Paraquat Lawsuit Attorney In Chicago

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Paraquat Lawsuit Attorney In Chicago

If you developed Parkinson’s disease after using Paraquat, do not hesitate to contact the defective consumer products attorneys of Wallace Miller. We could represent you in your lawsuit and help you hold the manufacturer liable for their misconduct. You might be entitled to financial compensation for your diagnosis and the resulting medical treatment and other expenses.

Parkinson’s disease is a serious disorder of the nervous system. It starts with minor symptoms but can eventually cause debilitating problems as the disease progresses. Parkinson’s can interfere with every aspect of a person’s routine and significantly reduce the quality of life. Unfortunately, there is no cure, which means people diagnosed with the disease must find a way to manage symptoms and live with complications for the rest of their lives.

Wallace Miller understands how devastating it can be to discover that a product you thought was safe contributed to your diagnosis. Paraquat could cause not only Parkinson’s disease but also other medical problems from frequent or prolonged toxic exposure. The manufacturer should be held liable for not disclosing the risks of its product on warning labels. The compensation you recover might compensate you for your suffering and the costs you incur while treating your symptoms.

Call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 or fill out our online questionnaire today for your free consultation with one of our Paraquat lawsuit attorneys. We can help you determine whether you’re eligible to join the mass tort case.

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    Latest Paraquat lawsuits updates

    May 2024 – The Paraquat litigation continues to develop in the multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of Illinois, as well as in state courts in Pennsylvania and Delaware. In August 2023, defendants in the MDL filed a Daubert motion, a type of motion that can be used to disqualify the testimony of an expert witness if certain criteria are met. Overseen by Judge Rosenstengel, the court has accepted the defendants’ motion and excluded testimony from plaintiffs’ epidemiology expert Dr. Martin Wells. As a result, there was no expert testimony connecting Paraquat exposure to Parkinson’s disease in front of the court and the four initial bellwether trial cases were dismissed. 

    While this is a disappointing result, it only applies to the four cases that were set for bellwether trials. All other cases in the MDL are still active and the plaintiff’s leadership counsel in the MDL plans to continue to fight for those exposed to Paraquat with the selection of new bellwether cases. 

    In Pennsylvania state court, bellwether cases are being worked up with an initial trial date tentatively set for April 2025. The parties are working through case-specific discovery, including taking the depositions of plaintiffs’ and their treating physicians, as well as relevant fact witnesses.  

    In Delaware, we’re waiting for the court’s ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint. Assuming that decision is favorable to plaintiffs and the litigation is allowed to continue, our attorneys will continue to work through pleadings and begin discovery.

    April 2024 — A bill that seeks to ban Paraquat entirely in California continues to proceed through the amendment process in the State Assembly. Initially proposed by Assemblymember Laura Friedman on January 29, 2024, it has already gone through several rounds of revisions and is scheduled for a committee hearing later this month.  

    If passed, the proposed bill will go into effect on January 1, 2026. It seeks to ban all use, manufacture, and sale of any product that contains Paraquat dichloride (the pesticide’s scientific name) in the state. California is the largest user of Paraquat in the U.S., with 5.3 million pounds of the substance sprayed between 2017 and 2021. 

    How Paraquat exposure occurs

    Only licensed applicators, such as agricultural workers and farmers, can use Paraquat. If someone inhales or ingests the toxic substance found in the herbicide, they could experience adverse symptoms or develop a medical condition.

    The form of Paraquat marketed in the United States has various safeguards to prevent poisoning, such as:

    • An added agent to induce vomiting if accidentally ingested
    • Strong odor
    • Blue dye, so no one confuses it with a beverage

    Exposure to this dangerous chemical can occur in many ways and lead to poisoning. The most common methods of exposure include:

    • Inhalation
    • Direct contact with the skin
    • Entering the body through an open wound
    • Accidental ingestion
    • Drinking water contaminated by Paraquat
    • Eating contaminated food

    Exposure can still happen despite the precautions people take. You could be exposed indirectly even if you’re not a licensed applicator who uses Paraquat regularly. For example, if you live near an application site like a farm, you could inhale the substance from the air or consume contaminated drinking water.

    Common symptoms of Paraquat poisoning

    Exposure to Paraquat can cause poisoning and lead to a range of unpleasant symptoms, such as:

    • Vomiting
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea containing some blood
    • Abdominal pain

    Paraquat can damage a person’s gastrointestinal tract if swallowed. Common signs of exposure to high levels of the substance can include:

    • Low blood pressure
    • Trouble breathing
    • Dehydration
    • Nosebleeds

    Ingesting a large amount of Paraquat could have fatal consequences. Severe symptoms are often immediate and can cause:

    • Seizures
    • Coma
    • Fast heart rate
    • Confusion
    • Weak muscles
    • Respiratory failure

    Inhaling the herbicide could lead to complications, such as:

    • Pulmonary edema
    • Lung scarring
    • Acute kidney failure
    • Liver failure

    If you experience any Paraquat poisoning symptoms, you should seek immediate emergency care. Go to a nearby hospital and explain to the doctor what happened. They can take a sample of your blood or urine to check for traces of the herbicide. Prompt and adequate treatment could prevent permanent side effects.

