The weed killer Paraquat has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease in people who have used it commercially and those who have lived next to agricultural sites that apply it. Several Paraquat lawsuits have already been formed and filed in pursuit of compensation. You might be eligible to file a Paraquat lawsuit, too, if you’ve been exposed to the herbicide for at least 10 days in a one-year period at some point in your life and have also been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) or might have it.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat is an herbicide that has been used in the United States since the 1960s. It can only be used by companies or individuals that have acquired a specialized certification to spray or apply it because its high toxicity makes it a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP). This same toxicity and its suspected links to PD have caused Paraquat products to be banned or restricted in China, Brazil, and by the European Union. Despite the risks that these countries and unions have recognized, America still allows its use because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not stated with absolute certainty that Paraquat exposure does increase the risk of Parkinson’s.
Direct exposure to Paraquat can cause:
- Irreversible lung damage
- Central nervous system damage
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s disease is an incurable, progressive disease that mostly affects the nervous system. It is not fatal but can cause various health complications and increase the risk of death due to falling and other severe illnesses like cancer and pneumonia.
Telltale symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Slowed movement
- Rigid muscles
- Impaired posture and balance
- Automatic movement deficiencies
- Speech and writing problems
Where is Paraquat Being Used?
Paraquat is approved for commercial and agricultural use across the United States. However, the herbicide is being used the most in southeastern Pennsylvania, northern Maryland, and the Delmarva Peninsula. If you work in the agricultural industry or live near an agricultural site within one of these regions, then there is an increased chance you have been exposed to Paraquat, perhaps unknowingly. You should see your doctor right away if you are worried you might be showing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Be sure to get copies of your medical records for use in your potential Paraquat lawsuit.
Can You Sue Paraquat for Your Parkinson’s?
There are various requirements for you to have a legally sound Paraquat lawsuit, including:
- You were exposed to Paraquat for at least 10 days within a one-year period at some point in your life.
- You have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or are exhibiting PD-like symptoms.
- You used or were exposed to Paraquat by a certified applicator or company that you can identify.
- You were exposed as either a worker or while living next to a field where Paraquat was used.
Many Paraquat lawsuits have been filed by farmers, farm workers, herbicide applicators, chemical mixers, flaggers, tank fillers, and other agricultural professionals, especially those who work in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Paraquat lawsuits from people who live next to agricultural sites that use Paraquat might be equally valid, though, as evidence suggests that Paraquat can contaminate the soil and groundwater, potentially exposing anyone who lives in the area.
Notably, you might be disqualified from filing a Paraquat lawsuit if you applied the herbicide around your residence and without the proper certifications. Wrongful death claims are currently not being reviewed at this time. Past exposure to Agent Orange could also disqualify your claim because that chemical is also known to cause Parkinson’s disease.
Who Can Help with Your Paraquat Lawsuit?
Metzger Wickersham and our partnering Paraquat attorneys are currently hearing from potential claimants and plaintiffs who were exposed to Paraquat for at least 10 days and who now have Parkinson’s or PD symptoms. We are mostly focusing on clients in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Maryland, where Paraquat use has been concentrated among agricultural sites. If you think you have a claim and need more information about what to do next, please contact our firm to arrange a free initial consultation with our team. You could be owed significant compensation for your pain, suffering, and illness, and this might be the first step in obtaining it.