compensation for you and your family. Product manufacturers that put people at risk for serious illnesses should be held accountable. Filing lawsuits against these companies may help to protect others from dangerous products.

Have any Lawsuits Been Filed?

In 2017, a lawsuit was filed against manufacturers, Syngenta and Growmark. The complaint was drafted on behalf of farmers and agricultural workers who developed Parkinson’s after their exposure to paraquat. Chevron Chemical was also added to the complaint later.

Since then, multiple lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts. For example, two personal injury and product liability claims were filed in 2018. One was filed on behalf of 12 people and their spouses who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The other was filed on behalf of someone’s spouse who had been diagnosed with the disease. These lawsuits claim the manufacturer failed to warn about the dangers of this chemical.

Another lawsuit was filed in December 2020, alleging a former farmworker was not informed about the risks of exposure to paraquat. The victim was a crop duster.

On March 25, 2021, a lawsuit was filed in California on behalf of a former farmworker diagnosed with Parkinson’s in December 2015. The lawsuit says the manufacturer knew paraquat increases the risk of Parkinson’s by two to five times the average but chose to conceal this information.

Have Questions About Legal Options? Call Today

Phillips Law Group is investigating claims involving paraquat. If the manufacturers knowingly concealed the dangers of this herbicide from the public and farm workers, they may face liability. Exposed victims who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s may be eligible to obtain compensation for their damages.

Schedule a free consultation today to discuss a potential paraquat lawsuit. There are no upfront fees for our services, and we are not paid unless you get paid.

Phillips Law Group. Millions Recovered. Call 602-222-2222 .