Missouri Man Claims Health Risks from Herbicide Paraquat Caused Parkinson’s Disease

Syngenta and Chevron face a product liability lawsuit over failure to disclose the health risks associated with Paraquat, indicating that years of exposure to the herbicide caused a Missouri man to develop Parkinson’s disease.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Edwin Edward in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on May 10, indicating that many studies have found an association between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease, including findings that populations of workers regularly exposed to the herbicide face a two- to five-fold greater risk.

Paraquat has been widely used as a weed and grass killer for decades on farms throughout the United States, even though it has been banned in several countries due to the serious health risks. However, warnings and safety instructions provided for users largely focus on the risk of Paraquat poisoning, as ingesting even small amounts can result in fatal injuries.

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“Hundreds of in vitro studies have found that paraquat creates oxidative stress that results in the degeneration and death of dopaminergic neurons (and many other types of animal cells),” the lawsuit states. “Defendants had knowledge of these studies and the relationship between paraquat exposure and PD but actively and fraudulently concealed this information from Plaintiff and others.”

Edwards indicates he began using Paraquat in 1975, and had no idea about the Parkinson’s disease health risks from the herbicide until earlier this year. The lawsuit presents claims for strict liability, design defect, failure to warn, negligence, and breach of warranty, seeking both compensatory damages for pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages as a result of the manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers.

Parkinson’s disease affects more than 500,000 Americans, with approximately 50,000 new cases each year. The disease causes the loss of motor functions, causing imbalance and shaking, which gets progressively worse over time.

While genetics are often believed to be a major cause of Parkinson’s disease, growing research indicates that genes are only believed to be associated with about one-in-ten cases. Exposure to herbicides and pesticides are increasingly considered a leading risk, especially when combined with other factors that place individuals at risk of the development of Parkinson’s.

Edwards alleges Syngenta and Chevron had knowledge about studies highlighting the relationship between their product and Parkinson’s disease, yet actively and fraudulently concealed the potential health risks from the herbicide Paraquat.

The case joins a growing number of similar Paraquat lawsuits which have been filed throughout the federal court system in recent weeks by individuals exposed from direct handling of the herbicide, working in the same fields where it was sprayed or living near farmland where Paraquat was regularly applied. Each of the claims raise similar allegations, indicating plaintiffs may have avoided a diagnosis if information about the health risks had been disclosed.

1 Comments

  • laurelSeptember 2, 2021 at 3:13 am

    I grew up in TRoy Missouri and lived where crops surrounded me. We didn't farm per say but always had a garden which I remember sitting in the garden when I was a little girl with my bowl of water and salt shaker pulling up radishes and carrots and cucumbers lettuce id just rinse it in my bowl and eat it. Never thought about it possibly hurting me. And my mother worked in a chicken farm and it wa[Show More]I grew up in TRoy Missouri and lived where crops surrounded me. We didn't farm per say but always had a garden which I remember sitting in the garden when I was a little girl with my bowl of water and salt shaker pulling up radishes and carrots and cucumbers lettuce id just rinse it in my bowl and eat it. Never thought about it possibly hurting me. And my mother worked in a chicken farm and it was horrific just from the smell of dead birds and rotten eggs geeeeez you couldn't get a mile from there without wanting to hurl not sure how she did it but she was single mother of 3 and she did what she had to and that's the problem also not educated enough especially back then in rural areals you just knew that dave down the road used that particular pesticide for his crops and they were working for him it was good enough for you too. The convenience of the internet wasn't around so you couldn't look up the dangers of things it was trial and era so I suppose my parents were kind of guinea pigs in a way. My father was a farmer most of his earlier life until I was born then he got close to city limits of lincon county. hwy 61 area and he had issues with gout and blood clots and he had a vasectomy he said before I was born but I think it was him trying to be funny. Any how I would like some testing done if you haven't already done it on nervous disorders or bipolar because they treated me with 31 different medications and not one of them worked for me I have been a very high anxiety and angry person since the age of 12 or 13 my mother said I came to Florida from Missouri and had some sort of anger issue. that she had never known me to have. Maybe this chemical causes it because I know that the agent orange causes your nerves to go crazy or something like that. But yes I don't know the names of any other pesticides that my father was using I just remember a dark bottle I thing was ortho and he used round up and so has my mother with her jungle of plants and I myself have used it on a regular when I had issues with spiders and bugs and silverfish and used it on my plants and trees we had fruit trees in Florida we used pesticides to stop the bugs from destroying the leaves and recently we unfortunately have been exposed to mold huge amount of it that had been hidden behind newer drywall my son discovered when the roof leaked and we had replaced the dry wall that was wet to reveal som heavy real dark black mold and in the garage there was major white ashy type mold. they should have never leased this building with the damage that is here but we didn't think we could sue them because at first we thought we were buying the building then to find out this man did not own the bld he was the property manager the they transferred the title without our knowledge after we paid in about 10000 dollars and this is during the covid when no one else could even pay or get to the government office they somehow managed to transfer a title illegally and now they are trying to evict us! we don't know what is going on they should not have the same rules as a lease when you have a land purchase agreement?

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