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Paraquat Claim Eligibility for Injured Consumers

Since 1961, paraquat has been one of the most commonly used herbicides in the United States. However, because of the toxicity it has, it is allowed only under restricted use. As a consequence, only commercially licensed users can employ it. The main purpose of paraquat is weed and grass control. In the country, the herbicide is available in the form of a liquid that has various strengths.

Since paraquat is so harmful, it usually has blue dye added to it so that people cannot mistake it for beverages such as coffee, a sharp odor to prevent individuals from accidentally ingesting it, and a special agent that causes vomiting in the case of swallowing. It is worthy of note that paraquat manufactured in other parts of the world may not contain these ingredients, which makes poisoning more likely. There are multiple ways of exposure to this herbicide, such as:

  • ingestion: if paraquat does not contain safeguard additives, it can easily be mixed in drinks and foods and thereby ingested, which leads to severe poisoning
  • skin contact: the most serious exposure to paraquat through skin contact occurs if it happens over a long period of time, if the herbicide is strong and if the skin of the person is not intact, meaning that it has sores, cuts, or rashes
  • inhalation: when the vapors of paraquat are inhaled over a long period of time, this can result in serious lung damage

It is important to know that people who have the highest risk of exposure to paraquat are licensed applicators of this herbicide. When paraquat comes in direct contact with the lining of the mouth, stomach, or intestines, it immediately causes damage. After the herbicide enters the body, it spreads throughout every area of the body by traveling through the bloodstream and the lymphatic system. The most severely affected organs are the lungs, the kidneys, and the liver.

The Connection Between Paraquat Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease

A 2009 medical study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that any exposure to paraquat within 1,600 feet of a home increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 75%. Moreover, another study conducted on people exposed to paraquat at a young age revealed that the risk of the participants coming to struggle with Parkinson’s disease increased by 200% to 600%.

Finally, in a more recent study from 2021, prolonged, low-level inhalation of paraquat implied a significant risk of Parkinson’s disease in mice. Because paraquat can easily reach the brain once breathed in, the herbicide can lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease over the years. In the summer of 2019, Representative Nydia Velasquez introduced the Protect Against Paraquat Act, whose purpose was to ban the use of this herbicide in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency has recently begun reviewing the dangers of paraquat and is to make a decision at the end of 2022.

Most people who are regularly exposed to paraquat are agricultural workers. It is important to know that if you were exposed to paraquat and subsequently received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, you are eligible for filing a product liability claim against the manufacturer. For over 35 years, the team of professionals at Atraxia Law has been evaluating claims and is bound to provide you with quality services. Thereby, if you are a victim of paraquat exposure who struggles with Parkinson’s disease, we strongly encourage you to contact our experts, who will determine whether you qualify for filing a claim with the company responsible for your diagnosis. You should know that only people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease as a consequence of paraquat exposure are eligible for compensation.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Parkinson’s Disease as a Result of Paraquat Exposure?

Since paraquat is highly toxic, being around it is never safe, as even small amounts can be detrimental to your health. Regardless of the route of exposure, whether it is ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation, you may develop Parkinson’s disease if you spend time surrounded by this herbicide. However, there are certain categories of people who are at the highest risk of coming to struggle with this condition as a consequence of paraquat exposure, which refers to:

Thereby, agricultural workers are not the only demographic that is at high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease as a result of paraquat exposure, as anyone who spends a long time around it can eventually come to struggle with the condition. If you experience symptoms that may indicate the presence of Parkinson’s disease, please seek medical attention immediately. Similarly, if you have a family member who worked with or was around paraquat and experiences symptoms, you should encourage them to visit a doctor in order to receive a diagnosis. Only people who have a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease following paraquat exposure are eligible for compensation from the liable companies.

Paraquat Exposure Causes Kidney Injuries

Paraquat's ability to produce life-threatening effects and long-term kidney damage has been highlighted by both the EPA and the CDC. Since the kidneys filter toxins out, the buildup of paraquat following long-term exposure gradually leads to renal damage and organ failure. When the kidneys don't function properly, toxins can spread to other organs and cause further harm.

Multiple independent studies have demonstrated paraquat's toxic renal effects that lead to irreversible issues like acute kidney injuries and end-stage renal disease. Paraquat exposure also has a high correlation with a condition known as chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology, as the only consistent factor across different geographies primarily affecting farmworkers. 

Why Has Paraquat Become So Popular in the United States?

The use of paraquat has been skyrocketing over recent years, as the employment of the herbicide doubled from 2011 to 2017. One of the main reasons for the increase in the use of paraquat is that it is very effective in destroying weeds and grasses that are resistant to glyphosate, another toxic herbicide that is commonly sold under the brand name of Roundup in the United States. Consequently, paraquat has become a popular alternative to Roundup, which is manufactured by Monsanto.

In the past, only 3 million kilograms of paraquat were used annually throughout the country, whereas now, the number increased to 7 million kilograms. There has also been a great increase in the number of diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease, which is undoubtedly a result of the increasing amount of paraquat employed by agricultural workers. Accordingly, the disease currently has a 107% greater prevalence than it had in the past.

