Paraquat is a highly toxic herbicide, which has been used to kill grass and weeds in the United States for many decades. Unfortunately, while Paraquat does a fine job of killing weeds and unwanted areas of grass, it is now being linked to cases of Parkinson’s, a life-limiting disease that affects the brain and causes tremors, shaking, and stiffness.
In a recent lawsuit filed in St. Clair country, Illinois, the claimant, James Hemker, alleged his Parkinson’s diagnosis was a direct result of many years of exposure to the herbicide, Paraquat. This is one of the first cases in federal court to allege there is a causal link between long-term exposure to Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease, but if the court rules against the manufacturer, it opens the door for more Paraquat lawsuits.
The claims made in the Hemker case have not been plucked out of thin air. Paraquat, made by Syngenta and Chevron, is known to be extremely toxic. Whereas Paraquat has been banned in many other countries for posing serious health risks, it is still possible to buy it in the US, although there are restrictions in place.
One of the main reasons Paraquat has been banned is because it is extremely poisonous. However, while poisoning is a legitimate risk associated with Paraquat, an increasing number of people are claiming exposure to Paraquat has caused Parkinson’s disease. They say the manufacturer must have known there was a risk and did nothing to warn consumers.
If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and believe it could be caused by long-term exposure to Paraquat, it’s important to speak to a lawyer. There are a number of law firms handling Paraquat lawsuit cases, and if you qualify for participation in the class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer of Paraquat, a Paraquat lawyer will speak with you to discuss what happens next.
There is no guarantee of success in this case. The plaintiff’s argument is that they were unaware of the link between Parkinson’s disease and Paraquat, despite results from a 2011 research study conducted by the National Institute of Health, called the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME).
The FAME study identified 115 people in the farming community who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, out of a population of 80,000. The study’s authors said individuals with a specific genetic mutation who were exposed to Paraquat were 11 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.
The manufacturer, Syngenta, disputed the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease, claiming there was no direct correlation, but the results of the FAME study are likely to play a significant role in the Paraquat lawsuit as it continues through the court system. In addition, a later research study from 2016 also found a link between Paraquat exposure and cell death – a factor in Parkinson’s disease.
If you have Parkinson’s disease and believe you have been exposed to Paraquat or similar herbicides, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.