Legal Update: Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease

by Mandy Hicks

LEGAL UPDATE: ATTENTION – Agricultural workers who were exposed to the herbicide Paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

Paraquat is a widely used herbicide in the United States for the control of broadleaf weeds and grasses before planting or emergence of various crops, to control weeds in orchards, and to desiccate plants before harvest.  Paraquat, commonly known by the brand name Gramoxone, is a restricted-use pesticide only available for use by certified applicators due to its high level of toxicity.  Paraquat is so dangerous that it is either banned or phased out in 32 countries worldwide, including China, the European Union, and Brazil. 

Since its registration as an herbicide in the United States in 1964, countless Kentucky farmers have used or been exposed to Paraquat over the course of their lives and farming careers. U.S. farmers currently use more than 8 million pounds each year on crops such as peanuts, citrus, wheat, soy, corn, almonds, artichokes, garlic, pears, strawberries, grapes, sweet potatoes, and cotton.  Those most at risk from exposure to Paraquat are farmers, crop dusters, herbicide applicators, chemical mixers, tank fillers, and other agriculture workers.

Recent studies conducted by the National Institute of Health’s Environmental Health Sciences and the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center found that people exposed to Paraquat developed Parkinson’s Disease up to 2.5 times more often than people who were not exposed to the weed killer.  Despite these risks, companies like Syngenta, Growmark, and Chevron continue to make and sell Paraquat, raking in profits topping $640 million in global sales in a single year.

As the dangers of using or being exposed to Paraquat have become more well known, injured parties across the country have started filing lawsuits to recover compensation after developing Parkinson’s Disease linked to their Paraquat exposure.  On June 8, 2021 the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated cases against the manufacturers or Paraquat into a single forum to help centralize the litigation and hopefully lead towards a more efficient resolution of these cases.

ELPO Law attorneys are currently investigating cases of Parkinson’s Disease in farmers, agriculture workers, crop dusters, and anyone involved in the mixing, applying, or loading of the industrial herbicide Paraquat. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease after being exposed to Paraquat, you may be entitled to compensation.

At ELPO Law, we have a profound respect for those who work in the agriculture industry who help to put food on our tables and the tables of our friends and families. For licensed applicators and other agricultural workers who developed Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to Paraquat, getting financial compensation will help you afford the best care. That, in turn, will help you have the best quality of life. We want to help you.

It costs you nothing out of pocket to get started with a claim. The consultation is free, and legal representation is offered on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Contact attorney Jessica Shoulders at (270) 781-6500 or for a free consultation about your case.