Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyers
Have you developed Parkinson’s Disease after using herbicide containing Paraquat, such as Gramoxone? Call our attorneys for help.
If you were exposed to the commonly-used herbicide Paraquat and have since been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you might be entitled to compensation. Several studies have now linked the toxin to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s. Lawsuits have now been filed across the country on behalf of individuals who have suffered significant harm as a result of Paraquat exposure.
At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, our Paraquat lawsuit lawyers can help you obtain compensation if you or your loved one was diagnosed with Parkinson’s linked to Paraquat exposure. Call (713) 804-6121 today to book a free consultation and speak directly with an experienced lawyer.
What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat dichloride is a widely used herbicide in the country. Despite being banned in over 30 countries, the use of the toxic chemical continues in the United States and has grown substantially in the past two decades.
Products that contain paraquat dichloride include:
- Ortho Weed and Spot Killer (Ortho Paraquat)
Paraquat dichloride may also be used in conjunction with other herbicides, most commonly Simazine and Diquat dibromide. Paraquat gained popularity as an alternative to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller after crops became resistant to the glyphosate-based herbicide. Roundup has faced numerous lawsuits linking substantial exposure with an increased risk of cancer.
Paraquat Is a Highly Toxic and Restricted Use Pesticide
Paraquat is classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP). This classification means that only individuals who are trained and certified applicators may use the product. A Restricted Use Pesticide is only available for commercial use and is considered too dangerous to be used by the general public.
According to the EPA, “Paraquat is highly toxic to humans; one small accidental sip can be fatal, and there is no antidote.” The herbicide, which has been produced for over 130 years, was first introduced to the United States in the early 1960s, containing little warning about the deadly effects of ingestion, inhalation, or exposure. After several deaths were linked to the toxin, safening agents were added, such as blue die and a noticeable odor.
Call us now at (713) 804-6121 to speak with a Houston Paraquat lawsuit attorney.
What Are the Dangers of Paraquat?
Paraquat, usually sold under the brand name Gramoxone, presents a number of dangers to plants and animals. Numerous countries, including Switzerland, the European Union. China and dozens of others have banned the product because of its high toxicity and human health concerns.
Health concerns related to paraquat include:
- Increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
- Lung damage
- Kidney failure
- Necrosis of muscle tissue
- Abrasions to the skin
- First-degree burns
- Respiratory failure
- Organ failure by inhalation
- Eye damage
- Higher incidence of cancer after exposure
Over 70 articles have been published concerning the dangers of paraquat and its use as an herbicide on hundreds of crops in the United States.
Despite being well aware of the risks and the growing research indicating a dangerous link between exposure and the subsequent development of Parkinson’s, little has been done to protect consumers. On the contrary, use of the herbicide is actually increasing in the United States.
Paraquat and an Increased Risk of Parkinson’s
In 2011, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published findings indicating a link between the use of paraquat and another pesticide, rotenone, and Parkinson’s. Research from the NIH study concluded that people who used either pesticide were approximately 2.5x more likely to develop Parkinson’s than non-users.
The NIH relied on data from the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) case-control study, which investigated the connection between the development of the disease and exposure to paraquat. The FAME study took information from the Agricultural Health Study, which looked at health data for over 90,000 licensed pesticide applicators.
Data from all studies and further meta-analyses seem to point to the same conclusion that there is strong evidence linking prolonged exposure to paraquat and the subsequent development of the devastating disease.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement leading to tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination. There is no cure for Parkinson’s, and symptoms only worsen over time. In the late stages, Parkinson’s can become debilitating, requiring 24-hour care and treatment.
Early signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s may be difficult to detect as they may only include a slight tremor in a resting hand or bradykinesia (slowed movement). Over time, simple tasks become more challenging. Parkinson’s is believed to affect about 2 million people in the U.S., with approximately 63,000 diagnosed each year.
What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s?
