Can I Get Parkinson’s From Paraquat - morgan and morgan
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Can I Get Parkinson’s From Paraquat?

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Can I Get Parkinson’s From Paraquat?

Herbicides kill unwanted vegetation, and that is a good thing for farmers. However, one of the most widely used herbicides in the world is also one of the most harmful herbicides that negatively impacts the health of users. Paraquat, which is manufactured by Syngenta, can kill a full-grown adult with just one sip of the herbicide. Scientists have known about the incredible toxicity of paraquat for years.

What scientists did not know until recently is that prolonged exposure to paraquat in low doses can develop the early signs of Parkinson’s disease. According to one comprehensive research study, prolonged exposure to paraquat in just small doses increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s symptoms by 150 percent.

Yes, you can get Parkinson’s from the herbicide called paraquat.

With more than 60 countries banning the use of paraquat to prevent the growth of unwanted vegetation, a growing number of consumer protection advocates question the inaction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the highly toxic chemical. Although Syngenta denies a link between using paraquat and the development of Parkinson’s disease, several court decisions have held Syngenta legally liable for manufacturing a product that is harmful to both humans and animals.

Because of the high level of toxicity, the EPA classifies paraquat as a “restricted use herbicide,” which means only certified individuals that complete an EPA-approved training class can use paraquat products. Homeowners cannot apply paraquat to lawns and the herbicide cannot be used to eradicate vegetation in parks, as well as on playgrounds, golf courses, and school grounds.

At Morgan and Morgan, our law firm has litigated numerous civil lawsuits involving the use of paraquat on farms. Our team of product liability attorneys also has settled many of the cases to help our clients receive the just compensation they deserve. If you have received a diagnosis for Parkinson’s disease and have used paraquat as a vegetation control product, you might qualify to receive monetary damages as awarded by a civil court judge or jury. 

Schedule a free case evaluation today to determine whether you have enough evidence to file a civil lawsuit against Syngenta that seeks monetary damages.

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FAQ

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  • What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

    Parkinson’s disease is defined as a brain disorder that triggers movements that patients cannot control. Uncontrollable movements such as intense shaking make it difficult to maintain balance and coordination. The symptoms of the disease start as relatively benign, before becoming much more serious over time. Although anyone is vulnerable to developing Parkinson’s, some research indicates men are more likely to develop the disease than women.

    Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

    The signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s differ between patients. The earliest signs often receive little attention from victims of the disease. Symptoms typically develop on one side of the body until they spread across the entire body. The side of the body afflicted with the symptoms of Parkinson’s first is the side that experiences the worst symptoms.

    The most common symptom associated with Parkinson’s disease is trembling, which frequently starts in a limb like a hand or a finger. As the disease advances, patients notice a trembling in at least one hand when the hand rests on a flat surface. Parkinson’s disease in later stages slows down the movement of patients. Simple tasks such as walking out to the mailbox turn into arduous journeys. Steps become shorter and slower until eventually, walking without support is impossible to do.

    Lack of muscle control significantly diminishes the body’s ability to maintain balance and proper posture. Your posture might become stooped and/or you cannot maintain a standing position without having the fear of falling. Despite the growing amount of physical evidence, other people might not notice Parkinson’s symptoms until a patient begins to slur speech. Difficulty writing is another sign other people might detect in someone with a more advanced stage of Parkinson’s disease.

    Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

    Certain brain neurons slowly deteriorate or die off, which inhibits the production of a chemical messenger in the brain called dopamine. When levels of dopamine drop off, the result is an increase in abnormal brain activity that produces impaired movements and other symptoms of the disease.

    Scientists have uncovered evidence that genetic mutations can cause Parkinson’s disease, but this cause usually occurs in families that experience a pattern of developing Parkinson’s. Environmental triggers are what attracted scientists to the theory that harmful substances such as paraquat can dramatically alter the composition of the nerve cells in the brain. Prolonged exposure to toxins has emerged as the most researched cause of Parkinson’s, especially prolonged exposure to the herbicide paraquat.

    An investigator from Morgan and Morgan partners with your product liability lawyer to determine the cause of your Parkinson’s symptoms.

  • Is There a Link Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease?

    When your product liability attorney prepares to litigate your case, one of the foundational features of your case involves demonstrating the link between prolonged exposure to paraquat and the development of Parkinson’s disease.

