Lawsuit claims man’s exposure to paraquat caused his Parkinson’s disease

  • Added By :Jeffrey Nadrich
  • Category : Personal Injury Law
  • Article Id : 2584
  • Added On : 30/04/2021
  • Views : 3826

A lawsuit filed on April 27 in federal court in California alleges that an Illinois man developed Parkinson’s disease due to his exposure to the herbicide paraquat. The lawsuit names Syngenta and Chevron as defendants.

The man, according to the lawsuit, was repeatedly exposed to paraquat while applying it as an herbicide beginning around 1975. The complaint states the man has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and blames the paraquat exposure for it.

Paraquat exposure

The complaint argues that it is reasonably foreseeable that those who use or clean paraquat or paraquat equipment, as well as those nearby when paraquat and paraquat equipment are being used and cleaned, will be exposed to paraquat when it is used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner.

The complaint argues that it is reasonably foreseeable that this exposure can cause paraquat to enter the human body, including through the mouth, the nose and the skin.

The complaint argues that it is reasonably foreseeable that, once paraquat enters the body, it can enter the bloodstream and the brain.

Parkinson’s disease

The lawsuit calls Parkinson’s disease a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder which mostly affects the motor system, which is responsible for movement. Only 10 percent of Parkinson’s disease cases are caused solely by genetic mutations, and over 90 percent are caused by a combination of environmental factors, aging and genetic susceptibility, according to the complaint.

The primary symptoms of the disease are shaking, slow reflexes and movement, rigidity, and poor balance. There is no cure for the disease and its progression cannot be slowed, stopped or reversed. Treatments typically become less effective over time and typically cause more side effects the longer they’re used.

The complaint claims that the death of dopaminergic neurons can cause the disease. These neurons produce dopamine, which the brain needs to control motor function. These neurons aren’t replaced when they die, so, according to the complaint, when enough of them die, the result is the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The complaint claims that oxidative stress can kill these neurons, and the complaint claims that paraquat can induce oxidative stress in human brains by virtue of its “redox cycling” properties, which the complaint claims have been known since the 1930s.

Paraquat, according to the complaint, creates a reactive oxygen species via redox cycling called a superoxide radical which can create a chain reaction that produces other reactive oxygen species which can damage proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, critical components of living cells.

This redox cycling can continue indefinitely in the process of oxygen, which is found in abundance in human cells, so, according to the lawsuit, paraquat can continue killing dopaminergic neurons through redox cycling indefinitely once it gets into the brain, until the victim dies.

The complaint claims that scientists actually use paraquat to give animals the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease so they can study the symptoms, and that hundreds of animal studies have linked paraquat with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and the death of dopaminergic neurons.

Hundreds of in vitro studies, according to the lawsuit, have also linked paraquat with the death of dopaminergic neurons.

Numerous epidemiological studies have linked Parkinson’s disease with paraquat, according to the complaint, including studies finding that those exposed to paraquat have two to five times the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease compared to those with no exposure.

Lawsuit makes numerous accusations

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages based on numerous causes of action, including:

Strict product liability – design defect: The complaint claims that paraquat is defective by design because it is dangerous when used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable way. The defendants, according to the complaint, made paraquat in such a way where those who used it or were near it being used were likely to be exposed to it, this exposure was likely to lead to it entering their body, and it was likely to cause neurological damage once it entered the body.

The complaint claims that paraquat fails to perform as safely as reasonably expected, and that its dangers outweigh its utility.

Strict product liability – failure to warn: The complaint alleges the defendants knew or should have known that paraquat, when used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner, was likely to cause Parkinson’s disease, but failed to warn the public about this risk or instruct the public how to protect themselves from the risk, such as recommending personal protective equipment like gloves or masks. The complaint claims that it has been known since the 1960s that paraquat is toxic.

Negligence: The complaint argues that the defendants failed their duty to be reasonably careful to prevent harm from occurring as the result of the manufacture and sale of paraquat. The complaint alleges the defendants were negligent by failing to adequately test the safety of paraquat, failing to warn others about the dangers of paraquat, and failing to instruct others on how to protect themselves from those dangers.

Breach of implied warranty of merchantability: The lawsuit alleges the defendants impliedly warranted that product was of merchantable quality when, in fact, it was not because it can cause Parkinson’s disease.

For more information on paraquat lawsuits, visit Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers.