Have you developed Parkinson’s disease after years of exposure to agricultural herbicides? This might have happened to you already because of Paraquat, but you might also be entitled to benefits and compensation via a Paraquat lawsuit because of your exposure.
Paraquat lawsuits involving many different people are already happening against a number of companies responsible for the manufacture and dispersal of Paraquat and Paraquat-related products. You can possibly join one for free and be a part of a group that wins compensation for their medical bills, lost health, and reduced income.
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What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a chemical, and it’s a toxic one at that. Historically, its primary uses have been for killing plants. As an herbicide, it’s seen use for both weed killing and grass management. At one point, the United States even pressured the Mexican government to apply it to crops of marijuana in an attempt to disrupt the illicit drug trade.
As a weedkiller, it can remain as a residue in the soil and even in crops that grow under its application sites, meaning you can possibly eat or ingest it through food and beverage in addition to direct herbicide exposure. There have been cases where Paraquat has been used directly for death, with actual murderers using it as a weapon in both Europe and Asia. It’s also a leading cause of suicide attempts in the United States territory of Guam.
Banned In Countries Around the Globe
Once awareness grew about the ill health hazards involved with Paraquat exposure, attempts at a global phase-out started, with some success. China reportedly suffers 5,000 Paraquat-related deaths each year, so it’s working towards a full ban on the substance. The EU issued a complete ban of Paraquat in 2007 on the grounds that it was too dangerous for farmers, even if they were wearing protective equipment. India, however, is a stalwart against a global ban. Paraquat is currently banned in 32 countries around the world, including Switzerland where the manufacturer, Syngenta, is based.
Paraquat is still legal inside the United States, but it’s a heavily restricted substance that you have to have special permission or certification to buy. Also, it’s sold typically marked with a blue dye so it doesn’t get confused with normal food and beverage.
Paraquat is Banned or Being Phased Out in the Following Countries:
- Ivory Coast
- United Arab Emirates
What Side Effects And Injuries Does Paraquat Cause?
There are immediate signs and symptoms of Paraquat exposure. Swallowing is the most likely form of ingestion, but high levels of direct exposure can lead to absorption through the skin. Exposure through the skin can happen over long periods of time, or quickly if the version of Paraquat is highly concentrated, or it enters the body through skin that is broken from cuts, sores, or a serious rash.
Paraquat damage is direct if it impacts the lining of your mouth, intestines, or stomach. Once inside your body, it can create toxic reactions throughout your kidneys, liver, and lungs.
Immediate symptoms of high-level ingestion include swelling and pain in the throat and mouth. Gastrointestinal symptoms follow, including bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and nausea. Serious gastrointestinal symptoms can lead to low blood pressure, electrolyte abnormalities, and dehydration. Serious cases often result in death within 30 days or less. Even milder cases can result in lung scarring, and failure of the heart, kidneys, and lungs.
Parkinson’s disease is the focus of many Paraquat lawsuits. As far back as 2009, the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that risk for Parkinson’s disease was elevated by 75 percent to homes within 1,600 feet of Paraquat exposure. You don’t even have to use this in your own yard to be at risk if it’s used on crops around your area.
Paraquat & Parkinson’s Disease
Going back to 2011, the connection between Paraquat and the development of Parkinson’s Disease has been well documented. In the 2011 study, known as FAME (Farmer’s and Movement Evaluation), the National Institute of Health pulled data from the Agricultural Health Project, which tracked more than 80,000 farmers, agricultural workers, and their spouses. Of the 80,000, 115 self-reported as having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Out of this group, 110 reported that the herbicide they most frequently came in contact with was Paraquat. While the manufacturer, Syngenta, argued that the results of this study were inconclusive, numerous other studies followed that further solidified the connection.
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Sometimes symptoms start gradually with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. While tremors are the most common symptom, Parkinson’s can also show itself with stiffness, slow movement, and slow or slurring speech. Below is a list of Parkinson’s symptoms that affect motor skills. If you have worked with herbicides in the past and are displaying any of these symptoms, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
- Instability when Standing Upright
- Gait Problems
- Soft, Slow, or Slurred Speech
Additionally, non-motor skill symptoms can include hearing or vision issues, depression, anxiety, psychosis, weight loss, fatigue, cognitive issues, sweating, and sleep problems. Contact your doctor if you are displaying any of these symptoms.
What Do We Know About The Lawsuits Regarding Paraquat?
The potential for economic damage alone from Paraquat has been documented in several Paraquat lawsuits. In particular, the burden of care for Parkinson’s disease is at the heart of the matter. It usually costs more than $25,000 per year to care for someone with this disease, resulting in a total economic hit across the country of more than $20 billion. This cost effects all of us, since Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security handle much of it.
A primary Paraquat lawsuit started on Oct. 6, 2017. It was filed against Growmark and Syngenta as Paraquat manufacturers. Chevron Chemical was later added as another defendant. The Paraquat lawsuit was on behalf of agricultural personnel who had Parkinson’s develop following their exposure to Paraquat.
How Can Our Lawyers Help?
Our lawyers can help you find the right class action or mass tort Paraquat lawsuit to join. There’s no cost to you to join an existing Paraquat lawsuit case, and the more people who join such cases means the more evidence there is of wrong-doing. In short, our lawyers can make this very easy for you to do, mainly because you spend nothing, you pay nothing unless we win, and you don’t have to start a totally new case.
