Have you ever heard of a Paraquat lawsuit? If it is something that you need to know but are clueless about it then let us explain to you what is a paraquat lawsuit and why it is very important to understand its true meaning before filing for it.
People who suffer from Parkinson’s because of paraquat are eager to have a better understanding of what to expect from a paraquat lawsuit.
The settlement compensation varies according to the litigations and is often termed speculative.
Now let’s begin from the very basics to have a clear understanding of what we have in our hands.
What is a Paraquat Lawsuit?
Paraquat is a highly toxic chemical that is used worldwide to kill weeds. It is so dangerous and harmful that around 32 countries have banned it across the globe but the United States of America is an exception.
Paraquat is easily available across the United States of America but the one state which has its most users is California.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), paraquat is a chemical that is used under restrictive conditions – this means that only commercially licensed users are entitled to purchase this chemical.
The widespread usage of paraquat is because weeds have become overly resistant to many other industrial herbicides. This is one of the main reasons why the usage of paraquat has increased across America over the past 20 years by farmers, especially commercial farmers.
Paraquat is a liquid chemical that has a bright blue color. A lot of products are readily available in the market which contains paraquat, some of them are:
- Paraquat concentrate
- Para-shot 3.0
As mentioned above, this hazardous herbicide has wide-ranging and devastating effects on the lives of people who get exposed to it.
Depending upon the circumstances and the quantity in which the exposure was done, people may experience physical and mental symptoms. The victim might end up developing a permanent disability or psychological trauma because of the exposure.
All of these conditions mean expenditure of thousands of dollars in terms of health and medical expenses, days and months of wages are lost or in some severe cases, the patient may never return to his work.
All of these above-mentioned, situations make your case strong enough to file a lawsuit against the manufacturing company of paraquat chemical to which you got exposed to.
Usually, the settlement agreement is a fair monetary offer to compensate you for all the losses incurred due to the paraquat exposure – known as damages.
The settlements of paraquat chemicals largely depend upon the intensity of the injury and damage as well as the circumstances in which the exposure occurred.
If by any chance, no settlement has been reached between you and the manufacturer, then the case will proceed to a trial and the court will further determine whether you are liable to receive damages or not.
The court will also decide regarding the compensation amount that you will be eligible to receive.
Is Paraquat Chemical safe to be used?
As it has been established that paraquat chemical is a weed killer which is very effective but it is highly dangerous and extremely toxic.
According to the American Council on Science and Health, in fact, a lethal dose to kill is as minute as 2.5 grams. Even though it is extremely dangerous to ingest paraquat it is highly toxic if it is inhaled.
According to the EPA, a single sip of this highly contagious herbicide can kill you and continuous exposure to paraquat may contribute to highly adverse health effects which might appear later in life.
Recent research depicted that paraquat may cause Parkinson’s illness, which literally in dictionary terms means “a debilitating condition that has a major impact on a person’s quality of life.”
What is this herbicide mainly used for?
Paraquat is mostly used as an industrial herbicide for plants particularly those which have developed a resistance to other effective herbicide products.
Paraquat helps in preventing the growth of unwanted grasses and weeds near the crops in a mass variety such as at orchards, plantations, commercial farms, etc.
Paraquat cannot be used on a small scale which means that recreational users and homeowners cannot purchase or use it as it is considered a restricted chemical.
Paraquat was used by law enforcement agencies in the past in order to target illegal drugs, especially in the 1970s and 1980s.
For instance, the federal drug enforcement agency is said to have used paraquat in the aerial attacks on heroin poppy and marijuana fields back in the 1970s and 1980s.
As paraquat chemical is a non-selective chemical, which means it can kill any plant that will come in contact with this chemical, therefore, making it an extremely popular choice for using it commercially and in the industrial sector.
What are the consequences of Paraquat exposure?
Anyone who comes in contact with this herbicide is immediately at risk of poisoning. The effects of paraquat on any individual worsen if he comes in contact with it repeatedly. Most of the time, the farmers and their helping hands are the ones who are at the maximum risk.
