The number of lawsuits filed against the makers of Paraquat in the federal court system has swelled to nearly 200, as former herbicide applicators and others exposed to Paraquat learn about the potential for the highly toxic weed killer to cause Parkinson’s disease in users. Paraquat is an extremely controversial herbicide, one that has been banned in more than 30 countries due to its known toxicity and ability to cause Paraquat poisoning. However, it remains in use in the United States for commercial purposes despite these risks. If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after using Paraquat as an herbicide applicator or after being exposed to Paraquat sprayed on fields near where you live, do not hesitate to speak to a Paraquat injury attorney. Contact us as soon as possible to find out how we can help put you in touch with an experienced product liability lawyer who can inform you of your legal options.
Paraquat is a powerful herbicide widely used in the farming and agriculture industry to control weeds and grasses. It is sold under a number of brand names, including Blanco, Gramoxone, Helmquat, Parazone, Firestorm, and Devour. Identified by the CDC as a “toxic chemical,” Paraquat can cause fatal poisoning if even a small amount of the weed killer is ingested. Due to concerns about Paraquat’s extreme toxicity, the weed killer has been banned in the European Union, China, Brazil, and dozens of other countries and is only available for use in the U.S. by certified commercial applicators who complete a special training program. Unfortunately, while commercial applicators are trained on the dangers of ingesting Paraquat and Paraquat poisoning, a growing number of lawsuits allege that they were never warned about the potential health risks of exposure to Paraquat during handling, mixing, or application.
According to allegations raised in nearly 200 lawsuits that have already been filed in federal courts across the country, the manufacturers of Paraquat failed to inform farmers, agricultural workers, and other commercial Paraquat applicators about the potential for Paraquat to cause Parkinson’s disease and other neurological injuries, even when the proper handling procedures are followed. Earlier this year, all federal Paraquat lawsuits were centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before U.S. District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel, who is presiding over the Paraquat multidistrict litigation (MDL). The number of federal Paraquat lawsuits currently stands at 181. However, as product liability lawyers continue to investigate and file potential claims on behalf of former Paraquat users, it is expected that the litigation will ultimately reach several thousand lawsuits.
Although the Paraquat MDL was just recently formed, researchers have been studying the potential link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade. In one study published in 2011, researchers found that farmers who use Paraquat are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease compared to those who don’t. In 2013, an analysis of pesticide and weed killer exposure found that being exposed to Paraquat, Maneb, or Mancozeb doubled a person’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. In 2016, the EPA announced that it would be reassessing the health risks of Paraquat exposure. Despite this well-documented health risk, Paraquat is still legal in the U.S. and its use is on the rise.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by stiffness, loss of balance, slow movement, and tremors that worsen over time. The condition affects nearly one million people in the U.S. and there are as many as 60,000 new Parkinson’s disease diagnoses every year. By 2030, the number of Americans living with Parkinson’s disease is expected to reach 1.2 million, and some of these cases may include farmers and agricultural workers who were exposed to Paraquat during handling, mixing, or application of the toxic weed killer. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and you believe Paraquat exposure to be the cause, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the harm you have suffered. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to learn how to join the rapidly growing Paraquat litigation.