Pursuing Paraquat Lawsuit Settlements
Many experts claim that exposure to the chemical paraquat, commonly found in herbicides and weed killers, can dramatically increase the likelihood of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Because so many claims are being filed against manufacturers that use paraquat, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been created to streamline and speed up legal proceedings.
If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and believe it is linked to your exposure to paraquat, you may wonder if you qualify for financial compensation. This guide will provide you with background information on paraquat, the symptoms of paraquat exposure, its possible links to Parkinson’s disease, current litigation, and more.
For detailed answers to your questions or to find out if your case is eligible for a claim, consult an experienced personal injury attorney.
What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a highly toxic chemical used in many herbicides and weedkillers. Today, the chemical’s use and handling are strictly restricted to individuals who use protective gear and follow safety protocols. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the use of paraquat is limited to licensed applicators.
Any paraquat made in the United States is legally required to include an additive that induces vomiting if someone accidentally drinks it. However, manufacturers using the chemical outside of the United States may not have this additive in place.
What Is Paraquat Used For?
Paraquat is strongly associated with agriculture. The chemical has been used to dry out cotton, kill weeds in fruit orchards, and control grass that grows over crops on farms. It has also been used to dry out potato stems and remove leaves before harvesting hops.
U.S. regulations mandate that paraquat must be stored in clearly-labeled containers that are out of reach of children. It also cannot be stored in or near residential areas. These mandates make storing paraquat in drinking containers illegal. At least one known incident led to someone accidentally drinking Gatorade that had leftover paraquat dumped into it.
Who Is at Risk of Paraquat Exposure?
Because paraquat is used in herbicides and weedkillers, employees who work with the chemical as part of their daily job are at the highest risk. Members of the public may also be at risk due to contamination of commercial food or drinks.
Prolonged skin exposure to high concentrations of paraquat can lead to health issues. Exposing an open wound, such as a cut or sore, also increases the likelihood of danger.
Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
Multiple sources report that people exposed to certain chemicals in weedkillers and herbicides (including paraquat) experience a much higher likelihood of contracting Parkinson’s disease. While not every person exposed to paraquat is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the potential danger of it has prompted 32 countries to ban the chemical.
How Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s?
Researchers link Parkinson’s disease to paraquat due to our increased exposure to:
- Agricultural chemicals
- Manufacturing chemicals
It is estimated that over 13 million people will develop Parkinson’s disease in the next 20 years.
Filing a Paraquat Lawsuit for Parkinson’s Disease
If you are suffering from Parkinson’s and have reason to believe that your disease was caused by exposure to paraquat, you may be thinking about filing a claim against the company responsible for your situation. By filing a claim, you can help raise awareness for other people who are suffering the same way you are and seek compensation for your losses.
A skilled paraquat liability lawyer can help you file the proper paperwork to start your claim. To prove that your exposure to paraquat caused your Parkinson’s disease, you will need medical data and a thorough foundation for your case.
Your lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal system in your quest for compensation. There is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease – if your condition was caused by a manufacturer’s negligence, any compensation you receive from the company could help with the costs of your ongoing treatment.
Choosing a Paraquat Lawyer
Here are a few questions you can ask your prospective paraquat lawyer when you are deciding which law firm to use.
Do you offer free case evaluations?
Product liability litigation is very complicated. Before being asked to pay legal fees, you should first find out if your case has any merit. To do this, choose a law firm that offers you a free case evaluation. Once you find out if your case has a solid legal foundation, you can decide what to do next.
Does your paraquat law firm have a proven track record?
A qualified product liability law firm will have years of experience and success in past cases. Ask about their other verdicts. What kind of settlements did they help their clients secure?
Does your paraquat lawyer have direct experience?
This type of litigation is complex, and plaintiffs who seek settlements against large corporations will be facing skilled attorneys and insurance representatives. These parties are adept at stalling, obscuring facts, and pressuring victims to take settlement amounts far less than the actual worth of their case. An experienced paraquat attorney can prepare for these tactics and advise you on your next steps.
Does your paraquat law firm understand your state’s statute of limitations?
Every state in America has its own statute of limitations. These statutes are time limits that restrict how long you have to file a claim. Be sure the attorney you choose understands the statute of the limitations in your state and other relevant laws, too.
What Are Paraquat Settlements?
If you file a claim against another company, person, or entity to seek financial compensation for your damages, the goal for most people is a settlement. In the case of product liability, the claim you file is asking the company for a payout to compensate you for medical bills and other costs stemming from your exposure to their harmful product.
Some product liability claims are settled between the defendant and plaintiff without going to court. In these cases, representatives for both sides negotiate a fair dollar amount, and both sides agree to abide by this agreement instead of going to trial. When this occurs, it is called a “settlement.”
If both sides cannot agree, they may go to trial and see their dispute settled in front of a judge and jury.
