What are Paraquat Settlements?

Reuters released a report in February 2022 about various claimants filing lawsuits against Syngenta for exposing them to paraquat dichloride, an herbicide that might be linked to Parkinson’s disease. Currently, these cases remain ongoing, so there are no current paraquat settlements as of April 2022.

More than 875 cases have joined a multidistrict litigation (MDL), MDL-3004: Paraquat Products Liability Litigation, against the herbicide producer, per United States District Court records. Many claimants worked in fields that would put them in contact with paraquat, such as agriculture or landscaping work. If you or a loved one developed Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to paraquat, you may qualify to file a lawsuit.

Pursuing Paraquat Lawsuit Settlements

If you are interested in pursuing a paraquat lawsuit, you can work with a paraquat lawsuit lawyer in your state that handles product liability cases. This area of personal injury law allows claimants to demand compensation for injuries they suffered as a result of using defective products. 

In cases involving paraquat dichloride, people who were exposed to the dangerous chemical in their industry may also have grounds to sue the manufacturer for negligence. A personal injury attorney can go over what may be necessary to build your case, how much compensation you should pursue, and what to expect in the legal process as they pursue a paraquat settlement on your behalf.

What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do to Build a Paraquat Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawyers who handle product liability cases can guide you throughout the litigation process and fulfill legal tasks on your behalf. If your Parkinson’s disease or another severe illness paraquat caused limits your physical or mental functions, your lawyer can manage your case for you and provide updates as it moves through litigation. 

Common legal services provided by personal injury attorneys and their teams include:

  • Reviewing your medical records and other information to identify the cause of your illness: To establish a correlation between your line of work and how you developed Parkinson’s disease, your lawyer will likely ask for some background on what you do and how you might have been exposed to paraquat dichloride. They may also ask if your illness is documented in your medical records. Your attorney may review other information to establish the key facts of your case.
  • Retrieving evidence during the discovery phase: As your attorney continues investigating your case, they may take steps to retrieve evidence that can support your claims against the defendant. For example, they may collect video footage that shows how you were exposed to paraquat. Or they may present business records that show your employer or company purchased paraquat herbicide, exposing all users to the substance.
  • Handling communications throughout your case: Whether the defendant reaches out to settle out of court or court officials send special notices about your case, your attorney can be the first person to answer these responses. They can also make safe, curated statements that do not jeopardize your case. Your legal team will provide you with updates about your case’s status as needed.
  • Filling out your case’s required paperwork: While it is not necessary to have a personal injury attorney represent you in a lawsuit, it can be useful to have someone who knows which legal forms you must fill out for your case to get accepted. A lawyer can organize their legal team to send notice letters, written responses, and motion requests on your behalf.
  • Attending out-of-court meetings to negotiate a potential settlement deal: Filing a lawsuit does not necessarily mean your case will go to trial. Many cases settle out of court, whether as a method to avoid trial or allow the defendant to avoid an unfavorable verdict. Your lawyer can advocate for your legal interests during negotiation meetings and demand the other party comply with or compromise to your terms.
  • Representing you at trial if necessary: Should your case proceed to trial, your lawyer will prepare your case argument for a jury to reach a verdict. They will present the evidence they discover and lay out your argument for how the defendant acted in gross negligence against you. Litigation can involve multiple types of hearings, all of which your lawyer will serve as your legal representative.
  • Providing legal counsel when you have concerns about your case: Litigation is often confusing or overwhelming for the average person to take in. Additionally, getting into a legal battle with a major corporation like Syngenta can be daunting. Should you ever have questions or concerns about the potential for your case or decisions you are faced with, your lawyer can advise you on how to proceed.

You can learn more about what to expect from a personal injury lawyer when you call their law office. Many team representatives are willing to discuss the services they provide to their clients.

Have There Been Any Paraquat Settlements?

Currently, there have been no settlements or verdicts for cases involving paraquat herbicides. MDL-3004 is still going through pretrial motions, which involves having a judge review all cases involved in the litigation and determining whether they qualify for a trial. Once the judge reviews a summary of each case, they will be sent back to their respective states to be heard in their district court.

If you or a loved one wants to pursue compensation because you developed Parkinson’s disease or another serious health condition due to paraquat exposure, you still have time to join MDL-3004 by filing a lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer in your state can organize materials and help you file to join this multidistrict litigation effort.

What Is Paraquat?

Paraquat dichloride is a dangerous chemical found in herbicides. It is often used to prevent weed growth and maintain proper grass control. Because this chemical is toxic, any herbicide that includes paraquat may only be used for commercial purposes, meaning applicators must have a verified license to use the product. 

People who work in agriculture, landscaping, or commercial gardening typically use paraquat in their industries, which can leave workers vulnerable to various chemical-related health risks. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also linked ecological risks to paraquat, in that animals and other living species may be vulnerable to disease and even death if exposed. Because of these factors, the EPA recommends safer alternatives.

