Birmingham Paraquat Lawyer
Paraquat Attorney Serving Alabama
You May Be Eligible to File a Claim
If you were exposed to the herbicide weed killer Paraquat and have now been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, please contact Annelsey DeGaris today. Our law firm represents those who have been affected by this dangerous herbicide chemical. We are here to help you and your family by recovering the financial compensation for your illness that impacted your life.
Who Is at Risk of Exposure?
The individuals most at risk for paraquat exposure are agricultural workers, groundskeepers, gardeners, farmers, and others who work in areas in which paraquat is sprayed. This includes all certified applicators and individuals who work with paraquat under the supervision of a certified applicator.
Because it is applied as a spray, it can be easily inhaled in small amounts, even by certified applicators. It can also be absorbed through tiny cuts in the skin. Many people do not know just how dangerous it is—only a tiny amount of paraquat can cause oxidative stress, the chemical process behind Parkinson’s and other diseases.
What Is Paraquat? How Is Paraquat Utilized?
- Paraquat is a highly toxic chemical used as an herbicide or weed killer. First sold in the United States in the early 1960s and was used by the United States government and DEA in aerial attacks on Mexican heroin poppy and marijuana fields in the 1970s. It is a “non-selective” herbicide, which means it kills all green leafy plants on contact.
- The herbicide was first used and marketed for use as an agricultural tool for killing weeds or for processing crops that do not rely on their leafy parts, like cotton and almonds. The Swiss company Syngenta, began selling it in the United States. Paraquat has been sold under many brand names including “Ortho,” “Ortho Plus,” and “Gramoxone.” To this day, Syngenta continues to sell to American farmers.
- Even though it is banned in 32 countries, the American agriculture industry continues to use Paraquat. It has been on the banned substances list in England and throughout the European Union since 2013. While it was produced by Swiss industrial giant manufacturer Syngenta, the herbicide has been banned in Switzerland since 1989. Chinese chemical giant ChemChina purchased Syngenta and announced in 2012 that it was eliminating domestic use of Paraquat to “safeguard people’s lives.” All of China’s production is now exported.
- In the U.S., Paraquat has been used as an alternative to Monsanto’s Roundup. As weeds and pests became more resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup, farmers turned to alternative herbicides to treat their crops.
- All products are Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs), meaning only licensed applicators are able to purchase and use the herbicide. All applicators must be “licensed in accordance with EPA regulations and state, territorial and tribal laws.”
How Do I Know if I Was Exposed?
If you belong to one of the at-risk groups mentioned above, make sure to watch out for signs and symptoms of paraquat exposure.
Signs that paraquat may have caused Parkinson’s disease include:
- Prolonged or extreme stiffness
- Difficulty with body movements
- Loss of balance
- Difficult walking (slow gait, shuffling)
- Reduced facial expressions (including blank stares)
- Whole body fatigue
- Amnesia or confusion in the evening hours
- Early awakenings/sleep disturbance
Alabama Paraquat Lawsuits
In Alabama, lawsuits have been filed claiming harm from exposure to the Paraquat herbicide. The weed killer is applied by spraying vehicles such as tractors, airplanes or helicopters. The filed lawsuits allege that long-term exposure to Paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease in agricultural workers as well as residents who live near fields where the chemical is applied.
The legal claims have been filed against Chevron U.S.A., Syngenta, and other companies. Since 1964, these companies have been responsible for the manufacturing, distributing, marketing, licensing, and selling in Alabama and other states. Through the lawsuit allegations, the companies are liable for the following causes of actions:
- Strict Products Liability – the companies marketed a defectively-designed product and failed to warn the public of the risk of neurological damage caused by low exposure to Paraquat.
- Negligence – the neurological risks were reasonably foreseeable; the companies had the responsibility to protect people in the communities where it was used from those risks or eliminate those risks through proper warnings or instruction but failed to do so.
- Public Nuisance – the companies knew or should have known that the manner in which it was used would be harmful to the general public.
- Breach of Implied Warranty of Merchantability – the Paraquat used was not fit for its ordinary purposes.
Why Should I file a lawsuit?
A Paraquat lawsuit can aid you or your loved one by recovering compensation for the injuries and financial damages you have suffered. Depending upon your circumstances, this can include:
- Past and future medical expenses for treatment, equipment, nursing services, medication and monitoring
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses, if the exposure led to the death of a loved one.
We understand that Parkinson’s Disease typically comes with significant lifetime costs, especially if the patient’s diagnosis comes at an early stage in life. At DeGaris Law, our law firm holds manufacturers and corporations accountable for the damages caused by dangerous chemicals like Paraquat. Filing a civil lawsuit is the first step in helping you and your family.
Get a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease or is experiencing symptoms of Parkinson's after exposure to Paraquat, contact DeGaris Law today for a free consultation.
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