The widespread usage of paraquat in consumer and industrial agriculture has recently come under fire. Throughout the world, people are learning more and more about the risks of paraquat, which is a toxic, poisonous chemical. Due to its widespread use and toxic nature, paraquat has negatively impacted hundreds of thousands of lives. Some of the affected individuals have filed lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers to recover the damages caused by the chemical.
If you suffered negative health effects after paraquat exposure, including developing Parkinson’s Disease, you can join the ongoing paraquat litigation. The product liability team at D’amore Law Firm can help you do just that. We have teams of Washington paraquat attorneys and Oregon paraquat attorneys that can help you evaluate your claim, initiate your own paraquat lawsuit, and help you seek justice for the damages you suffered.
What Is Paraquat?
First manufactured and sold in 1961, paraquat dichloride is an active herbicidal ingredient in many professional and consumer-grade agricultural products. Put simply, it kills weeds that you don’t want in your garden and that farmers don’t want in their fields. Since its invention, the product has enjoyed widespread commercial success. In fact, it is one of the most common herbicides of all time. Despite its widespread use, however, its safety profile is less than stellar. Herbicide exposure, including exposure to paraquat, can lead to serious health problems.
Dangers of Paraquat Herbicide Exposure
Paraquat dichloride is toxic and poisonous to the human body. Acute exposure, usually resulting from unknowingly ingesting the chemical, can cause immediate problems. First, the chemical causes direct damage when it comes into contact with the lining of your stomach, mouth, and intestines. Such exposure can cause severe damage to various organs in the body. Consumption of just a small amount of paraquat can easily kill a person.
Paraquat Herbicide Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease
Long-term paraquat exposure is far more relevant to the ongoing paraquat litigation than acute exposure. That’s because the risks associated with long-term exposure to paraquat have only recently been understood. Recent studies have demonstrated a link between paraquat exposure and an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s Disease is a permanent, progressive nervous system disorder that affected individuals must deal with for the rest of their lives. Many of the individuals involved in the ongoing paraquat litigation are suing, not over acute exposure, but over long-term exposure that contributed to their development of Parkinson’s Disease.
Ongoing Paraquat Suits
As noted, there is ongoing litigation surrounding paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease. In the first half of 2021, 20 or more paraquat lawsuits were pending in federal courts. The defendants in those cases include large corporations like Chevron and Syngenta. Many of these cases have yet to go to trial, so their outcome is not entirely clear at this time. However, courts and attorneys have moved to consolidate many of the claims. Many claims ask the same questions, so courts can combine the overlapping questions into one judgment.
How We Can Help
If you think you have a paraquat claim, don’t wait to take action. Our product liability team at the D’amore Law Firm is standing by to help. We won’t just help you evaluate your claim, either. If you choose the D’amore Law Firm, we will remain by your side from the beginning of the claim right through to the end. We are always available to answer your questions, so if something comes up, you never have to hesitate to give us a call. We can help you file an individual claim, try to get a class action claim going, or see if we can get our questions answered through one of the consolidated cases. We can only help, however, if you take that first step.
The Scope of the Paraquat Herbicide Lawsuits
If you are curious how much your claim will settle for, we can’t give you a good answer at this time. Every paraquat claim is unique, and the facts that make each case unique all factor into calculating the final settlement amount. With that said, however, a settlement in the six-figure range is not out of the question. It all depends on what damages you suffered.
How Do I Know Whether I Qualify?
There are two elements to consider when determining whether or not you have a viable paraquat claim. You must meet both qualifications.
First, to qualify for a paraquat lawsuit, you must demonstrate that you were exposed to paraquat. For example, if you worked on a farm that used paraquat or lived in an area where the drinking water was contaminated with paraquat, you could probably demonstrate some degree of paraquat exposure.
Second, you need to suffer damage related to your paraquat exposure. If you developed Parkinson’s Disease after exposure, it is hard to question whether paraquat played a role. Essentially, if you were exposed to paraquat and suffered injuries as a result, you likely have a valid paraquat claim.
