Illinois Paraquat Herbicide Lawsuits
Each season farmers and applicators across Illinois use the popular herbicide Paraquat to control weeds across a variety of crops from corn to cotton. Despite its benefits in weed control, Paraquat comes with debilitating physical consequences for those individuals who applied the herbicide to crops.
Paraquat has been linked to a significant risk of Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s-like symptoms. The dangerous and defective products team at Koester and Bradley, LLP is consulting with clients across the state and investigating potential claims against the manufacturer of Paraquat.
How Much is Known about the dangers of Paraquat?
The risks of Paraquat toxicity have been well known since the 1990s and the rates of Parkinson’s disease and like symptoms amongst applicators and agricultural community members have dramatically increased since data collection was first instituted. In fact, one peer-reviewed clinical research study conducted in 2011 found that Paraquat exposure increased the risk of Parkinson’s disease and associated symptoms by 250%.
Paraquat has Been Banned by Many Countries
While still legal in the United States, Paraquat has actually been banned by the European Union, China, and 32 other countries across the globe. Despite the actions taken by forward thinking countries, the United States has only experienced an increase in Paraquat usage since glyphosate, the key ingredient in roundup, has been linked to cancer.
Why you need legal Representation for your Paraquat claim.
Koester and Bradley, LLP along with other prominent Illinois dangerous product law firms have been following the injuries caused by Paraquat for a number of years. There have already been many lawsuits filed across the country with respect to individuals experiencing Parkinson’s disease and those who have been exposed to Paraquat herbicide in their lifetime. Most lawsuits that are filed seek monetary compensation to cover medical expenses, time off of work, and also the pain and suffering that comes along with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
As one of the most well-established mass tort law firms in Illinois, we understand about aggressively advocating for our clients and those who are injured due to negligence and reckless behavior of large corporations. Over the past two decades Koester and Bradley, LLP has represented thousands of Central Illinois residents, as well as those across the country, in agricultural chemical claims and other dangerous product cases. This is why it is not uncommon for other local Central Illinois law firms to refer their Paraquat toxicity lawsuits to us.
How can our Midwest Paraquat lawsuit attorneys help with your case?
Since the entire Koester & Bradley, LLP personal injury team are long-standing members of the Central Illinois community, our firm is uniquely positioned to provide the best representation to Paraquat victims. While we have relationships with the country’s best law firms and work collaboratively to achieve the highest settlements for our clients, we also provide a level of hometown service. You can expect that the staff of Koester & Bradley, LLP will:
- Return your phone calls in a timely manner.
- Know our client/clients name/names rather than just associated you as a number like larger national firms who advertise on TV do.
- Do all of the “heavy lifting” involved with pursuing a Paraquat Parkinson’s claim such as ordering medical records and coordinating other logistical matters.
- Provide frequent updates on the status of your Paraquat case.
When you or your loved one is injured by Paraquat, what type of lawyer should you call?
Paraquat is used in a variety of brand name herbicides that are generally targeted towards commercial farms, orchards, and other growing operations. These products are popular and the companies which produce them are large and backed by teams of lawyers and insurance companies. A local Paraquat lawyer in Illinois can help injured claimants by:
- Coordinating and organizing all medical records and bills needed for a settlement or trial.
- Associate with and work with other groups of consumer protection and personal injury lawyers handling Paraquat cases.
- A local personal injury and defective product attorney can also provide a high level of customer support and make sure that you or your loved one is not treated like a number such as the case with larger firms in Chicago and St Louis.
- Retaining and coordinating with the best expert witnesses on Parkinson’s and Paraquat toxicity in the country.
Paraquat Usage and Exposure
Paraquat is a very popular herbicide used by farmers and those in the landscaping industry.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is mandated with regulating the use of herbicides and pesticides in the United States, has reported that nearly 11 million pounds of herbicides are applied to United States farmland each year.
- Paraquat is also used in the landscaping profession, and on heavily traveled land such as golf courses.