    Possible link between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease

    It’s clear how toxic Paraquat is, especially when someone breathes in the chemical or ingests it. However, the link between Parkinson’s disease and Paraquat exposure isn’t entirely conclusive. Researchers continue to debate whether the herbicide increases the risk of Parkinson’s.

    The National Institutes of Health performed a study on the rate of Parkinson’s disease in farmers and agricultural laborers who used Paraquat. The results showed these groups of people developed the disease at a rate 2.5 times higher than groups who never experienced Paraquat exposure or poisoning.

    Common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

    Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system. It affects movement and causes mild tremors in the beginning stage. As the disease progresses, the tremors are more noticeable, and other symptoms start to appear.

    The most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

    • Difficulty writing
    • Hand tremors
    • Rigid muscles
    • Slow movement
    • Changes in balance and posture
    • Decreased ability to smile, blink, and make other unconscious movements
    • Slurred speech

    Complications could arise and cause issues, such as:

    • Bladder problems
    • Constipation
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Fatigue
    • Difficulty eating and chewing
    • Cognitive function impairment
    • Trouble swallowing
    • Pain
    • Changes in blood pressure
    • Sleep disorders
    • Depression and changes in mood

    If you think your symptoms are from exposure to Paraquat, reach out to Wallace Miller. We will review the circumstances and advise you about whether we can represent you in your lawsuit.

    Compensation for Paraquat exposure

    You might qualify for a mass tort case against the Paraquat manufacturer. A mass tort case combines multiple lawsuits from different plaintiffs into a single legal action against the same defendant. Instead of pursuing your case individually, you can join a large group of people who suffered the same or similar complications from Paraquat exposure.

    The monetary award you receive might compensate you for losses, such as:

    • Emotional distress
    • Medical bills
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Out-of-pocket expenses
    • Pain and suffering
    • Lost wages
    • Lost earning capacity

    Punitive or exemplary damages might also be available in your lawsuit, depending on contributing factors. This type of compensation punishes the defendant for their actions. State law requires you to show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s negligent or egregious actions to receive this financial award.

    Statute of limitations in a lawsuit

    You must follow a specific timeframe if you want to sue someone for harming you. This timeframe is dictated by a statute of limitations. The period during which you’re allowed to file a lawsuit begins on the date of the incident or injury and ends a specific number of years later, depending on the law in your state.

    The statute of limitations period is often between one and five years for cases like this. If you’re from a state that imposes a two-year deadline, you will have two years from the date of your Parkinson’s diagnosis to file your lawsuit. Once the timeframe passes, you could lose your right to pursue compensation through the court system.

    It’s critical to seek legal representation immediately. Most people don’t understand the complexities of lawsuits and the unexpected delays that can occur. You could run out of time to initiate your lawsuit if you wait too long to start preparing your case.

    Wallace Miller will review the laws in the state where you reside to determine the time period granted by that state’s statute of limitations. We can create a strategy and file your case within the required timeframe, so you don’t lose your chance of pursuing legal action against the manufacturer.

    What you should do after Paraquat exposure

    The first thing you should do after Paraquat exposure or poisoning is go to the hospital. A physician can examine you and determine whether you have Paraquat in your body. In case of ingestion, the doctor might administer activated charcoal to absorb the chemical and reduce the amount of the chemical in your body. You will likely need to stay in the hospital so doctors can monitor you until you no longer display symptoms of Paraquat poisoning.

    If you develop Parkinson’s disease, you will need to see a specialist. It isn’t a curable disease, but the right medications could keep your symptoms under control. You might even notice improvements in movement, walking, and tremors over time. You should follow your doctor’s orders and continue with the recommended treatment plan.

    Hire Wallace Miller immediately after exposure occurs. Even if you’re still in the hospital, you should contact us so we can start working on your case. You don’t have to handle any legal aspects of the lawsuit. We can take care of everything so you can focus on your recovery.

    We will investigate and gather the evidence we could use to try to prove Paraquat exposure caused you to develop Parkinson’s disease. The evidence we obtain might include:

    • Physician’s letters, prescriptions, hospitalization records, diagnostic test results, and other medical documentation
    • Invoices, receipts, billing statements, and any record that shows expenses from your diagnosis
    • A copy of your job description as a licensed applicator or residency history that shows you live near an application site to prove your frequent exposure to Paraquat

    You should also maintain records yourself. Keep a copy of every document you receive during your ongoing case. Forward everything to us so we can review your information and determine whether we can use it as evidence. Sometimes, clients forget to tell us about specific doctor’s appointments or treatments. If we look through your records, we can ensure that nothing is missing, so we submit complete and accurate medical evidence to prove your claim.

    Left to right: Nicholas P. Kelly, Edward A. Wallace, Molly Condon Wells, Mark R. Miller, Jessica Wieczorkiewicz, Timothy E. Jackson.

    Contact us

    At Wallace Miller, our Paraquat lawsuit attorneys are ready to be your advocate and protect your rights during legal proceedings. We will provide the guidance and support you need to get through this devastating time in your life. You can count on us to fight by your side until the end.

    If you developed Parkinson’s disease from Paraquat exposure or poisoning, call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 or fill out our online questionnaire for your free consultation. Let us help you pursue the justice you deserve and secure the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.

    Tell Us Your Story