Herbicide Products That Contain Paraquat
Several herbicidal products use paraquat as their active ingredient. The following brand names all contain paraquat:
- Devour, Dexuron,
- Ortho Paraquat CL, and
- AH 501.
If you don’t see the specific brand name of herbicide that you used in this list, don’t worry. This list is not exhaustive. Make a quick search online and check with our team to see if the herbicide you used contained paraquat.
Paraquat Poisoning: Symptoms and Side Effects
The symptoms and side effects of acute paraquat exposure should present themselves quickly. They include many symptoms associated with poisoning of any kind:
- Oral pain,
- Stomach pain,
- Esophageal pain,
- Stomach cramps,
- Excessive sweating,
- A burning sensation inside the body, and
- Difficulty breathing,
If acute paraquat poisoning is not treated quickly and effectively, the poisoning can worsen. The following side effects may quickly follow acute paraquat poisoning:
- Liver, heart, or kidney failure,
- Lung scarring,
- Pulmonary Edema, and
- Respiratory Failure.
For more information on what you should do if you or a loved one is exposed to paraquat, check out the CDC’s emergency fact sheet on the matter. If you or someone else was exposed to paraquat, call emergency services and poison control IMMEDIATELY.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our product liability team answers a lot of questions about paraquat on a daily basis. To help our clients, we put together a list of some of the most common questions and their answers. If your question isn’t answered here, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Does Roundup Contain Paraquat?
Roundup does not contain paraquat. Roundup’s active ingredient can cause similar health problems, however, so you may have a Roundup claim if not a paraquat claim.
What Is the difference between Paraquat and Glyphosate?
Paraquat and glyphosate are both common herbicides that are controversial because they can cause severe health problems. They are two different chemicals that serve a similar purpose.
Do Farmers Use Paraquat?
Yes, farmers use paraquat. It is banned in more than 50 countries around the world, but not everywhere.
Is Paraquat Still Used?
Many people still use paraquat despite its safety concerns. As noted, 50 countries have banned its usage, but that’s just 50. In the United States and Australia, plenty of farmers still use paraquat.
What Is Another Name for Paraquat?
Gramoxone is the most common alternative name for the chemical. We can consider any of the brands noted in the “Paraquat Containing Herbicides” section as other names for paraquat.
Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?
Paraquat may not cause Parkinson’s Disease. Like cancer, the cause of Parkinson’s Disease is usually multifaceted. Still, paraquat exposure does substantially increase the likelihood that an individual will develop Parkinson’s Disease.
What Does Gramoxone Do to the Human Body?
Gramoxone acts as a toxic poison. When it comes into contact with sensitive parts of our body, like the lining of our mouth, stomach, lung, or esophagus, it causes immediate and direct damage. This damage can spread throughout the body to just about every organ.
How Do I Know if I Was Exposed to Paraquat?
If you experience any of the symptoms noted above, you may have ingested poison of some kind, including paraquat. If so, you should seek immediate medical aid.
If you develop Parkinson’s Disease, you can check to see whether you were exposed to paraquat in the past. If you work in your garden, check the herbicides that you use regularly. If you work in an agricultural setting, contact your employer to figure out what herbicides they use. Your employer should have material safety data sheets (MSDS) for every potentially hazardous chemical they have on-site.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Paraquat Lawsuit?
Depending on the state you are suing in, your paraquat lawsuit is subject to one of two statutes of limitations. If you fail to initiate legal action within the allotted time, the courts will not hear your case. In Washington, you have three years from the date of an injury to initiate legal action. In Oregon, you have just two years.
The years start to toll either:
- When you suffered the injury (or should reasonably know of the injury); or
- When you discover the injury.
If you developed Parkinson’s Disease, the statute of limitations only starts to run when you figure out you have Parkinson’s Disease. If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s and did not connect the injury to paraquat exposure, you may have a longer timeline. Talk to our attorneys to see what your options are. Call D’amore Law Firm and we will help you evaluate your paraquat herbicide lawsuit today.