The right attorneys can do much more for you than you might imagine. They won’t just give you a number and tell you to get in line. They’ll work to find the right mass tort or class-action case for you to join, based on your date and state of exposure. They’ll also factor in whether or not your particular Paraquat lawsuit case is wrongful death or personal injury.
On top of finding the right case, our lawyers will start going over your medical records and healthcare documentation. We’ll look to verify your injury due to Paraquat and ascertain its level of severity. All of this will be added to the broader Paraquat lawsuit case, helping your odds of winning a settlement, as well as everyone else’s.
Best of all, you have nothing to lose. Wrongful death and personal injury cases, especially at the class action or mass tort level, typically happen on a contingency basis. There’s no cost for you to join such cases, and you’ll pay nothing without a win. Then, the fees just come out of the settlement, so you don’t actually miss any money then either.
What Is The Process Of Filing A Mass Tort Or Class Action Paraquat Lawsuit?
Among non-lawyers, we see the terms of class action and mass tort used interchangeably a lot. There is certainly overlap between them, as they both represent large groups of plaintiffs. In both situations, lawyers must go through substantial amounts of medical records, prove a consistent injury throughout the group, and then either negotiate a settlement or take the matter to trial.
The difference is whether there’s one case or a group of cases. In a class-action lawsuit, only one case is filed to represent every plaintiff in the pool. On the other hand, a mass tort case has a specific case for each plaintiff.
In both situations, there might be smaller bellwether cases filed and fought for first. The American jurisprudence system is enamored with the concept of precedent, and any small wins first can be strategic victories that pave the way for larger lawsuits that help a lot more people out in the long run.
Bellwether wins can also expedite settlement negotiations. Once defendants, and their insurance and lawyers, see that things aren’t going their way, they’re far more likely to be more amenable to offering more than token settlements they hoped would just make the case go away.
What Type Of Damages Can I Receive If The Paraquat Lawsuit Case Wins?
In general, you can win three kinds of different damages if your Paraquat lawsuit wins. They include compensatory damages, general damages, and punitive damages. There might be enough overlap between the general and compensatory damages for them to be considered the same, as they are often just known as general compensatory damages. Punitive damages are nearly always a distinct thing on and of themselves.
Compensatory damages are the kind that most people identify with the most. They’re also one of the more concrete kinds of damage that we see in the cases we work on. These kinds of damages can include specific amounts for medical care, property damage, and lost income. We work through documents we get access to during the process of litigation so we can seek out definitive amounts based on personal injuries.
General damages often happen alongside compensatory damages. These, however, are usually less tangible or specific. They might cover things like loss of consortium, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. They might even cover anticipated losses yet to happen, such as future medical care or a loss of any earning capacity. Factors that come into consideration here include age, income, occupation, and how permanent and/or severe injuries are.
Punitive damages only happen to injured plaintiffs when an authoritative party deems a defendant’s wrongful behavior as particularly reprehensible or despicable. These might be awarded when a judge or jury decides that a defendant has accorded themselves in a malicious or wanton manner. Corporations deemed to have serious financial assets might be punished for harming a large group of people, which is certainly what we’re talking about here.
Is There A Time Limit To Filing My Paraquat Lawsuit Claim?
Paraquat injuries are usually under the purview of personal injury lawsuits. The time you have to file a Paraquat lawsuit is usually determined by the state laws where you were personally injured. If you have a set amount of time, that period starts with the date of your actual initial injury, be it ingestion, inhalation, or direct exposure. Having said that, there are exceptions in some states for when the injury didn’t become immediately apparent to you, and that would be the date where your time to file a claim starts.
If you live in Tennessee, Kentucky, or Louisiana, then you only have one year. If you’re a resident of North Dakota or Maine, then you get six years. Most other states fall in the range of two to three years, with exceptions. Given how complex all of this is, it makes sense to give us a call at Keith Law Group to find out where you fall in all of this.
Contact Keith Law Group if You Have Been Adversely Affected by Paraquat!
You probably try to live your life as cleanly and safely as you can. No matter what steps you take, though, you might still wind up a victim of Paraquat poisoning. Worse yet, someone in your family might have been stricken with it.
Unless you have the right industrial license, you’ll likely never deal with Paraquat directly yourself. However, it might be in weed killer and herbicidal products you buy, so check the labels for all the ingredients. Also, if you work in farming or agriculture, you’re at higher risk levels. Sadly, even if none of this applies to you, but someone else uses Paraquat within 1600 feet of your home, you might still have nearly double the risk of contracting Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s is far from your only risk. Internal organ damage, cancer, and even potential birth defects in newborns are all possibilities as well. In extreme cases, death is a possibility, too. You might be looking at a wrongful death lawsuit instead of personal injury.
Ingestion or exposure to too much can result in death, and even those that survive their exposure are left in a world of hurt. We’ve seen this already too many times with others we’ve helped. Keith Law Group can help you recover compensation to help get better or replace the income lost in your household due to this kind of tragedy.
We at Keith Law Group already have experience in helping victims of Paraquat poisoning incidents of all sorts. Contact us right away to see if your Paraquat lawsuit case qualifies for the growing number of plaintiffs seeking justice.