Paraquat is the most acutely toxic herbicide to be marketed over the last 60 years.
Thirty-two countries have banned it, but Paraquat is still being deployed in the United States by commercially licensed users.
And despite the danger, its usage has risen nearly 200 percent since 2009. Exposure to Paraquat has had dire consequences for those that came into contact with it – leaving thousands suffering from the horrors of Parkinson’s disease.
If you have been exposed to Paraquat and diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, the Georgia Paraquat lawsuit lawyers at Fob James Law Firm want to help you.
Our biggest concern is making sure you get the justice and the compensation that you deserve. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Contact Fob James Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.
Georgia Paraquat Lawsuit FAQ
What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a toxic weed and grass killer used in commercial crop operations. It is an RUP (Restricted Use Pesticide), which can only be purchased or used by certified “license applicators”. Paraquat has been commonly used on crops in America since the 1960s. One unique feature of Paraquat is that it kills everything that it comes into contact with.
Some of the specific uses of Paraquat include:
- Drying out cotton crops before harvest
- Killing weeds and grasses in fruit orchards
- Controlling grass covering crops
- Drying out and removing leaves from hops before harvest
- Destroying potato stems
Paraquat was first manufactured in 1961 by Imperial Chemical Industries under the trade name Gramoxone. Gramoxone is sold by Syngenta today, but Paraquat is also sold under the following brand names:
- Bonfire Herbicide
- Para SHOT
- Quik Quat
How Do I Become Exposed To Paraquat?
Paraquat is extremely toxic and just one teaspoon can cause death. Poisoning may occur by inhaling or ingesting the chemical and absorption of the chemical through the skin.
Since Paraquat is commonly used by farms, individuals working on or near farms could be exposed to the chemical. Exposure could increase their risk of developing Parkinson’s and other diseases.
Skin exposure is another way to be exposed to paraquat. Skin exposure is more likely to cause harm if the exposure is over a long period or the paraquat is a concentrated version of the product. Exposure to skin that has a rash, sores, or cuts could increase the risk of injury.
Inhaling paraquat can cause lung damage. According to the CDC, paraquat has been found in marijuana in the United States.
In October 2020, the EPA proposed new measures to reduce the risk of injury or harm from paraquat exposure. But, unfortunately, these measures are unlikely to prevent all paraquat injuries and accidents.
What Injuries Can Paraquat Cause?
Tongue and mouth ulcers
Lung cysts filled with fluid
Low blood pressure
What Are The Signs Of Paraquat Exposure?
- Pain in your mouth and throat
- Swelling in your mouth and throat
- Tongue Sores
- Bleeding in your mouth and throat
- Stomach pain
- Stomach cramping
- Bloody diarrhea
- Fast heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Muscle weakness
- Yellow skin
- Coma or unconsciousness
Who Is Being Sued In The Paraquat Lawsuit?
More than 800 plaintiffs have already filed lawsuits against Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. and Syngenta, alleging that their product causes extreme health concerns.
What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.
In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson’s disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time.
Although Parkinson’s disease can’t be cured, medications might significantly improve your symptoms. Occasionally, your doctor may suggest surgery to regulate certain regions of your brain and improve your symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:
- Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremble when it’s at rest.
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
- Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
- Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
- Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling, or swinging your arms when you walk.
- Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur, or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than have the usual inflections.
- Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.
Who Is Eligible For A Paraquat Lawsuit?
If you have been exposed to Paraquat and were diagnosed with Parkinson’s you should consider taking legal action against the manufacturer of Paraquat. If you meet these criteria, you may have a case and should contact the Georgia paraquat lawyers at Fob James Law Firm.
Below are groups of individuals commonly exposed to Paraquat:
- Railroad workers
- Farmers and their employees
- Crop dusters
- Park rangers
- Golf course applicators
- Phone company utility workers
What Can I Recover From A Paraquat Lawsuit?
Every case is unique, but people who successfully lawsuits can recover money for some of the following damages:
- Past and future medical bills (including medication, hospital stays, and in-home care)
- Pain and suffering including mental anguish
- Psychological damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Funeral expenses (in the vent of a loved one’s death)
- The loss of enjoyment of life
- Broadly speaking, a plaintiff could be entitled to compensation for any past and future costs associated with their Parkinson’s diagnosis
How Long Do I Have To File A Paraquat Lawsuit?
Every state is different so make sure you consult with an attorney before assuming how long you have to file a lawsuit.
In Georgia, generally speaking, you have two years from the date of discovery of your paraquat exposure and/or paraquat-related injury to file a lawsuit.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Paraquat Attorney?
Fob James Law Firm operates on the contingency-fee-basis, which means we only get paid if we successfully resolve your case. It costs nothing upfront to hire us.