People who might be at risk of paraquat exposure can be:
- Certified paraquat applicators
- Employees who sell this herbicide
- Employees who work at the paraquat manufacturing plant
- All the individuals who have restricts usage permits of paraquat
- Individuals who mix paraquat into other products
All the individuals who live in close proximity to the farms where paraquat is used.
How is Paraquat harmful to Humans?
Exposure to paraquat is highly toxic and dangerous to humans. According to the EPA, studies have revealed that people who got exposed to paraquat while they were still young or in their teens were most likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. The rate is extremely high. There are about 200 to 600 percent chances of developing Parkinson’s disease.
The agricultural health study by the national institutes of health stated that the farmers are at an extremely high risk of developing Parkinson’s illness after they are repeatedly exposed to paraquat.
According to the studies, apart from Parkinson’s disease, exposure to paraquat can result in deaths depending upon the amount of exposure. 70 percent of the time paraquat exposure has been fatal.
Fatal exposure to paraquat can occur after inhalation, ingestion, and any other kind of direct contact. It is reported that exposure to tiny droplets of paraquat can also result in being fatal and if survived may lead to permanent disruption to the nervous system.
The nervous system can get affected because of the oxidative stress nature of the paraquat chemicals. For instance, when a paraquat gets into contact with any living organism, or plant then the oxygen atoms are broken down from the molecules present within the cells of that particular organism.
If a human suffers oxidative stress this can be extremely hazardous and, in most cases, irreversible leading to a painful death.
Does Paraquat Chemical increase the chances of getting Parkinson’s?
According to studies, paraquat chemical is lethal in damaging the neurons of the brain which produces the neurotransmitter dopamine. This loss of dopamine is directly associated with Parkinson’s ailment symptoms such as the impairment of the fine motor neurons of the brain.
It is to be noted that even the minutest exposure of paraquat may have an adverse effect on the wellbeing of the infected and he is highly at risk to develop Parkinson’s disease – this could be in any way. it might be by swallowing the chemical or simply living nearby where paraquat is sprayed.
According to a study conducted by the University of Guelph on human cells, if cells are exposed to paraquat as well as to another fungicide named Maneb – this increases the risk of procuring Parkinson’s disease by a humongous 250 %.
Early Symptoms and Signs of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a disease that progresses with time and comprises four different stages. The stages and symptoms may vary from human to human but there are 2 major categories in which all the patients fall and they are:
- Motor symptom – this affects the movements of a person, causing slowness and stiffness.
- Non-motor symptom – this affects other parts of the body like moods and sleep patterns.
In the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, a non-motor symptom is most likely to appear first followed by a subtle yet minor motor symptom.
In the early stages of Parkinson’s ailment, the most common non-motor symptoms are:
- Loss of smell
- Sleep disorders
- Fatigue, fainting, or dizziness
- Anxiety or depression
The most prominent motor symptoms in the early-stage are:
- Stiffness of legs while walking
- Tremor or a slight shake in any particular area or hand
- Smaller handwriting than ever before (micrographia)
- Difficulty in standing still or straight
- Fascial masking is also known as the loss of facial expressions.
If you have witnessed or noticed any of the above-mentioned signs in anybody close to you or yourself, then it is advised to get yourself an appointment with a neurologist on an urgent basis. You may want to talk to an expert paraquat lawyer to learn whether you are eligible to file a paraquat lawsuit or not.
The Stages of Parkinson’s Ailment
Parkinson’s disease is a rare condition that generally contributes towards a progressive and slow breakdown of the nervous system. The symptoms of this disease start to appear slowly but gradually they worsen with the passage of time. up till now, there has been no infinite cure for this disease.
There are five stages of Parkinson’s disease. They are:
This is the first and the mildest stage of Parkinson’s disease. In this stage, the patient might suffer light tremors, difficulty in walking, or change of posture and they might experience a subtle change in facial expression as well.