- Paraquat was initially developed in the 1960s and is known to be highly toxic. It is generally used only in commercial applications such as farming and landscaping.
- Paraquat is a restricted use pesticide under the definition of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This means that Paraquat is not available on the retail level at hardware stores or garden centers.
What are the symptoms of Paraquat Toxicity and exposure?
Long-term and substantial exposure to Paraquat can lead to a variety of symptoms, the link between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease is staggering.
Short term Paraquat Exposure symptoms
- Difficulty breathing or pain in the lungs.
- Seizures unrelated to any existing seizure disorder.
- Stomach issues including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Elevated heart rate and cardiovascular stress
- Severe dehydration leading to loss of consciousness.
- In severe circumstances, coma and death
What are the long-term symptoms of Paraquat Exposure?
- Parkinson’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms.
- Atypical Parkinson’s disease
- Various types of palsies including
- Atrophy of the limbs including the arms and legs.
Victims of Paraquat poisoning can receive compensation for their medical bills as well as pain and suffering.
It is an undeniable fact that the only way to hold large corporations, such as those responsible for Paraquat, accountable for the injuries caused by their dangerous and defective chemicals is through monetary compensation. Still, the company’s responsible for Paraquat exposure are powerful and protected by aggressive and sometimes devious insurance companies.
An experienced and local mass tort and toxic exposure lawyer can help recover money for a variety of injuries, including:
- Medical care associated with Parkinson’s disease.
- Lost wages and compensation from time off of work.
- A decrease in your ability to earn due to your injuries.
- The cost of medication, therapy, and other incidental expenses related to medical care.
- Pain and suffering from Parkinson’s-like symptoms.
- A loss of your ability to enjoy a normal life.
- Punitive damages and situations where the manufacturer recklessly disregarded the danger of Paraquat
Who is At Risk for Paraquat Induced Parkinson’s Disease?
In order to receive compensation for injuries caused by Paraquat herbicide, a potential client must have had exposure to the dangerous pesticide. While this may sound obvious, exposure to Paraquat can come from a variety of sources such as emissions through the mouth, nose or even absorption through the skin.
Generally the individuals who have the largest amount of exposure to Paraquat are:
- Property owners in Central Illinois who have land in rural communities. Given the agricultural community in Champaign-Urbana and beyond, this group encompasses a large number of Koester and Bradley, LLP’s primary neighbors.
- Individuals who apply herbicides to residential and commercial land.
- Farmers in agricultural workers responsible for applying Paraquat as well as mixing and preparing the herbicide.
- Individuals who work for landscaping and commercial gardening operations such as golf courses and greenskeepers.
- Children whose homes and schools are located near large agricultural areas where Paraquat is applied.
Central Illinois is at the Center of the Paraquat-Caused Parkinson’s Disease Increase.
With an inordinate amount of acres of farmland, Central Illinois is generally considered to be a shining example of the Midwestern corn belt. Large farms have been a hallmark of Champaign County, Vermilion County and Macon County for over a century.
Due to the fact that Central Illinois has had such deep farming roots, herbicides have been applied to the land for generations.
It is nearly impossible to have grown up or lived even for a short period of time in Central or Southern Illinois and not have had exposure to Paraquat.
Additionally, the large amount of agricultural acreage in Central Illinois between Kankakee and St. Louis means that many individuals who are not actually farmers or landowners themselves are employed to care for the crops and prevent weeds. This is where Paraquat is frequently used.
It is very difficult to control the spread of Paraquat.
Paraquat can come in contact with humans by inhalation such as by breathing the chemical in through your nose or mouth, or even by short periods of contact with the skin. Further, because Paraquat is used to care for agricultural crops, the toxic weed killing mixture may even enter the body through the food we eat.
Generally Paraquat herbicide drift occurs by vapor drifting from an applied area, physical particles of paraquat spray reaching the body, or soil which has become contaminated with Paraquat herbicide.
Central Illinois is in the crosshairs of Paraquat herbicide toxicity for a number of reasons.