    Data tells a grim story about how Parkinson’s has morphed into a worldwide scourge. Between 1990 and 2015, the number of Parkinson’s cases diagnosed by a properly credentialed healthcare provider increased by 118 percent. According to insurance data collected by Blue Cross Blue Shield, the number of Parkinson’s cases diagnosed in the United States over a recent five-year period grew by more than 50 percent. The question is not, “Has Parkinson’s become a much more common disease?” The question for people exposed to paraquat should be, “Can I get Parkinson’s from the herbicide paraquat?”

    Many research studies have linked prolonged exposure to paraquat to the development of Parkinson’s disease. A massive research study conducted in 2011 of American farmers discovered farmers who used paraquat to kill unwanted vegetation were two times more likely to develop Parkinson’s symptoms than farmers that did not apply the toxic chemical on farmland. Data released by Louisiana State University indicates an individual’s zip code and closeness to farmland play a huge role in correlating the use of paraquat to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

  • Who Is at the Highest Risk of Developing Parkinson’s Symptoms Because of Exposure to Paraquat?

    Farmers that apply paraquat on farmland are at the highest risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Prolonged exposure can happen in many different ways that include mixing and loading paraquat daily for widespread spraying of farmland. The workers that spray paraquat daily can develop Parkinson’s faster than normal because inhalation takes the toxic chemical directly into the bloodstream. Farm workers that maintain paraquat tanks, as well as the equipment used to spray paraquat, also are vulnerable to contracting Parkinson’s disease. Finally, farm workers that walk the fields sprayed with the potentially deadly herbicide receive large doses of the toxic chemical every day.

    The health risks associated with prolonged exposure to paraquat no longer are solely assumed by farmers. Growing physical evidence indicates paraquat can move outside farm properties and into nearby residential neighborhoods. Paraquat also can leach into the soil and end up contaminating a source of groundwater. The result is the herbicide paraquat poisons the nuts, fruits, and vegetables purchased at nearby open markets and grocery stores.

  • What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Paraquat Lawsuit?

    Each state has established the deadline for filing a paraquat lawsuit based on the statute of limitations established for filing personal injury lawsuits. Most states have set the deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit between two and four years, although some states go as high as six years and as low as one year. Determining when the clock starts ticking for the statute of limitation is difficult to determine for paraquat cases. However, most civil courts follow the rule that the clock starts ticking for filing a paraquat lawsuit on the day the plaintiff received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

    If you fail to file a paraquat lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court clerk processing your lawsuit will remove it from the court docket. The defendant’s legal counsel informs the court clerk about missing the deadline. At Morgan and Morgan, we urge our clients to act with a sense of urgency, especially for a complex legal case such as developing Parkinson’s disease because of exposure to the herbicide paraquat.

  • What Are the Monetary Damages for a Paraquat Lawsuit?

    The goal of the product liability attorney that you hire from Morgan and Morgan is to demonstrate Syngenta should assume legal liability for the development of your Parkinson’s symptoms. When your lawyer proves Syngenta should be held negligent for causing your harm, the next step involves asking the judge or jury to award you monetary damages.

    Economic Damages

    Economic damages consist of the direct costs associated with your case. Parkinson’s disease can rack up medical bills that exceed $100,000 because of the length of time it takes to treat and rehabilitate the life-altering symptoms. You also should ask for compensation to cover the costs associated with diagnostic tests, prescription medications, and the use of an assistive device to help you maintain balance and improve your coordination.

    You also have the right to request compensation for lost wages. Farmers that lose their livelihoods risk losing their farms and the entire income generated by growing and selling crops. Property owners that suffer the physical toll caused by the runoff of paraquat from farmlands can lose their jobs.

    Non-Economic Damages

    Fighting back against Parkinson’s disease takes a considerable mental and emotional toll. With your life changed forever, you might develop issues such as anxiety and depression, which diminish the quality of your life. Pain and suffering is the most common type of non-economic damages. Your Morgan and Morgan product liability attorney calculates a reasonable value for pain and suffering by referring to a formula that includes the value of economic damages.

    Punitive Damages

    Punitive damages penalize Syngenta and any other party involved in the manufacturing and distribution process for causing you harm. Several recent rulings on paraquat lawsuits have included substantial values for punitive damages. Judges approve punitive damages to deter defendants from committing similar acts of negligence in the future.

  • Get an Experienced Paraquat Attorney on Your Side

    Since we opened our first office in 1988, Morgan and Morgan have provided clients with the legal support to level the playing field with large corporations such as Syngenta. We represent you from the day of the free case evaluation until the day we resolve your Parkinson’s case that involves prolonged exposure to the herbicide paraquat.

    Get started by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of our paraquat attorneys.

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