Who Is Eligible To Join The Paraquat Lawsuit? – Forbes

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Paraquat is a chemical widely used throughout the United States to kill weeds and unwanted grass. Due to its known toxicity, paraquat is restricted by the Environmental Protection Agency and available only to commercially licensed users. In many other countries, the herbicide is banned outright.

In the last few years, many lawsuits have been filed against companies that manufacture and sell paraquat. These suits allege the company knew their products were harmful and failed to warn consumers, causing harm to many users. To be eligible to join paraquat lawsuits or file a lawsuit of their own, potential plaintiffs must show that they were exposed to the chemical for an extended period and developed Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease or were otherwise hurt by paraquat use.


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Dangers and Risks Of Paraquat Exposure

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize that paraquat is poisonous to humans. The chemical causes direct damage upon contact with the lining of the mouth, stomach and intestines. Once ingested, it causes toxic chemical reactions throughout many body parts, including the lungs, liver and kidneys.

The extent of the damage a person suffers depends on the amount, type and duration of the exposure and their health at the time. While exposure to large amounts of paraquat can lead to seizures, coma, liver failure and other severe symptoms, exposure to small amounts over time can also cause serious problems. The CDC recognizes that long-term paraquat exposure can lead to heart, kidney and liver failure, lung scarring and other chronic conditions.

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests paraquat and other pesticides may also play a role in causing Parkinson’s disease in humans. The Parkinson’s Foundation and the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council have petitioned the EPA to ban paraquat based on strong scientific research linking it to Parkinson’s disease, but the herbicide remains legal for sale and use.

Lawsuits Related To Paraquat Exposure

Individuals who have been exposed to this chemical and suffered adverse health effects are exploring their legal options through lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers. Plaintiffs diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease say manufacturers knew the product could cause the disease and had a legal duty to warn users about the risk. They claim manufacturers negligently or intentionally failed to provide adequate warning and minimized the dangers of their paraquat products.

Determining eligibility for such a lawsuit involves understanding various factors.

  • Exposure to paraquat. To be eligible for a paraquat lawsuit, an individual must provide evidence of exposure to the herbicide. Exposure can occur through various means, including agricultural work, landscaping or living near areas where paraquat is sprayed.
  • Adverse health effects. Plaintiffs must have experienced adverse health effects as a result of paraquat exposure. These effects may include Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, respiratory issues or other serious medical conditions. Representatives may also file suit on behalf of individuals who died as a result of paraquat exposure.
  • Proof of causation. To recover damages, plaintiffs must establish a causal link between their paraquat exposure and their injuries or conditions. Medical records, expert testimony and other evidence can help demonstrate this connection.

Defendants assert that there is no proven link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease and deny any wrongdoing.


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Time Limitations for Paraquat Lawsuits

Time limitations significantly affect whether an individual can pursue a legal claim in a paraquat lawsuit. These vary depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim being pursued. Generally, there are two key considerations:

  • Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the time an injured person has to file a lawsuit after the occurrence of the alleged harm. If you don’t begin a legal action within this period, you may lose your right to do so. The statute of limitations for paraquat lawsuits varies by state and can range from one to several years from the date of injury or discovery of harm.
  • Discovery rule. In some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended under what’s known as the “discovery rule.” This principle allows the statute of limitations to begin when the injury is discovered or when it reasonably should have been discovered rather than when the exposure occurred.

Whether to apply the discovery rule and how to calculate whether a claim is timely can be complex. It depends on factors such as when an individual became aware of their injury and its potential connection to paraquat exposure. An experienced attorney can determine whether you can pursue a timely lawsuit for your paraquat injury claims.

Different Types of Parquet Litigation

Individuals have several litigation options to pursue claims related to paraquat. They may file an individual lawsuit against the manufacturers, distributors or other parties responsible for their paraquat exposure. This option allows each plaintiff to receive the most personalized legal representation and tailored compensation based on their case’s circumstances.

In a class action lawsuit, multiple plaintiffs with similar claims are grouped and represented collectively by a single legal team. This approach can streamline the litigation process and reduce individual legal costs. However, class action lawsuits are unsuitable for all cases, especially if the plaintiffs’ injuries and damages vary significantly.

Another option incorporates features of both individual and class action lawsuits. Multi-district litigation (MDL) consolidates similar lawsuits from multiple jurisdictions into a single federal court for pretrial proceedings. This allows for efficient management of common issues such as discovery and pretrial motions while preserving the individuality of each case. MDLs are often used in complex mass tort cases, including those involving Paraquat exposure.

Eligibility for joining a class action or MDL may depend on various factors, including the jurisdiction, the stage of litigation and the specific criteria set by the court overseeing the proceedings.

Status of Existing Litigation Against Paraquet Manufacturers

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against numerous manufacturers and distributors of paraquat. Some are part of a paraquat class-action suit, while others are individual injury lawsuits. Lawsuits have been filed in many states, including Pennsylvania, California, Florida and Washington.

The largest paraquet MDL litigation includes more than 5,000 class action suits and individual injury claims. These have been consolidated in an Illinois federal court before Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel. They are involved in the discovery process, during which the parties exchange information and conduct depositions of witnesses and experts. This process is scheduled to end in early 2024, and the first cases will be set for trial.

As of early 2024, only Syngenta, a U.S.-based manufacturer and distributor, has not recorded a court-approved settlement with any of the paraquat claimants. It settled a group of lawsuits for $187.5 million in 2021 without admitting liability. The company continues to sell paraquat and denies a causal link between the product and increased risk for Parkinson’s disease.


Paraquat Lawsuit – Free Case Review

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat? You may be eligible for significant compensation. Find out if you qualify.

Who Is Eligible to Join the Paraquat Lawsuit?

In most cases, the plaintiffs in lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers worked directly with the chemical for many years before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, kidney disease or other serious injuries. Others are surviving family members who have filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of someone who worked directly with the chemical. However, other plaintiffs have alleged pesticide drift and drinking water contamination as the basis for their exposure.

If you believe you or a loved one may have been injured as a result of paraquat exposure, consult with a personal injury attorney immediately. A qualified legal team with experience pursuing paraquet claims can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process and pursue fair compensation for your injuries.

Have You Or a Loved One Been Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease After Exposure To Paraquat?

You may be eligible for significant compensation. Get your free case review today.

See If You Qualify

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