California Paraquat Lawsuit

Man spraying pesticide

The weed killer paraquat has been linked with Parkinson’s disease. You may be able to recover money in a lawsuit if you or a loved one was exposed to paraquat and:

  • Was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, or;
  • Has suffered the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Our California paraquat lawsuit attorneys represent farm workers and those who have been exposed to paraquat while living near areas where it is sprayed. The money we can help you recover in a lawsuit can help you pay for many things, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of ability to earn money

We won’t charge you a fee unless we recover money for you. We only charge a portion of the money we recover for you.

Call us at (800) 718-4658 for a free consultation to see if you qualify for a paraquat lawsuit.

Parkinson’s disease symptoms

The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:

  • Resting tremor (Shaking while muscles are relaxed)
  • Bradykinesia (slow reflexes and voluntary movements)
  • Rigidity (Stiffness)
  • Postural instability (poor balance)

These primary symptoms can result in secondary symptoms, including:

  • Freezing gait
  • Smaller handwriting
  • A mask-like expression
  • Quiet, monotonous, slurred voice
  • Stooped posture
  • Muscle spasms
  • Poor coordination
  • Problems with swallowing
  • Excess drooling and saliva
Tractor spraying pesticide on crops

Frequently Asked Questions About Paraquat Exposure

What is Paraquat and Why is it Dangerous?

Paraquat, or paraquat dichloride, is a toxic herbicide that is dated back to the 1960s. For decades, it has been used for commercial purposes to prevent weed and grass takeover on crops by farmers throughout the world.

Just a small amount of paraquat can be fatal, but even if this is not the immediate result, the health impacts on the victim can be tremendous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure of a small to large amount of paraquat can lead to the following health effects:

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Lung scarring
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Injury to the heart
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Respiratory failure

According to NatLawReview.com, aside from the lethal effects of paraquat, continual exposure to just minimal amounts of paraquat can increase one’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Although any paraquat substance purchased in the United States has safeguard additives to prevent accidental consumption, product purchased internationally might appear clear and odorless, making it nearly impossible to recognize.

Therefore, it can easily be mixed with food and water without detection. Paraquat poisoning can also occur from skin exposure, especially from an open wound. Inhalation is another method of paraquat exposure.

How Dangerous is Paraquat?

The danger of paraquat is far reaching. In fact, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies paraquat as a “restricted use” product, meaning that it can only be used by those who are licensed to apply the chemical.

Drinking just a thimble to a shot glass of the chemical can take a human life. Due to its lethal properties, many suicides and suicide attempts have been executed through the use of paraquat. At this point, there is no known antidote.

There are several factors that determine the level of danger to a person who comes into contact with paraquat, including:

  • Quantity of exposure
  • Method of exposure (ingestion is most likely)
  • Duration of exposure

When this substance comes into contact with the lining of the mouth, stomach, or intestines, direct damage will likely occur. Once inside, it is quickly dispersed to the other parts of the body, instantly causing damage to the lungs, liver, and kidneys.

Even with environmental exposure, paraquat is notorious for its link to a variety of health conditions, including Parkinson’s disease.

Is Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease?

According to current research, there is a noticeable link between paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease.

Studies across the globe have connected this incredibly painful and debilitating disease with exposure to paraquat. A 2001 study conducted by the NIH found that individuals who use the toxic pesticide paraquat are 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s.

Despite the known detrimental effects of this toxic substance, it is still broadly used as an herbicide throughout the world.

Do Pesticides Cause Parkinson’s Disease

Environmental factors, such as pesticides and herbicides, may play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Among others, paraquat is one such herbicide that has been linked to this disease. Paraquat is a fast-acting weed killer and as such is one of the most popular herbicides used on farms. Gramoxone SL 2.0 Herbicide is the most commonly used herbicide in the United States and it contains paraquat.