Most of the time, these symptoms are attributed to one side of the body and are so mild that the daily routine does not get affected at all.
The early symptoms began to worsen in this stage of the disease as the disease started to progress. Patients suffering from Parkinson’s might experience rigidity, tremors, and certain other conditions that will affect both sides of the body. They might have experienced difficulty in walking as well as their posture changes as well.
Stage two of this disease starts to interfere in the daily routine of life. It is noticed that people suffering from stage two might take more time and extra effort to complete their respective tasks.
This is the mid-stage of Parkinson’s disease. This is a very crucial stage of the disease as now the patient has a clear understanding that his body is deteriorating. The symptoms start to get worsened such as slow movements and loss of balance. It is very likely that they fall flat on the ground while walking.
It is still possible for the patient to finish his tasks on his own but the speed will be extremely slow and he might face difficulty in performing significant chores such as eating or wiping his face.
The symptoms become severe and the patient is compelled to limit his movement as well as his daily routine activities. Patients need mobility equipment to assist them such as a walker and often need a caretaker at all times to help them in performing their basic tasks.
The most advanced and extremely severe stage of Parkinson’s disease. The patient might get intense stiffness in his legs which will make it next to impossible to walk or move, therefore a wheelchair enters the life on a permanent basis.
A live-in caretaker is mandatory because the patient might also develop psychological symptoms in this stage such as hallucinations so they need someone to monitor them at all times.
The Paraquat EPA Regulatory Filing
The EPA issued a regulatory filing on paraquat usage and its potential risks to health in 2016. The agency stated that it is their intention to examine the link between Parkinson’s disease and exposure to paraquat chemicals.
This is part of EPA in which all the herbicides are scheduled to be re-evaluated after every 15 years.
In 2020, the EPA announced that it will be introducing new safety measures in order to investigate paraquat chemicals’ connection with Parkinson’s disease. The proposed safety measures are:
- The applicators are banned from using pressurized handguns or backpack sprays while administering paraquat herbicide.
- Aerial application of paraquat is banned under all circumstances except for cotton desiccation.
- If the area where paraquat is supposed to be administered is larger than 80 acres then it is required to be done in enclosed cabs for at least 24 hours.
- The application rate of paraquat per acre for alfalfa plants is limited to one pound per acre.
These safety measures were introduced to prevent people from getting poisoned or affected by paraquat but the truth is people continue to suffer from this hazardous herbicide.
If you are one of the victims of paraquat exposure, then you have grounds to file a legal lawsuit against the manufacturing company of the herbicide.
You can consult with a qualified and learned paraquat attorney before filing the lawsuit to have a better understanding.
The Statute of Limitations for Paraquat Settlement and Lawsuits
If you are sure that you are actually a victim of paraquat exposure, it is immensely important to act diligently and quickly and it is advised to reach out to a paraquat lawsuit attorney on an urgent basis.
All the product liability lawsuits in the United States of America are subjected to statute limitations, as well as a deadline for filing a claim.
If you fail to file a paraquat lawsuit within the applicable time frame, then the court will eventually dismiss your case – preventing you from getting any kind of compensation from the manufacturer.
The statute of limitation largely depends upon where you live.
For instance, if you reside in California, then you have two years to file a lawsuit from the date you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
If you are a resident of North Carolina, then you can file within three years of the diagnosis. Missouri residents are given five years to make a claim whereas the people of Louisiana have only a year to file a paraquat lawsuit.
Contact a Paraquat Lawyer
If you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, then it is very important to contact a paraquat lawsuit attorney in the United States of America to file for damages and compensation.
A lawsuit will not reverse your health condition or the diagnosis but will assist you in recovering from the financial damages as well as will make sure your quality of life gets improved in the future.
You can hold the manufacturers accountable for the harmful and toxic chemicals that caused collateral damages to you both physically and psychologically.
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