How and Why Paraquat Is Used?

Paraquat dichloride comes in liquid form and can be applied to weeds, grass, and other plant life via a spray. This herbicide prevents insects from eating the plants and ensures the affected plants can grow properly, which is why it is often used for agricultural or landscaping purposes. 

Applicators must wear proper safety equipment when using the herbicide, as contact with the chemical on the skin, mouth, or eyes can result in serious side effects.

Is Paraquat Available for Home and Personal Use?

No. Residential owners are prohibited from using paraquat as an herbicide for their front or back yards, including home gardens. People with an applicator license are the only individuals who may use paraquat, and they can use it only for commercial purposes. 

Government regulations prohibit paraquat from intercepting into residential areas since exposure to the chemical can endanger humans and other living species, such as animals and native plants.

Is Paraquat Used in Public Properties?

No. The EPA prohibits paraquat from being applied in residential areas, including:

  • Local parks
  • School properties
  • Public playgrounds
  • Dog parks
  • Golf courses

If you become aware that a party is using paraquat dichloride in a public or residential area, please alert the appropriate authorities in your state to report the incident. You can also report this type of violation to the EPA.

What Kind of Paraquat Compensation May Be Available?

If you file a product liability lawsuit against Syngenta about developing serious health side effects after paraquat exposure, you may qualify to receive compensation for these damages:

  • Costs for medical treatment, including future expenses if your injuries/illness is long-term or permanent
  • Lost wages and benefits if your deteriorated health forced you to take extensive time off work to get treatment or recover 
  • Reduced earning potential if your health affects your ability to work in your field or in general, preventing you from taking better-paying job opportunities
  • Pain and suffering and inconvenience
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent disability, such as permanent organ damage or Parkinson’s disease
  • Diminished quality of life

Other damages may apply to your case, depending on your illness. Additionally, if you lost a loved one because they could not survive their illness, you or another qualifying family member may be able to pursue compensation for damages, such as funeral expenses, remaining medical debts, and emotional losses related to your grief. 

Settlements in Similar Cases

Roundup is another herbicide that has been linked with cancer. Lawsuits involving this herbicide have reached verdicts and settlements, with some examples being:

  • Dewayne Johnson won his lawsuit against Monsanto in 2018 and was awarded $289 million in compensatory damages, according to The Guardian.
  • A California couple won a landslide Roundup cancer case against Bayer in 2019, winning $2 billion in damages, Reuters reports. However, an appeal reduced this award to $86.7 million.
  • Edwin Hardeman won $80 million in compensatory damages from Monsanto in 2019, The New York Times reports. 

As claimants present evidence on scientific studies that link paraquat to Parkinson’s disease and other negative health consequences, they may be able to follow the legal strategies in Roundup cancer cases to pursue compensation.

Similarities Between Roundup & Paraquat Claims

MDL-2741, Roundup Products Liability Litigation, involves cases where claimants allege the herbicide caused them to develop cancer. Various lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto Bayer, the manufacturers of Roundup, in efforts to recover compensation for the claimants.

Reuters has reported on Bayer’s appeals to reverse compensation awards in lawsuits it lost in previous years.

Paraquat Dangers & Side Effects

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), paraquat dichloride is associated with several forms of health risks if people become exposed to the chemical, particularly if they get into physical contact with it or ingest it.

These side effects include:

  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Heart problems, including cardiac arrest (heart failure), heart injuries, or accelerated heart rates
  • Poisoning if ingested in large amounts
  • Lung problems or breathing problems, including lung scarring and pulmonary edema (lungs filled with fluid)
  • Seizures
  • Other scarring, such as in the esophagus if ingested
  • Coma
  • Death

If you believe you suffered paraquat exposure and now exhibit negative side effects, you should consult your physician and get a physical exam. Your physician can identify the cause of your illness and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Did This Paraquat Lawsuit Already Reach a Settlement?

No. Currently, over 875 cases in MDL-3004 are awaiting a judge’s permission to move past the pretrial stage and enter trial in their respective district courts. There is still time to join the MDL, which allows you to file an individual personal injury lawsuit against Syngenta

Your lawyer can explain what to expect should you decide to join the MDL or pursue compensation separately.

Call for a Free Consultation and Get Connected with a Paraquat Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one worked in an industry that exposed you to paraquat dichloride, be it through landscaping or farming/agricultural work, you may qualify to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer, Syngenta. A personal injury lawyer near you may be able to represent you and help you demand compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered.

You can fill out a contact form on our website, and one of our team representatives will reach out to you to discuss your case in a free consultation. From there, we can connect you to a personal injury lawyer from our legal network who serves your state. We aim to connect prospective clients with attorneys to help them pursue the compensation they need.