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Who Qualifies for a Paraquat Lawsuit

On this page, our product liability lawyers explain who is potentially eligible to file a Paraquat lawsuit based on the current criteria that our firm is using to screen potential Paraquat cases. We will also discuss the potential settlement value of Paraquat lawsuits and what information Paraquat plaintiffs must provide in the class action MDL.

About the Paraquat Lawsuits

Paraquat is very strong industrial herbicide that is used in commercial farming across the U.S. Paraquat is actually illegal in most countries, but in the U.S. licensed farmers can buy it. Paraquat is manufactured by Syngenta, a global agro chemical company headquartered in Switzerland. In the U.S., Paraquat is usually sold under the brand name Gramoxone.

A growing body of scientific research has developed over the last decade which shows that chronic use or exposure to Paraquat can cause individuals to develop early-onset Parkinson’s disease. Several clinical studies have found that farm workers who regularly used Paraquat over many years displayed notably higher rates of Parkinson’s disease. Higher rates of Parkinson’s disease have also been reported in people who live close to farms where Paraquat is used.

Over the last several years, a growing number of Paraquat  product liability lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. These lawsuits are being filed mostly by former or current farm workers who claim that they developed Parkinson’s disease from exposure to Paraquat. The lawsuits also allege that the manufacturer of Paraquat knew that it could cause Parkinson’s disease, but failed to warn about that risk.

Paraquat Class Action MDL

The Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits have been consolidated into a class action MDL (Paraquat Prod. Liab. Lit., MDL 3004) in the Southern District of Illinois. There are now around 8,000 individual plaintiffs with cases pending in the Paraquat MDL. The first bellwether test trials in the Paraquat MDL are set to begin in October 2024.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for a Paraquat Lawsuit?

In order to file a Paraquat lawsuit and participate in any future global settlement in the class action MDL, prospective plaintiffs must meet certain basic criteria. Our firm’s current Paraquat lawsuit eligibility requirements are as follows:

1-Year Paraquat Exposure: To be eligible to file a Paraquat lawsuit, you must be able to show that you were regularly and directly exposed to Paraquat for a minimum of 1-year. Regular and direct exposure means that you worked on a farm where Paraquat was used on a regular basis. Alternatively, regular exposure could be established if you lived directly adjacent (within a 1 mile or less) to fields or farms where Paraquat was regularly used on crops.

Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease: The second eligibility requirement for a Paraquat lawsuit is that you must be able to show that sometime after your regular and direct exposure to Paraquat, you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease in the sole injury involved in the Paraquat product liability lawsuits. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder impacting the nervous system and the body’s nerve-controlled functions. The onset of symptoms is gradual, with the initial sign often being a subtle tremor in one hand. While tremors are prevalent, the disorder can also lead to stiffness or a slowing of movements.

During the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, facial expressions may become limited, and there may be reduced arm swinging while walking. Speech may also exhibit softness or slurring. As the condition advances, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease tend to worsen over time.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can vary among individuals, and the severity and progression of symptoms may differ. Common symptoms include:

  • Tremors: Tremors or shaking, usually starting in the hands or fingers when they are at rest. Tremors are the hallmark symptom of Parkinson’s disease associated with Paraquat exposure.
  • Bradykinesia: Slowness of movement, making everyday tasks more time-consuming.
  • Stiffness: Muscle stiffness, which can cause discomfort and limit the range of motion is another primary symptom of Parkinson’s.
  • Impaired Coordination: Difficulty coordinating movements, leading to a shuffling walk or difficulty with fine motor skills and increased risk of falling.
  • Changes in Facial Expression: Reduced facial expressions, often referred to as a “mask-like” face.
  • Speech Changes: Softening of the voice, slurring, or hesitation in speech.
  • Freezing: Brief episodes where a person may feel unable to move, especially when initiating a step.

Not everyone with Parkinson’s disease will experience all these symptoms, and the progression of the disease can vary. Additionally, non-motor symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, mood changes, and cognitive issues, may also occur. If someone is experiencing symptoms suggestive of Parkinson’s disease, it is crucial to seek medical evaluation for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.

Potential Settlement Value of Paraquat Lawsuits

Even though the Paraquat class action MDL has been going on for a few years, there are still a large number of unknown variables that make estimating the potential settlement value of these cases very premature. For starters, no Paraquat lawsuit has ever gone to trial so we don’t know for sure how juries will react to the evidence. That will likely change later this year as the first bellwether test trials are set to move forward.

Despite these unknowns, we can still offer a reasonable estimate for what the potential settlement value of Paraquat lawsuits might be based on prior results in cases involving similar injuries. Our lawyers think that Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuits in the top settlement tiers (i.e., the strongest cases) could have a settlement value in the range of $400,000 to $950,000. Cases in the second tier could be worth $125,000 to $275,000. Lower-tier cases would have a value of about half that.

Contact Us About a Paraquat Lawsuit

If you have a potential Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuit, let’s talk about your claim and your options.  Call our toxic exposure lawyers at 888-322-3010 or get a free online consultation.