Pesticides, Paraquat, and Parkinson’s
Paraquat is an herbicide, a type of pesticides, that been linked to cases of Parkinson’s disease. Paraquat is used widely throughout the United States even though it is banned in 32 countries. China and the European Union have both banned the substance. This pesticide is so dangerous, in fact, that it is regularly used in research on animals as a way to study how it induces Parkinson’s and its effects on the animals.
The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council, along with The Parkinson’s Foundation, have sent two letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking the agency to cancel the registration of paraquat. Included in this letter was strong scientific evidence that linked the pesticide to Parkinson’s disease. Despite these pleas, the EPA re-approved Paraquat for use throughout the country in October of 2020. Without further action, paraquat will be legally sold and used in the United States for the next 15 years.
How Does Paraquat Exposure Lead to Parkinson’s Disease?
Paraquat is toxic to animals and plants, but multiple studies have also shown that the same ingredients that make it poisonous to these living things also make it toxic to humans. Researchers believe that Parkinson’s disease is caused by neurons in the brain dying, particularly the neurons that are responsible for producing dopamine in the brain. Studies have proven that paraquat produces oxidative stress, which in turn kills those neurons that produce dopamine.
Lawsuits Based on Paraquat Exposure
Imperial Chemical Industries first manufactured Paraquat in 1961 and sold it under the name Gramoxone. Today though, paraquat is sold under the name Blanco and it is manufactured by Syngenta.
Today, there are also over 300 lawsuits filed against paraquat manufacturers throughout the entire country, and many of them have been filed right here in New York. There are so many lawsuits filed against the companies that multi district litigation (known as MDL) has been passed to try and expedite the legal process.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by exposure to paraquat, it is important to speak to a New York City product liability lawyer. The lawsuits that have been filed claim that the plaintiff has been exposed to paraquat and has suffered from Parkinson’s disease shortly after exposure. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits also argue that the manufacturers failed to warn consumers about the risk associated with paraquat, despite the fact that so many studies have shown evidence linking the pesticide with Parkinson’s disease.
Why Should You File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
People are reluctant to file lawsuits for many different reasons. Some people think it will simply take too long, or they do not believe it will ultimately be worthwhile. Others do not want to relive the trauma they have been through, either with their own illness or from losing someone they love. If you or a family member was exposed to paraquat and developed Parkinson’s disease as a result, you should not hesitate to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer will bring many different benefits. The most common of these include:
- Compensation: Financial compensation for injuries is legally known as damages. No amount of damages can undo the pain you have suffered through, but they can offset the financial burden the disease has caused. Parkinson’s is a debilitating disease that does not currently have a cure. Individuals that suffer from it often need to receive treatment throughout their entire life, and that becomes expensive. Through a lawsuit, you can recover your medical costs, loss of income, and any other out of pocket expenses related to past and future care. You can also recover compensation for any emotional and physical pain and suffering, as well as a loss of quality of life.
- Hold manufacturers accountable: Most people who file paraquat lawsuits claim the manufacturer knew about the toxins associated with the pesticide, and that it could cause one to develop Parkinson’s disease. Regardless of this knowledge, manufacturers continue to sell it without disclosing this information to consumers. Filing a lawsuit will hold these manufacturers accountable for their negligent behavior. Due to the fact that this negligence is so egregious, many jurors even award punitive damages, which are intended to punish manufacturers rather than compensate victims.
- Spread awareness: Those who have developed Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to paraquat, or have lost someone, know the dangers of the pesticide. Unfortunately, that is not true for everyone and these individuals do not know about the dangers until it is too late. Filing a lawsuit shines a light on the dangers of paraquat, making others aware of the dangers and helping to prevent further illness.
Who Files Paraquat Lawsuits?
Any person that has been exposed to paraquat and became sick as a result can file a lawsuit to claim damages. A New York product liability lawyer can advise on when a person is eligible to take legal action. There are also some types of individuals who file these lawsuits more commonly than others. These include:
- Individuals who reside near agriculture land where paraquat has been sprayed
- Agricultural workers, including growers, farmers, pickers, landscapers, and licensed paraquat applicators
- Any person who works with or around paraquat
As a restricted-use pesticide, only trained and licensed applicators can apply paraquat, and it is not approved for home use. The majority of people who file paraquat lawsuits live near commercial farms or work in commercial agriculture. Exposure usually occurs when the pesticide is applied and people inhale it, or the skin absorbs it. Exposure usually occurs over a long period of time as the pesticide is sprayed, mixed, or when equipment is loaded and cleaned.
Our Product Liability Lawyers in New York City Can Help with Your Paraquat Lawsuit
Parkinson’s disease is one of the most devastating illnesses a person could suffer from. If you or a loved one has developed this sickness after being exposed to a pesticide, our New York City product liability lawyer at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can advise on your case. Call us today at 1-877-ASK4SAM or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.