One of the latest lawsuits filed in court over side effects of Paraquat alleges that decades of routine exposure to the weed killer caused an Illinois man to develop Parkinson’s disease, which was ultimately fatal. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that has been linked to Paraquat, a weed killer widely used for commercial agricultural applications in the United States. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to Paraquat during mixing, loading, application, or from some other type of exposure, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the Paraquat manufacturer, in order to pursue financial compensation for your medical expenses and other damages.
Concerns about the potential human health risks of exposure to Paraquat have escalated recently, due to emerging research linking Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease, a progressive central nervous system disorder that affects movement. Paraquat is known to be toxic, and a growing number of lawsuits allege that exposure to the weed killer resulted in users developing Parkinson’s disease, and in this case, led to the individual’s death. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed earlier this month in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois by Diane Hawkins, on behalf of her father’s estate. According to Hawkins, her father, Donald Johnson, mixed and applied Paraquat for decades on the farmland where he lived, a practice that caused him to develop Parkinson’s disease. “Plaintiff, Donald Johnson, deceased, was exposed to Paraquat for a sustained period of time and suffered permanent physical injury, pain, and death as a result thereof,” Hawkins’ lawsuit states.
Rather than ban Paraquat outright, as so many other countries have done, the U.S. restricted the use of the weed killer to certified applicators who complete a Paraquat safety training program developed by the EPA. However, lawsuits against Syngenta and other manufacturers allege that Paraquat applicators and others regularly exposed to the weed killer were not adequately warned about the potential for Paraquat to cause Parkinson’s disease even when mixed and applied as directed. “On numerous occasions, Paraquat came into contact with Plaintiff’s skin while mixing and spraying Paraquat,” Hawkins’ lawsuit states. “During the entire time that Plaintiff was exposed to Paraquat, Plaintiff did not know that exposure to Paraquat, when handled according to the instructions, could be injurious to himself or others.”
Hawkins’ lawsuit joins a growing number of claims alleging that Paraquat manufacturers knew or should have known that the toxic herbicide was harmful to human health and failed to disclose this critical information to users. “This case arises out of Defendants’ wrongful conduct in connection with the design, development, manufacturing, testing, packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution, and sale of paraquat dichloride, also known as paraquat methosulfate (“Paraquat”), the active ingredient in herbicide products that cause Parkinson’s Disease,” Hawkins’ claim alleges. “As such, Paraquat is dangerous to human health and unfit to be marketed and sold in commerce, particularly without proper warnings and directions as to the dangers associated with its use.”
Paraquat is sold under various brand names in the U.S., the most common being Gramoxone, an herbicide manufactured by Syngenta. Other Paraquat products include Parazone, Helmquat, Firestorm, Devour, and ParaShot. If you were exposed to Paraquat as a farmer or agricultural worker, or as a resident of an area where Paraquat is regularly sprayed on fields or farmland, and you have since been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, do not hesitate to speak to an attorney about your legal rights. You may be entitled to financial compensation for the harm you have suffered, which you can pursue by filing a Paraquat lawsuit against the herbicide manufacturer.