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Paraquat Exposure and Parkinson's Disease

Were you exposed to Paraquat and contracted Parkinson’s Disease?

Recent studies have supported a correlation between environmental exposure of Paraquat, an agricultural weed killer, and diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease. Accordingly, personal injury lawyers have filed several lawsuits to recover compensation for individuals exposed to Paraquat who have subsequently developed Parkinson’s disease and other related health issues. To ensure consistent court rulings about these legal issues, and to streamline discovery and pretrial proceedings, a nationwide multidistrict litigation (“MDL”) jurisdiction was established to consolidate all federal Paraquat lawsuits. Rightful Legal can assist in determining whether you may be entitled to compensation. We at Rightful Legal help our clients injured in accidents, and sometimes, such as in this case, we team with other personal injury firms to assist in Mass Tort claims.

What is Paraquat?

Paraquat is a toxic herbicide banned in more than 32 countries, including the European Union. However, it is regulated in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and is sold under different brand names (referred to in the list below). In fact, Paraquat cannot be applied by the average consumer or in residential settings; only licensed applicators are permitted to use it in commercial and agricultural settings. The EPA also requires Paraquat to contain additives to prevent accidental ingestion, including blue dye and a strong odor so as not to confuse it with a beverage. Furthermore, Paraquat must contain a vomit-inducing additive so the poison is expelled if consumed.

The following products are known to contain paraquat:

  • Gramoxone
  • Parazone
  • Quick-Quat
  • Para-Shot 3.0
  • Helmquat 3SL
  • Cyclone SL 2.0
  • Firestorm
  • Crisquat
  • Dexuron
  • Para-col
  • Devour
  • Bonedry
  • Blanco
  • Dexuron
  • Esgram
  • Ortho Paraquat CL
  • Tota-col
  • PP148
  • Garmixel
  • Pillarxone
  • AH 501
  • Bai Cao Ku
What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder wherein the neurons in the brain which produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter which sends signals to cells controlling the nervous system, are affected in their ability to properly send and/or receive signals. This can greatly affect movement, memory, attention, and behavior. Parkinson’s disease progresses through five stages from mild symptoms to needing full-time care. Parkinson’s patients need treatment and support with daily activities to maintain as much independence as possible.

Symptoms usually develop slowly over time and usually include:

  • Tremors even while resting
  • Slow movements and walking
  • Stiff or rigid limbs
  • Balance issues and posture instability
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Hallucinations
  • Constipation
  • Loss of smell
  • Cognitive issues
Who May Be at Risk for Exposure to Paraquat?

Those who have been exposed to Paraquat over long periods of time have the highest risk of subsequently developing Parkinson’s disease, including licensed applicators, farm workers, crop dusting pilots, and those who live adjacent to industrial and agricultural areas. Depending on where you live, work, and go to school, you may have been exposed to paraquat without your knowledge.

Paraquat exposure can occur by (1) herbicidal drift whereby droplets sprayed on land can drift through hot and humid air even without heavy wind, (2) herbicidal overspray wherein an applicator applies paraquat in heavy wind causing it to drift, (3) herbicide runoff where paraquat contaminates soil and nearby water sources which poisons those on adjoining or nearby property and those downstream, and (4) ingestion.

Potential symptoms of paraquat poisoning include:

  • Pain and swelling in the mouth, throat, and digestive tract
  • Dehydration, low blood pressure, and electrolyte imbalances
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heart damage and liver failure
  • Respiratory failure and fluid build-up in the lungs
  • Seizures and death
Who May Be Held Liable?

The following Paraquat manufacturers may be held liable for Parkinson’s disease caused by their herbicides:

  • Adama Group
  • Altitude Crop Innovations
  • Chevron Chemical Company
  • Drexel Chemical Company
  • Helm Agro
  • Innvictis Crop Care
  • Sinon USA
  • Syngenta
  • United Phosphorous
What Are My Claims Potentially Worth?

Your potential recovery depends upon the unique circumstances of your case and specific situation. Generally, the value of your claims will depend on the following:

  • The extent of your contact with paraquat (how much you were exposed to, how long you were exposed, and the mechanism by which you were exposed such as by breathing in contaminated air or by eating or drinking)
  • The severity of your medical issues
  • How long you will be suffering with Parkinson’s (if exposure resulted in early onset Parkinson’s, you will be living with the disease much long than an older individual who was recently exposed)
  • Financial losses you have incurred (how frequently you are incurring financial loss as well as job loss due to Paraquat-related Parkinson’s)
  • Your emotional and mental anguish (how you are handling your diagnosis as well as how the diagnosis has impacted your relationships)

Specifically, your compensation could include:

  • Past and future medical bills related to your Paraquat-related issues
  • Costs of rehabilitation
  • Costs for long-term care, assistive care, and other related services
  • Lost wages and future lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress, anguish, and other mental health concerns related to your Paraquat-related issues and Parkinson’s diagnosis
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Punitive damages (design to “punish” bad behavior)

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease following exposure to Paraquat, please contact Rightful Legal for a free consultation.

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Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him Ashwani
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
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