Agricultural Workers Nationwide File Claims As Studies Link the Popular Herbicide Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease

Updated January 30, 2024.

Paraquat is a fast-acting, non-selective contact weed killer. One of the most popular herbicides containing paraquat in the United States is Gramoxone SL 2.0 Herbicide, manufactured by Syngenta. Other manufacturers named in lawsuits so far include Growmark, and Chevron U.S.A, Inc. Other popular paraquat herbicide products include:

  • Ortho-paraquat
  • Quick-Quat
  • Devour
  • Blanco
  • Para-SHOT
  • Helmquat
  • Parazone
  • Firestorm

Many countries around the world have banned the use of paraquat. According to The New York Times, the weed killer is so toxic that ingesting a single sip can be deadly. Shockingly, paraquat use in the US is both legal and, on the rise, doubling between 2006 and 2016 according to National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project reports. The American Journal of EpidemiologyJAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Neurology, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have all published research pointing to a link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. Although the role of agricultural chemicals and their association with Parkinson’s disease continues to be studied, epidemiological studies have concluded that a potential relationship exists between exposure to paraquat and Parkinson’s. Researchers continue to investigate the possible adverse health effects of paraquat on individuals who have been exposed to paraquat.

Currently, 24 countries have banned or severely restricted the use of Paraquat due to concerns about its effect on the environment and people’s health. The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council has requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ban the use of the herbicide in the U.S. Thus far, the agency has not honored the request. Paraquat is still allowed in the United States.

What are the Paraquat Lawsuits About?

Paraquat lawsuits allege that the very poisonous weed and grass killer led people to develop Parkinson’s disease. Lawsuits argue that manufacturers were aware of the risks but neglected to warn the public. People who developed Parkinson’s disease following long-term paraquat exposure may be entitled to compensation.

The first lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers pertaining to the Parkinson’s disease risk were filed in October 2017 in Illinois. Since then, agriculture workers across the country have started lawsuits seeking to hold the manufacturers of the herbicide accountable. Plaintiffs allege that manufacturers were aware of the dangers of Paraquat for 40 years but failed to warn users and concealed evidence that linked the product to Parkinson’s disease.

Makers of herbicides and other chemicals have a duty to provide safe products that are free from defects and that are not unreasonably dangerous. If there are risks of harm associated with a particular product, the manufacturer must also provide adequate warnings. If the manufacturer fails to fulfill this duty, it can be held to be legally responsible for injuries caused by the herbicide.

Over the last several years, the Paraquat class action Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has been one of the most rapidly expanding mass tort cases. As of January 15, 2024, there were more than 5,000 cases in the Paraquat class action MDL.

Are you at Risk of Paraquat Exposure?

Paraquat is still being actively used as an herbicide in the United States. Anyone who comes in contact with Paraquat runs the danger of becoming poisoned and suffering from the negative side effects of repeated exposure. Farmers and farmworkers are particularly susceptible to exposure to Paraquat. You may be susceptible to Paraquat toxicity if you:

  • Are an agricultural worker, such as farmers, licensed paraquat applicators, growers, pickers, and landscapers.
  • Work in a Paraquat manufacturing facility
  • Sell Paraquat products
  • Mix Paraquat products
  • Apply Paraquat
  • Live adjacent to a farm that uses Paraquat

Who Can File a Paraquat Suit?

If you belong to one of the above groups and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after significant exposure to Paraquat, you may be eligible for financial compensation. This lawsuit is still active, and it is not too late to file a claim. If you or a loved one has been affected by Paraquat, the personal injury attorneys at Lacy Katzen may be able to assist you. Please call for a free consultation.

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