Symptoms of Parkinson’s may appear mild early on, but worsen as each stage of the disease progresses. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s by a movement disorder specialist or a neurologist after exposure to paraquat, contact our office immediately for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Tremors or shaking in the limbs
- Rigid muscles
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
- Poor balance and coordination
- Soft or slurred speech
- Memory problems
Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in the United States, but researchers believe that many cases remain undiagnosed.
Parkinson’s Disease Caused by Herbicides
For decades, it was believed that Parkinson’s was mainly genetic, caused by specific gene variations. Recent studies indicate that genetics plays a role in around 10% of all Parkinson’s cases. Research now suggests that environmental factors such as exposure to pesticides may play a key role in the development of the disease.
Paraquat dichloride, in particular, was found to pose a significant risk because it works by creating oxidative stress, which can cause the degeneration of cells in plants and animals. The cellular degeneration caused by increased production of oxygen derivatives is believed to cause the disease.
As a result of the research, the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council, led by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, issued a request to the EPA asking them to deny the re-registration of the herbicide. The reasoning for the request pointed to research showing that “low-level chronic exposure significantly increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease.”
Who Is Exposed to Paraquat and How?
Exposure to paraquat can come from a variety of sources. If you have developed Parkinson’s disease after any exposure to paraquat, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our office to discuss your legal options with an experienced Paraquat lawsuit lawyer.
Exposure to paraquat can occur from:
- Dermal (absorption or penetration of the skin) – occurs during mixing, loading, or as it is being applied. Dermal exposure can also occur as the applicator is being cleaned or while unclogging the nozzles.
- Inhalation and ingestion – typically inhaled or swallowed through spray drift or when there is a lot of mixture in the air as the application occurs.
- Soil – Paraquat is extremely durable with a half-life of up to 20 years. It takes a long time to break down in the environment, meaning it can pose a risk to humans due to contact with sprayed plants, crops, or soil.
Who Can Bring a Paraquat Lawsuit?
Because the herbicide is a restricted use pesticide, only licensed applicators can apply the substance or supervise the application of the pesticide. Currently, litigation is limited to individuals who were licensed applicators or worked directly with a licensed applicator and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure.
In 2019, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives to cancel the registration of all uses of the pesticide paraquat. Despite this and other efforts to ban the pesticide in the U.S., the use of paraquat is growing, with millions of pounds of the pesticide being used on crops across the country.
If you were a farmer or agricultural worker who mixed, loaded, or sprayed a paraquat containing product such as Ortho Paraquat or Gramoxone, contact our office for a free consultation.
Defendants in Paraquat Litigation
Pending litigation involving paraquat has dozens of named defendants. Lawsuits may be brought against companies who manufactured, distributed, marketed, licensed, or sold the herbicide. Call our office to speak with one of our highly-trained product liability lawyers.
Named defendants in paraquat lawsuits include but are not limited to:
- Syngenta A.G.;
- Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC; and
- Chevron USA, Inc.
Local retail distributors and any predecessor to a maker or seller of the chemical may be named in a lawsuit. It is imperative to contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Paraquat is manufactured around the world, litigation regarding the herbicide can be complex requiring an in-depth understanding of its origins and the harm it has caused to people and the environment.
Why Hire a Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyer?
Because there is no cure or treatment that will slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease, the disorder can require extensive, life-long medical care. By the second stage, Parkinson’s can make it difficult for a person to perform day-to-day tasks. Through a civil lawsuit you may be able to obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.
At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined legal experience. We have won billions on behalf of our clients and will give your case the personalized attention it deserves. We are trial-tested, award-winning attorneys that know what it takes to win cases against industry giants.
Contact Our Skilled Legal Team
If you were exposed to paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, contact our office for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our Paraquat lawsuit lawyers will help determine if you have a legal right to damages based on your case.
Call our office at (713) 804-6121 or fill out our online contact form to get started. We handle cases nationwide. There are no fees unless we win. Contact our office today to book your consultation.