Paraquat is a poisonous chemical used by farmers to kill unwanted plants. Paraquat kills weeds, grass, and other plants when it comes into contact with them but remains inactive when it touches the soil.
The most common method for farmers to apply paraquat is to spray it onto fields before planting or after harvesting crops.
For decades, the medical profession and many health organizations have documented severe side effects that paraquat can cause. It is so dangerous that over 50 countries—including China, the EU, and Brazil—have taken it off the market and made it illegal to use within their borders.
Because this weedkiller is so hazardous, only licensed commercial dealers can lawfully apply it.
Thousands of people throughout the United States were exposed to paraquat and suffered consequences like early-onset Parkinson’s and even death. As the years went on, they realized that the chemical caused their condition and filed a paraquat lawsuit against the manufacturers.
Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, fights for paraquat victims throughout the United States.
- What Are Health Risks Associated with Paraquat?
- Paraquat Precautions
- Important Information About the Paraquat Lawsuit
- Paraquat Lawsuit Update
- Can I File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
- How Much Are the Paraquat Lawsuit Settlement Amounts?
- Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley—Holding At-Fault Parties Accountable for Nearly 40 Years
What Are Health Risks Associated with Paraquat?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, ingesting paraquat can cause a variety of severe health complications, such as:
- Liver damage
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Heart, lung, or kidney failure
- A buildup of fluid in the lungs
Long-term or prolonged exposure to paraquat has been linked to neurological diseases like Parkinson’s.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, as little as one sip of paraquat can be fatal, and there’s no way to reverse the effects.
The United States requires manufacturers of paraquat to put in place several precautions to limit the potential for people to ingest the chemical. These included dying it blue to help ensure people did not unknowingly drink it, adding an agent to induce vomiting upon ingestion, and putting a compound in it to give it a foul, distinct smell.
We now know that not all companies followed these guidelines, leading to many people ingesting paraquat and suffering severe consequences.
Unfortunately, the companies who manufactured and distributed paraquat downplayed its risks to humans. In the case of Syngenta—one of the companies that manufacture paraquat—critical players within the company ignored many causes of concern and misled authorities about the safety of its product.
Syngenta and other companies’ failures to adequately protect and inform the public about the risks of its products tragically caused thousands to die and suffer diseases needlessly. But brave personal injury victims spoke out about what happened to them, eventually leading to the paraquat litigation.
Important Information About the Paraquat Lawsuit
People have been using paraquat since the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 2010s that Americans started filing lawsuits against Syngenta and other companies. These former farm workers had ingested, inhaled, and come into contact with paraquat as part of their employment. They used the product appropriately, based on the instructions and warning labels on the box. But they developed early-onset Parkinson’s because of their exposure.
As of September 15, 2022, approximately 1,925 paraquat lawsuits are being heard in one multi-jurisdictional litigation (MDL), with countless more individual lawsuits in courts throughout the nation. An MDL is a way to consolidate multiple lawsuits against the same parties, a sometimes incredibly powerful tool for plaintiffs. After all, there is strength in numbers, and it’s much harder for at-fault parties to ignore hundreds of voices than for them to ignore a few.
Paraquat Lawsuit Update
On August 17, 2022, Judge Nancy Rosenstengel, the judge presiding over the MDL paraquat lawsuits, extended the initial trial for the cases to allow more time for discovery. This also gives other plaintiffs more time to file an individual paraquat Parkinson’s lawsuit or seek to join the national MDL lawsuit.
Can I File a Paraquat Lawsuit?
If you were exposed to paraquat and suffered health consequences (like Parkinson’s disease), you may have a claim against the manufacturers.
It’s important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The reason? Each state has a different statute of limitations or deadline by which you need to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, then the deadline may pass before you can file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Plus, an attorney can help you understand your legal rights and advise if filing a claim is in your best interest.
Our attorneys are compassionate and have the skills, resources, and acumen to take on the big businesses responsible. We have recovered over $800 Million in verdicts and settlements for personal injury victims in the last eight years.
How Much Are the Paraquat Lawsuit Settlement Amounts?
Because the lawsuits are still pending, the parties have not yet reached a settlement. The final paraquat settlements depend on whether they are part of the MDL lawsuit, or an individual lawsuit. Further, as part of the negotiations, the parties will determine the agreed-upon method for calculating the damages suffered by the plaintiffs. Given that the pending lawsuits are still in the discovery phase, it’s impossible to give a broad estimate of the settlement.
To find out what compensation you may receive for your injuries, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for a case evaluation.
Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley—Holding At-Fault Parties Accountable for Nearly 40 Years
Our firm regularly handles mass tort litigation with many of our attorneys holding leadership roles in mass tort litigation cases.