- The soil throughout the central Midwest, including Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana is such that the sand content allows for decades worth of toxic herbicides to permeate the Earth and stay active for years.
- The legacy existence of herbicides in the soil can lead to exposure through the food that we eat.
- High winds that are prevalent across the plains and the Midwest cause herbicidal drift to frequently happen with negative results. In fact, airborne drift is a frequent situation in Central Illinois.
- During rain storms, overapplied Paraquat can run off into streams and water supplies and contaminate the community through drinking water.
What are the initial symptoms of prolonged Paraquat exposure?
It is common for even prolonged Paraquat exposure to not manifest any symptoms for an extended period of time. Eventually though, the primary symptoms of Paraquat toxicity will emerge. Namely,
- A nauseous feeling sometimes resulting in vomiting or diarrhea.
- Unusual digestive tract irregularities and stomach pain.
- Pain and swelling in the mouth and throat.
Like other airborne toxins, Paraquat enters the body and then cycles through the circulatory system and begins to impact the heart, kidneys, lungs, and other systems of our body designed to filter out dangerous substances.
Higher level exposures can lead to severe liver and kidney failure, confusion, complicated breathing, and even heart failure. Given the prevalence of the COVID-19 Delta variant, Paraquat exposure can also complicate other respiratory infections and viruses.
How does Parkinson’s development form Paraquat drift?
The short-term symptoms of Paraquat exposure are bad, but the long-term exposure to Paraquat is even worse. Symptoms of long-term Paraquat exposure are very similar to those associated with Parkinson’s disease.
The vast amount of medical literature regarding Paraquat toxicity and exposure point towards the development of Parkinson’s disease. The process of Parkinson’s disease is generally categorized in five stages.
- Minimum aberrations in motor skills.
- Increasing motor symptoms and loss of balance and slowing movement.
- The loss of ability to stand and maintain a normal amount of mobility.
- Increased leg stiffness resulting in a total lack of mobility.
A formal medical diagnosis is necessary to identify and treat Parkinson’s disease in Paraquat exposure.
If you or your loved one have been exposed to Paraquat herbicide over a long period of time, and have experienced Parkinson’s-like symptoms, it is vital to immediately have a medical consultation with your doctor or a neurologist. Simply because you are experiencing symptoms similar to Parkinson’s, it does not necessarily mean that you have the disease or that is to blame. Only a certified doctor with a team of medical professionals can make this diagnosis.
If you are having mild symptoms which may be related to Paraquat exposure, the injury lawyers at Koester & Bradley, LLP can assist in having the symptoms addressed and developing a file for your potential claim at an early stage.
The international medical literature is clear on the dangers of Paraquat.
The primary organization tasked with developing Parkinson’s research is the United Parkinson’s Advocacy Council. The United Parkinson’s Advocacy Council conducted a decade-long study which found that individuals who have routinely been exposed to Paraquat have a 200 to 600% increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. It is shocking that this dangerous chemical is still in use since this study was published all the way back in 2017.
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Facts About Paraquat." Retrieved from: https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/paraquat/basics/facts.asp. Accessed: August 5, 2021.
- Environmental Protection Agency Website. "Paraquat Dichloride; Proposed Interim Mitigation Decision." Retrieved from https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0855-0031. Accessed: March 13, 2021.
- Organic Consumers Associations. "Paraquat — Banned in EU While US Increasing Use of This Toxic Killer." Retrieved from https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/paraquat-—-banned-eu-while-us-increasing-use-toxic-killer. Accessed: July 9, 2021.
- Parkinson's Foundation Website. "What Is Parkinson's?" Retrieved from: https://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons. Accessed May 10, 2021.
- Unified Parkinson's Advocacy Council. "Paraquat Dichloride Registration Review." Retrieved from https://files.michaeljfox.org/Paraquat_letter_FINAL.pdf. Accessed: August 30, 2021.US National Library of Medicine. "Genetic Modification of the Association of Paraquat and Parkinson's Disease." Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3572192/. Accessed: July 9, 2021.