Florida Agricultural Workers Seek Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Class Action Lawsuit

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

A group of Florida agricultural workers is seeking to be part of a class action lawsuit against the makers of paraquat, an herbicide known to be toxic, alleging that exposure to paraquat increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease. According to ABC Action News, approximately 70 individuals are currently seeking to be included in a class of Florida agricultural workers.

The class of Florida agricultural workers includes those who have not yet been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease but are now at an increased risk of developing the disease later in life.

Many agricultural workers – especially migrant workers – are just now learning about the potential link between paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease.

Who Is Eligible to Pursue a Paraquat Claim?

Many individuals are filing claims against the makers of paraquat, alleging the herbicide has either caused the individuals to develop Parkinson’s Disease or that the individuals are at an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease because of prior exposure to paraquat.

Lawsuits are being filed across the country, both in federal and state courts. Some cases are class actions, where one plaintiff serves as a class representative on behalf of similarly situated plaintiffs.

Other lawsuits are filed by individual plaintiffs who are not part of a class action but are part of consolidated mass tort litigation that includes numerous individually filed lawsuits rather than one large lawsuit filed on behalf of many.

Common plaintiffs in paraquat lawsuits are licensed applicators/users, agricultural workers who were exposed on farms, and individuals who did not work on farms but lived on or near farms where they were subject to secondary paraquat exposure. Because paraquat lawsuits are just now heating up, the trajectory of the litigation is difficult to predict.

Is Paraquat Still Sold in the United States?

Yes, paraquat herbicides are still available for legal sale in the United States. The EPA recently determined that paraquat was safe enough for use, but all nations in the European Union have banned the herbicide. Currently, users must obtain a license and must take extraordinary precautions to avoid injury or illness. Warning information for paraquat products does not list Parkinson’s Disease as a potential consequence of exposure to the herbicide.

Consult with a Paraquat Lawyer

If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease after being exposed to paraquat, you may have grounds to pursue a legal claim. However, you first will need to have a knowledgeable paraquat lawyer review the facts of your situation to determine whether you have legal options.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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