What Is Paraquat Poisoning?
Anyone at risk of exposure to paraquat is advised to be extremely cautious. Even minuscule amounts of the chemical can be very harmful – one teaspoon can cause someone to die.
Paraquat exposure rapidly leads to lung, kidney, and lung damage as the chemical causes dangerous reactions that damage your body’s cells.
Paraquat Lung Damage
After being exposed to paraquat, your lungs can fill up with liquid. You may have trouble breathing and internal bleeding. Your lungs could become scarred from the fluid buildup.
The damage caused by paraquat is not restricted to your lungs. Multiple organs may fail. You could also go into cardiogenic shock, meaning your heart no longer can pump blood throughout your body.
Paraquat Exposure and Poisoning Symptoms
If you believe you may have been exposed to paraquat, watch for symptoms like these:
- Throat or mouth pain
- Throat or mouth swelling
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Blood in your throat or mouth
- Blood in diarrhea
- Breathing difficulties
- Rapid resting heart rate
- Yellowing skin
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Because Parkinson’s disease cannot be definitively detected early, many people ignore the warning signs. These symptoms often start slowly and become more pronounced over time. While both sexes can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s, men get the disease 50% more often than females.
A person’s likelihood of developing Parkinson’s is tied to age. Most patients are diagnosed with Parkinson’s after age 60, but 5-10% of patients get the disease after age 50.
Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Motor problems stemming from Parkinson’s disease are the most well-known effects of the disease. In the early stages, victims may find it harder to get in and out of a seated position. Other symptoms can include:
- Speaking softly
- Cramped handwriting
- Abnormal arm or leg movements
- Lack of facial expression
- Reduced arm swinging while walking
In some cases, close family members and loved ones will notice these gradual symptoms before the victim does.
Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
While Parkinson’s disease is most known for motor function damage, some non-motor function symptoms may occur as well. These include:
- Hyposmia (reduced sense of smell)
- Frequent need to urinate
- Orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure drops while standing)
- Excessive and frequent sweating or drooling
- Anxiety or depression
- Memory issues
- Restless leg syndrome
- Hallucinations or paranoia
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Vaginal dryness in women
- Impulse problems
Am I Eligible to File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
Before you can file a claim against a paraquat manufacturer, your case must have the following elements:
You Need Proof That You Were Exposed to Paraquat
There are several ways to prove that you were exposed to this dangerous chemical. For example, you can prove that you live near a company making the herbicide, or that you worked for a company that used paraquat and your position required you to be near it. If you bought herbicide with paraquat, you could prove it with a receipt.
You Developed Parkinson’s Disease After Paraquat Exposure
If you have a medical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease that came after your paraquat exposure, this is usually enough.
Your Paraquat Exposure Led to Your Parkinson’s Disease
You will also need to establish that your Parkinson’s disease came directly from being exposed to paraquat. To prove this, you will likely need a thorough medical evaluation and tests to link the chemical exposure to your diagnosis.
How Do I Prove I Was Exposed to Paraquat?
If you believe you were exposed to paraquat, you must prove it to support your legal claim against the company or other responsible party. First, you will need to familiarize yourself with the signs of paraquat exposure, including:
Paraquat’s Unique Look and Smell
Paraquat has a strong odor. In the United States, there are regulations in place that require manufacturers to inject the chemical with a blue dye. The purpose of this dye is to help people keep the chemical away from drinks or food.
If you have ever handled commercial strength weed chemicals, you have likely seen this distinctive blue coloring.
Immediate Physical Signs
The physical effects of Paraquat are often felt quickly, sometimes within a few hours or as fast as a few minutes.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above or remember being exposed to this caustic blue chemical with a pungent aroma, seek medical help immediately.
How Much Does a Paraquat Lawsuit Cost?
If you hire a product liability law firm that specializes in paraquat lawsuits, they can guide you through the costs of filing a lawsuit. Some attorneys do not take any sort of upfront fee for their legal services in cases like this.
Instead, these attorneys operate on a contingency basis. If you are not successful in your lawsuit, the lawyer will receive no compensation. If you do succeed in your quest for a payout, the attorney will receive an agreed-upon percentage for their services.
Your paraquat liability attorney will discuss these fee arrangements with you before asking you to sign an agreement for legal representation.
Why Should I File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
If you believe you were exposed to paraquat due to a manufacturer’s or employer’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation. A settlement can help pay for your medical expenses and Parkinson’s disease treatment if your illness is linked to paraquat exposure.
A payout can also compensate you for lost wages if you have been out of work because of your disease. You may be eligible for further compensation because of pain and suffering and other damages.
Connect With a Lawyer in Our Network Today
To find out if you qualify for a lawsuit, simply fill out our contact form. We will contact you directly to schedule your free case evaluation and connect you with an experienced paraquat lawyer in your state.