California Paraquat Lawsuit

Man spraying pesticide

In 1964, paraquat was registered as an herbicide in the United States. The product’s primary use is to kill weeds and it is commonly used in both agriculture and non-agriculture sites.

Once word spread regarding the strength and effectiveness of the weed killer, farmers began to rely on paraquat regularly, since other weed killers had become ineffective over time.

Currently, farmers in the United States use over eight million pounds annually, on a wide variety of crop types. Unfortunately, studies have recently linked an increased risk of diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, to paraquat exposure.

If you have been exposed to paraquat and have developed Parkinson’s disease or another illness due to paraquat exposure, then you may be eligible to file a paraquat lawsuit that will hold the manufacturer responsible for your illness or disease and any related damages. Call the paraquat lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen today for a free consultation. Call (800) 718-4658.

Herbicide Paraquat Toxicity

While there have been many different types of herbicides linked to a variety of diseases and health risks, paraquat is considered one of the deadliest pesticides on the market. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, paraquat is highly toxic, and a single sip of this harmful weed killer may result in death.

Epidemiological studies have recently shown serious, long-term health effects of ongoing paraquat exposure, when spraying, loading, mixing, or being near the product.

In fact, three of the largest agricultural producers in the world, Brazil, China, and Europe, have paraquat banned or are phasing out use.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, measures have been taken in the United States to control the immediate health risks linked to using this product, in the form of safer packaging, training, and warning labels. While these efforts can help to minimize the number of accidents associated with low-level exposure, unfortunately, they do not prevent the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Paraquat Exposure Linked to Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a type of degenerative brain disorder that causes difficulties with balance, slow movements, rigidity and tremors. Over a period of years, both non-motor and motor symptoms will worsen, making it difficult to carry out basic daily activities. While both men and women can develop Parkinson’s disease, it affects 50% more men than women.

Currently, one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s disease, with as many as 60,000 new cases each year.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is caused by the deterioration of nerve cells found in the part of the brain that controls movement, known as the substantia nigra. When the nerve cells in that part of the brain become impaired or die, the result is fewer dopamine neurons. These important chemical compounds are utilized by the nervous system to deliver messages between nerve cells. Low dopamine levels result in issues with movement.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease.

Recent studies have connected the development of Parkinson’s disease to certain environmental exposures such as herbicide use.

Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinsons and Paraquat

Over the past ten years, researchers have found a clear link between the development of Parkinson’s disease and exposure to paraquat.

In 2011, the National Institute of Health conducted a study called the Farming and Movement Evaluation Report that used data from the Agricultural Health Study. The study found that paraquat users were 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease compared to people who were not exposed. Paraquat dichloride exposure was also found to cause oxidative stress, which can result in the loss of dopaminergic neurons.

A study on environmental toxins and Parkinson’s disease in 2014 found that study participants who had been sprayed with the chemical were twice as likely to develop the disease compared to the general public.

Another study conducted in 2017 found a link between Parkinson’s disease and paraquat exposure in people who possessed certain genetic traits. The study showed that exposure to the weed killer resulted in DNA damage and weak mitochondrial respiration.

Unfortunately, in October of 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a Proposed Interim Decision that would re-approve the chemical for use with certain safety measures in place. Currently, the use of paraquat is still legal in America for use by licensed applicators. However, bills have been introduced in Congress to seek the end of paraquat use in the country.

Common Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

If you have been exposed to paraquat dichloride and are concerned you may have developed PD, the first step is scheduling an appointment with your physician. 

Your physician will run tests and discuss symptoms you may be experiencing that could indicate you have developed Parkinson’s disease.

Common symptoms of PD can include:

· Loss of balance

· Anxiety

· Confusion in the evening

· Drooling

· Reduced facial expression

· Hand tremors

· Extreme or prolonged stiffness

· Difficulty speaking

· Difficulty with body movements

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, contact a paraquat lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and if you’re eligible to have a paraquat lawsuit filed.

What to Do if You Develop Parkinson’s Disease

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you must schedule a consultation with an attorney as soon as possible to determine if you’re eligible to file a paraquat lawsuit and pursue compensation for your illness, ongoing medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Paraquat Lawsuit

If your health has been impacted due to exposure to paraquat, there are many reasons you should file a lawsuit.

The experienced paraquat attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen will help you file a claim for compensation. We will hold the manufacturers accountable for their conduct.

Who Can File a Lawsuit?

If you have been exposed to paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, contact a paraquat lawyer at Nadrich & Cohen today to determine if you qualify for a paraquat lawsuit.

Some people who may qualify to file a lawsuit include:

  • Landscapers
  • Pickers
  • Farmers
  • Growers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Licensed applicators
  • Anyone who works around herbicides and commercial weed killers

Financial Compensation in Paraquat Lawsuits

If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you must undergo treatment for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, this disease can be very debilitating.

Filing a paraquat lawsuit will help you to secure the compensation that will cover the cost of your long-term medical treatment. We will also obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, mental distress, and loss of quality of life, in addition to other damages.

Our California paraquat lawsuit attorneys represent agricultural workers and those who have been exposed to paraquat while living near areas where it is sprayed. 

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

If you have been exposed to paraquat, call our law firm at (800) 718-4658 for a free consultation to see if you qualify to file a paraquat lawsuit.

Grounds For a California Paraquat Lawsuit

The central claim in a paraquat 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 paraquat lawsuits had been filed against Syngenta and other paraquat manufacturers as of May 10, 2021, medtruth.com reported.

Over the years, the Environmental Protection Agency evaluated hundreds of studies regarding paraquat’s toxicity.

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 the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists have found that paraquat, when given to mice, crosses the blood-brain barrier to destroy 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 product’s 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 in Paraquat Lawsuits

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 that your product is dangerous. 

It is negligent to fail to warn the public about scientific studies which find your product is dangerous.

Strict Liability & Paraquat Litigation

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Paraquat Exposure

What is Paraquat and Why is it Dangerous?

paraquat parkinsons claims

The chemical herbicide paraquat, or paraquat dichloride, is a toxic herbicide that dates 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.

Over the years, researchers have linked paraquat to many adverse health effects, including a progressive neurodegenerative disorder.

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 to paraquat can cause Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, and other conditions, such as: 

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • 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, products purchased internationally might appear clear and odorless, making them 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 the chemical herbicide 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.

Do Pesticides Cause Parkinson’s Disease?

Environmental factors, such as pesticides and herbicides, may play a role in the development of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder. Among others, paraquat is one such herbicide that has been linked to this disease. Paraquat, a restricted-use herbicide, 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?

You must 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 issues and puts you at a greater risk of 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

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, cancer or another illness due to your exposure to paraquat products, or you believe you were a victim of paraquat poisoning, you need to speak to a paraquat lawsuit lawyer as soon as possible. 

Contact A Paraquat Lawyer Today at Nadrich & Cohen 

If you have developed Parkinson’s disease due to exposure to the paraquat herbicide, you may be entitled to financial compensation for damages. You must take legal action as soon as possible. Contact Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers today at (800) 718-4658 or text or email to learn how our law firm will hold the manufacturers of paraquat responsible for your past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages related to your exposure to this deadly weed killer. There is no cost to you. At Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers, we will hold the negligent manufacturer liable for the damages they have caused, and we will work tirelessly to help you seek the compensation and justice you deserve.