Which Companies Manufacture Paraquat?

In the United States, there is one major company that manufactured paraquat, namely Syngenta. However, there may be other, more obscure manufacturers of paraquat. It is important to know the brand names paraquat is sold under throughout the country, which are:

If you worked with one of these products or were around it, you are at high risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. For this reason, you need to keep a close eye on your health and, if you experience symptoms that may indicate the presence of this condition, we strongly encourage you to seek multiple opinions from medical specialists. Similarly, if one of your family members was exposed to paraquat, you need to pay close attention to their health and look for the signs of Parkinson’s disease over the years. In the regrettable event that you or a family member who worked with paraquat has a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, please contact our team of experts to assess your situation and find out whether you are eligible for filing a claim with the manufacturers of paraquat.

What Is Involved in Filing a Paraquat Claim?

There are numerous aspects that need to be taken into consideration when filing a paraquat claim, such as:

  • when and how your family member was exposed to paraquat
  • when and how they received their diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease
  • the way in which their life is affected by this brain disorder
  • the medical expenses incurred as a consequence of the disease

However, the team of professionals at Atraxia Law will thoroughly assess your specific circumstances and eventually tell you with certainty whether you are eligible for filing a claim for paraquat exposure. They will subsequently guide you to a specialized attorney whose main area of practice is toxic exposure so that you can have your claim filed with the responsible paraquat manufacturers.

Your family member must have been exposed to paraquat as a farmer, farmworker, chemical mixer, tank filler, herbicide applicator, or as someone who lived in close proximity to a farming community. It is also essential to know when their exposure took place and when they received their diagnosis, as paraquat exposure claims have a statute of limitations, which refers to a timeframe within which you can file a toxic exposure claim. This statute of limitations varies by state and, thereby, if your family member receives a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, it is very important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible so as to not lose your right to compensation.

Usually, Parkinson’s disease affects the life of the sufferer to a great extent, which is another important aspect that will be taken into account when assessing the eligibility of your family member for filing a paraquat claim. Since this brain disorder is progressive, it tends to worsen over time, rendering the sufferer unable to perform simple daily tasks and consequently needing the help of another person. The routine of people who struggle with Parkinson’s disease will change drastically over the years, as their condition worsens.

Furthermore, your family member who suffers from Parkinson’s disease may no longer be able to hold down a job, which may take a heavy toll on their financial situation. They may also no longer be able to drive, another activity for which they will require assistance. All of these aspects will be taken into consideration when determining how severe their Parkinson’s disease is. The greater the distress it is causing to your family member, the larger the sum of money you will receive after you file a paraquat claim.

Lastly, another crucial aspect that will be taken into account when evaluating the situation of your family member is the medical expenses incurred by their brain disorder. According to estimates, the annual cost of healthcare for a person with Parkinson’s disease ranges between $1,750 and $17,560, depending on the severity of their condition. Consequently, the larger the medical expenses incurred, the larger the sum of money they will receive as compensation after they file a claim for paraquat exposure.

What Type of Compensation Is Available for Victims of Paraquat Exposure?

If the team of experts at Atraxia Law determines that you are eligible for filing a paraquat claim on behalf of a family member who is struggling with Parkinson’s disease, you will receive financial compensation following claim submission. The sum of money will highly depend on aspects such as the severity of their brain disorder, how much distress it causes to them in their daily life, whether they need a caregiver, and the medical expenses incurred by their condition.

Accordingly, the compensation can range between $10,000 and $200,000. Only financial compensation is available for victims of paraquat exposure, which they can obtain after filing a toxic exposure claim with the liable manufacturers of the herbicide.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Paraquat Claims?

The statute of limitations refers to the period of time within which a person can file a paraquat claim. It varies from state to state, ranging between 1 year and 6 years. However, for the majority of states, the statute of limitations is 2 or 3 years from the moment you receive your diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

If you fail to file a paraquat claim within this timeframe, you will no longer be eligible for compensation from the responsible manufacturers. Therefore, it is essential to seek legal assistance as soon as your family member has their diagnosis, as the process of evaluating their eligibility, as well as that of filing a paraquat claim per se, is very complex.

Quality Assistance for People Affected by Paraquat Exposure

The team of Atraxia Law has been evaluating personal injury and product liability claims for the last 35 years and we are ready to help you as well if you were exposed to paraquat and developed Parkinson’s disease. Please beware that Parkinson's disease is misdiagnosed in almost 30% of cases so second and third medical opinions are a must. While complex and tedious, the process will require minimal involvement on your part, as we are aware that most of our clients are in great physical and emotional suffering.

After you provide our team with evidence of your exposure to paraquat, as well as with your medical records as proof of your diagnosis, we will promptly evaluate your eligibility to file a claim with the liable company. If multiple companies are responsible for your diagnosis, you will be able to file your claim with each and every one of them to obtain the maximum compensation you are entitled to. For additional information, please feel free to contact our company and we will gladly answer your questions.

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