A Missouri man claims in one of the latest Paraquat injury lawsuits that he was never informed about the need for additional protective equipment to avoid Parkinson’s disease or other lasting neurological damage from exposure to Paraquat. The plaintiff, Robert Niemeyer, alleges that years of working as a licensed Paraquat applicator caused him to develop Parkinson’s disease and left him with severe and permanent injuries that will cause him physical pain, mental anguish, and disability for the remainder of his life. Niemeyer is seeking damages from Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, Syngenta AG, and Chevron USA Inc., each of which manufactured, distributed, and sold versions of the highly toxic weed killer for use in Missouri and across the United States. If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease following exposure to Paraquat, contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out if you have a valid claim for compensation.
Paraquat is a chemical herbicide manufactured, sold, and used as an active ingredient in a variety of weed killer products that have been applied to crops, fields, farms, and orchards throughout the U.S. since the 1960s. Paraquat was developed for the purpose of killing broadleaf weeds and grasses, which it does by “creating oxidative stress that causes or contributes to cause the degeneration and death of plant cells,” as Niemeyer’s claim states. It is this same mechanism of action that is believed to cause the degeneration and death of cells in animals and humans who are exposed to the highly toxic weed killer. The primary side effect linked to Paraquat exposure is Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder of the brain that affects the part of the central nervous system that controls movement. The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s include a resting tremor, problems with balance, rigidity, and slowness in voluntary movement and reflexes.
There is a great deal of research on Parkinson’s disease, and while most people think of it as an inherited condition, scientists who study the disease generally agree that environmental factors can play a significant role in the development of Parkinson’s. They also generally agree that “oxidative stress is a major factor in—if not the precipitating cause of—the degeneration and death of dopaminergic neurons” characteristic of Parkinson’s disease. In fact, as Niemeyer’s claim states, “Many epidemiological studies have found an association between paraquat exposure and [Parkinson’s disease, or PD], including multiple studies finding a two- to five-fold or greater increase in the risk of PD in populations with occupational exposure to paraquat compared to populations without such exposure.”
Emerging information about the toxic nature of Paraquat has resulted in a growing number of lawsuits alleging that Paraquat manufacturers knew about research linking the weed killer to Parkinson’s disease but actively and fraudulently withheld this information from applicators. In this latest Paraquat lawsuit, filed earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Robert Niemeyer seeks damages for personal injuries he allegedly sustained as a result of being exposed to Paraquat during the many years he worked as a licensed commercial Paraquat applicator. According to Niemeyer’s claim, he was never adequately warned about the potential risk of Parkinson’s disease from Paraquat exposure, which Paraquat manufacturers knew or should have known could occur during mixing, loading, or application of the herbicide. Niemeyer’s lawsuit also alleges that it was reasonably foreseeable that Paraquat could enter the human body via respiration into the lungs, ingestion of small droplets, or absorption through the skin as a result of this exposure, and cause damage to the central nervous system.
The companies that manufactured, sold, and used Paraquat as an active ingredient in their herbicide products now hundreds of lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system by former Paraquat applicators and others who claim that exposure to Paraquat caused them to develop Parkinson’s disease and other neurological injuries. If you or someone you love worked as a licensed Paraquat applicator and has since been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, do not hesitate to seek legal advice from an experienced Paraquat injury attorney. You may have the opportunity to hold the responsible company or companies accountable for their actions, and a knowledgeable product liability lawyer can help. Call us today to find out if you may be eligible to file a Paraquat injury claim.