Some of the other paraquat pesticide products are:

  • Para-SHOT
  • Helmquat
  • Parazone
  • Firestorm
  • Ortho-Paraquat
  • Quick-Quat
  • Devour
  • Blanco

Makers of many of these herbicides are facing lawsuits over the connection between the toxic herbicide and Parkinson’s disease.

How Do I Know if I’ve Been Affected by Paraquat Exposure?

It is essential that you meet with your physician at once if you have had any exposure to the toxic chemical paraquat and are experiencing symptoms. Just a small amount of paraquat can be fatal, and it only takes days or weeks for the exposure to take full effect. Exposure and ingestion of this substance can lead to long-term health risks including Parkinson’s disease. Immediate signs of exposure include:

  • Swelling and pain in the mouth or throat
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Muscle fatigue or weakness
  • Breathing difficulties or respiratory failure

Grounds For A California Paraquat Lawsuit

The central claim in a paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuit will be that those who made and sold paraquat knew or should have known that paraquat is toxic and linked with Parkinson’s disease but failed to warn the public about it. Almost 70 lawsuits had been filed against Syngenta and other paraquat manufacturers as of May 10, 2021, medtruth.com reported.

It has been known since at least 1933 that paraquat possesses redox (reduction-oxidation) properties: it is a potent oxidant and readily goes through redox cycling when exposed to oxygen. Science has known since the 1960’s that these redox properties make paraquat toxic.

Evidence suggests paraquat‘s redox cycling produces reactive oxygen species which lead to oxidative stress, damaging and killing dopaminergic neurons. These neurons produce dopamine, which the brain needs for motor function. The death of these neurons has been identified as a cause of of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists have found that paraquat, when given to mice, crosses the blood-brain barrier to cause destruction of these neurons. In fact, scientists intentionally give lab animals paraquat so they can study the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, since they know it will cause those symptoms.

Numerous studies, including studies published in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2020, have found an association between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

Those who made and sold paraquat had a duty to be reasonably careful in making sure that paraquat was safe. This duty included doing enough product testing, staying aware of current scientific knowledge of any of their products’ dangers, and properly warning about any dangers linked with their products.

The failure of companies to do these things lets us pursue numerous claims in a paraquat lawsuit, including:

Negligence

Negligence is failing to be reasonably careful in the name of preventing harm. Negligence is failing to do what a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation. Negligence is also doing what a reasonably careful person wouldn’t do in the same situation.

A successful negligence claim in California requires the following to be proven:

  • Negligence happened
  • Someone was harmed
  • The negligence caused the harm

It is negligent to fail to properly test how far paraquat can drift from where it is sprayed and how easily it can be absorbed by those around where it is sprayed. It is negligent to fail to properly test what kind of negative health effects occur in people exposed to paraquat.

It is negligent to fail to keep up with any scientific studies which find your product is dangerous. It is negligent to ignore scientific studies which find your product is dangerous. It is negligent to fail to warn the public about scientific studies which find your product is dangerous.

Strict Liability

While we believe negligence has led to people developing Parkinson’s disease from paraquat exposure, strict liability claims don’t require negligence to be proven.

Those who make and sell products are strictly liable for injuries caused by their products if their products contain a manufacturing defect or a design defect. Products with a manufacturing defect are defective because something went wrong while they were being made. Products with design defects, however, are defective when made and used correctly. Their design itself is defective.

Paraquat appears to contain a design defect because it is unsafe when made and used correctly, since it has been linked with Parkinson’s disease.

California law also holds those who know or should know their product is dangerous but fail to warn about it liable for any injuries caused by their product.

California Paraquat Lawyers

Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers are toxic exposure experts, having been successfully obtaining money for toxic exposure victims for decades, including victims of asbestos, benzene, Roundup and firefighting foam. Our team of lawyers and experts knows through experience how to prove that companies knew or should have known their products were dangerous but failed to warn about the dangers.

Call us at (800) 718-4658 for a free consultation. You can also complete the contact form on this page or talk with a live chat specialist.