Our fees come out of a favorable settlement or jury award, not out of your pocket.
When Will The Paraquat Trials Begin?
The judge in the MDL has scheduled the first trial to start on November 15, 2022. Subsequent trials have dates of March 13, 2023, June 12, 2023, and September 18, 2023.
The plaintiffs may nominate eight cases for “bellwether trials”, and Syngenta and Chevron may choose four cases for early trials.
To qualify for early trial selection, you must have filed a lawsuit no later than December 3, 2021, and have sent a “Plaintiff Assessment Questionnaire” to the defendants’ lawyer no later than December 8, 2021.
The outcome of the bellwether trials provide guidance to the litigants and court as to the settlement value of cases and how the litigation should proceed.
The Risk Of Parkinson’s Disease Is Real
A study conducted by the NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) found that exposure to certain pesticides like Paraquat increases the odds of developing Parkinson’s Disease by 2.5 times.
There have been multiple paraquat exposure studies administered on animals. A recent study by the University of Rochester reflects that paraquat exposure caused changes to the brain of mice and the loss of smell.
Paraquat Class Action Lawsuit Updates
Updates on the Paraquat lawsuit will be posted below throughout the litigation:
July 9, 2022: Judge Rosenstengel recently issued a discovery schedule order that extends the deadline for completion of fact discovery and medical examinations in the six bellwether trial cases until July 25, 2022. Even with this extension, the November 15, 2022 bellwether trial remains scheduled.
June 6, 2022: Around 1,000 lawsuits have been filed in the MDL. The first paraquat MDL trial is set for November 15, 2022 and three additional trials were set in 2023 (March 13, June 12, and September 18). The results of these “bellwether” trials will offer guidance on a host of issues, including medical causation and damages. Judge Rosenstengel also denied Defendants’ motions to dismiss several claims; however, Judge Conti did grant their motion as to plaintiff’s public nuisance claim. Overall this was a win for the Plaintiffs.
April 1, 2022: The judge in the Paraquat MDL, Hon. Nancy Rosenstengel, held the Paraquat MDL lawsuit regular monthly status conference. Paraquat lawyers from both sides will update the judge on the status of the litigation. At this stage the topic of conversation is typically how many new cases were added to the Paraquat MDL class action lawsuit over the last month.
March 17, 2022: Sixteen initial bellwether cases have been identified. 8 of the cases were selected by the plaintiffs, and the other 8 were picked by the defendants. Fact discovery in these 16 cases will conclude at the end of the month and the MDL Judge has given the parties a deadline of April 8th for submitting their “rankings” in order of preference of which cases should be scheduled for trial.
March 1, 2022: As of March 1, 2022, there are 688 Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits filed in the MDL class action. There are an estimated 75 Paraquat suits pending in state court.
February 16, 2022: The Paraquat class action judge ruled on several motions to dismiss certain claims asserted by the plaintiffs in the Paraquat lawsuit. Judge Rosenstengel granted the motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims for public nuisance and violations of Minnesota consumer protection statutes. These were not significant counts in the lawsuits, thus were not a real loss for the plaintiffs. The ruling leaves the remainder of the claims in the Paraquat litigation fully intact.
February 8, 2022: The plaintiffs won a discovery dispute. The defense lawyers were asserting attorney-client privilege in an effort to block the discovery of certain deposition transcripts of Syngenta corporate witnesses taken in a prior paraquat lawsuit in Illinois state court. The MDL judge rejected this argument and ordered the defendants to produce the transcripts.
February 1, 2022: A dozen new Paraquat lawsuits were filed in federal court in Illinois. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits come from all over the country and allege that their exposure to Paraquat (mostly from working on commercial farms) caused them to develop Parkinson’s disease. Most of the Paraquat exposure alleged by the plaintiffs occurred decades ago. These lawsuits name both Syngenta and Chevron as defendants and assert similar causes of action based primarily on failure to warn.
Contact a Georgia Paraquat Lawyer Near Me for Help
At Fob James Law Firm, our job is to help you to the best of our ability and fight for you. If you’ve suffered Parkinson’s disease as a result of Paraquat exposure, you should contact us immediately.
We can determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit or not. It won’t cost you anything to speak with us.
Additionally, you’ll never pay us anything until we successfully settle or win your case in court. Our Georgia Paraquat attorneys are experienced, dedicated, and they truly care about you.
We treat all of our clients exactly how we would want our own family members to be treated. Contact us right now at 833-684-0503 or set up a free case evaluation so we can help you.
Fob James Law Firm is affiliated with Foster Counts, LLP and James Foster, member of the Georgia bar.