A man who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease after spraying Paraquat herbicides on farmland has filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County, Illinois.
The lawsuit was filed by Michael K., a crop-duster who was “repeatedly exposed” to Paraquat from 1969 to 1981 while spraying farm fields near Edgerton, Wisconsin and Danville, Illinois.
The lawsuit claims that he “inhaled, ingested or absorbed” Paraquat, which led to his diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease in November 2019.
He claims that the manufacturers of Paraquat failed to warn him that repeated exposure to the chemical may cause neurological damage.
Furthermore, he accuses the manufacturers of failing to protect people who worked in farm fields and orchards where he sprayed Paraquat.
Aerial spraying may have also led to “spray drift” of Paraquat into off-target areas. The lawsuit accuses manufacturers of failing to adequately study this serious safety hazard.
Michael K. and his wife are seeking at least $50,000 in compensation.
In the last three years, Parqaut lawsuits have been filed against Syngenta, Chevron and Growmark by at least a dozen farm-workers with Parkinson’s Disease.
The number of lawsuits has grown as studies have identified a link between Paraquat and higher rates of Parkinson’s, including a 2011 study by the National Institute of Health that found a 2.5-fold increased risk of Parkinson’s from Paraquat exposure.
Earlier this month, another study in mice found that breathing Paraquat gives it a direct pathway to the brain, which may help explain why the weed-killer is linked to neurological damage in farm-workers.
The lawsuit was filed on December 21, 2020 in the Circuit Court for St. Clair County, Illinois against Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, Syngenta AG, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP, Chevron USA, and Growmark Inc. — Case Number 20L1006.