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Paraquat Lung: Dangers & Compensation

“Paraquat lung” is a term used to describe a severe medical condition that affects the lungs after exposure to paraquat dichloride, a widely-used weed killer. People who develop paraquat lung after using or being exposed to the herbicide may be entitled to significant compensation to assist with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
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How Does Paraquat Affect the Lungs?

If paraquat is swallowed, death can occur rapidly. Death may be caused by a hole in the esophagus, or due to severe inflammation of the area that surrounds the major blood vessels and airways in the middle of the chest (mediastinum). Long-term exposure to paraquat may cause scarring of the lungs called pulmonary fibrosis.

How Does Paraquat Damage Human Tissue?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [1], paraquat causes direct damage when it comes into contact with the lining of the mouth, stomach, or intestines. After paraquat is ingested, the herbicide is distributed to all areas of the body. Paraquat causes toxic chemical reactions to occur throughout many parts of the body, primarily the lungs, liver, and kidneys.

How Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?

Paraquat herbicide kills cells through a mechanism called oxidative stress, meaning that altered cell chemistry causes cell damage and death. Parkinson’s disease results from the loss of function in the dopamine neuron cells of the substantia nigra pars compacta, a small region of the brain.

How Do I Prove Paraquat Exposure?

The evidence linking paraquat exposure to Parkinson’s disease is very strong, and additional studies are currently being performed. That said, it can still be very challenging to prove that Parkinson’s disease was caused by paraquat, which is why it is important to gather the following evidence as quickly as possible:

  • Licensure records for the paraquat applicator
  • Herbicide application records obtained from the farm
  • Purchase receipts for paraquat-containing herbicides
  • Photos documenting paraquat application or products
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Expert testimony by scientists and others

How Much is the Lawsuit Worth?

The amount of compensation you will receive after filing a successful paraquat lawsuit will depend on how much distress Parkinson’s disease is causing you in your everyday life, whether you need assistance with performing daily tasks, and the medical expenses incurred by your diagnosis. The financial amount people who develop Parkinson’s disease may receive as a consequence of paraquat exposure ranges between $10,000 and $200,000.

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Lawsuit?

In June 2021, plaintiffs in 16 California lawsuits against Paraquat settled exposure claims with the manufacturers of the herbicide. These cases were consolidated into a state Judicial Panel Coordination Proceeding in 2019. The time from coordination to settlement was approximately 2 years.

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Have you or a loved one been injured or exposed to a toxic chemical at work or in the home that has caused a severe life-threatening side effect, illness, disease, or death?

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Paraquat is a dangerous herbicide that’s available under several brands and manufactured by many corporations in the US.

If you or your loved one have been exposed to paraquat, you should file a lawsuit.

Schmidt & Clark, LLP lawyers have experience dealing with lawsuits against large organizations. We can help you get the damages you deserve and have an easier life after paraquat exposure.

Contact us today for a free consultation. 

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