You have undoubtedly seen ads on television from law firms about the connection between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson-like Disease. So what is Paraquat? Why are there so many lawsuits?
Paraquat (Paraquat Dichloride) is a very toxic herbicide used mainly in farming applications, such as the growing of soybeans, corn, cotton, alfalfa, wheat, hay, fruit and vegetables, and rice. However, it is also commonly used by commercial landscapers. Notably, Paraquat has been banned in over 30 countries, but is still widely used in the United States, especially in farming communities like Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois.
Paraquat is so dangerous that prior to 2020, a person had to have a license to buy it. Now, one must have a license to apply it –although many workers still apply Paraquat bought by their licensed farm managers.
It is sold under various brand names like:
Cyclone SL 2.0
Paraquat is not a product that ordinary consumers use, like Round Up, that can be bought at your local Home Depot. This is seriously deadly stuff that can kill you instantly with a thimble full of Paraquat. It is that deadly!
Those who may have a lawsuit against the makers of Paraquat are those who may have lived or worked on a farm that has used it. Exposure to Paraquat comes mainly through skin contact, epithelial tissues, mucous membranes (like the nose), respiration (inhaling or breathing it), and ingestion.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?? It is an awful, progressive killer. Many people who will ultimately develop Parkinson’s have not yet been diagnosed yet. There is no blood test or scan for diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease. Instead, it is diagnosed by looking to four classic symptoms: 1) tremors; 2) rigidity in wrist and elbow joints; 3) lack or slowness of movement; and 4) unstable posture.
Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include:
- Hand or Limb Tremors. Most Parkinson’s patients notice a tremor, or shaking, which usually begins in a limb, often your hand or your fingers. Or you may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth, which is known as a “pill-rolling tremor.” Or, your hand may even tremble while it’s at rest.
- Slowed Body Movement (bradykinesia). Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, thus making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. In many cases, your steps may become shorter as you walk. Or you might find it difficult to get out of a chair. Or you might notice that your feet are dragging as you try to walk.
- Rigid or Stiff Muscles. You may notice muscle stiffness in your body. While everyone experiences stiff muscles, the stiff muscles associated with Parkinson’s can be painful and limit your range of motion.
- Impaired Posture and/or Balance. You may notice that your posture has become stooped, or you may notice balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
- Changes to Your Automatic Movements. You may notice that you have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, such as blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
- Changes to Your Speech. You may start to speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Or your speech may change to be more of a monotone rather than exhibiting your normal voice inflections.
- Changes to Your Writing. It may become difficult to write, and/or your writing may appear small.
Because of the slow and progressive nature of Parkinson’s, many people who have been injured by Paraquat may not have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s yet. Does that mean they don’t have a case? No, it does not. If you or a loved one have the symptoms of Parkinson’s, and worked with or around Paraquat, we can still help you assert your legal rights by filing a lawsuit.
How do you know if the farm (or your commercial landscape employer) used Paraquat? Well, the first step is being familiar with the different brand names discussed above and simply ask your employer. We’ve found that many of our clients are well aware of what they used on the job; however, many are not. In those cases, we get involved and help find out whether Paraquat was used by your employer.
What if you worked with Paraquat many years ago but are just now developing symptoms of Parkinson’s, like tremors? Well, unofficially, it seems that there is an average latency of 5-10 years between the use and the onset of the first symptoms. Therefore, even if you have retired from farm work or landscaping, you might still have a valid case for your Parkinson-like symptoms.
What if Parkinson’s runs in your family? Well, it is our belief that Paraquat accelerates that genetic predisposition and “lights the fire” so to speak. In our opinion, you may still have a valid lawsuit.
So what should you do next? Call, chat or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Larry Jones will be willing to answer all of your questions about Paraquat lawsuits. There is no charge for this free consultation.