If you think exposure to paraquat weed killer is responsible for your Parkinson’s diagnosis—or for a loved one’s—your family may have grounds for legal action. The first suit involving this highly toxic herbicide was filed in Illinois in 2017. In the years since, many more actions have been filed by agriculture workers in multiple states.
If you want to hold a manufacturer accountable for the challenges your family now faces because one of you has Parkinson’s disease, you’re probably wondering how to proceed. To help you get started, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject:
1. What Kind of Evidence Will I Need to Gather to Build a Strong Paraquat Parkinson’s Claim?
For your claim to have a chance of yielding a payout, you’re going to have to prove three critical elements:
- That you were exposed to paraquat;
- That you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease;
- That Paraquat caused the Parkinson’s; and
- You were not at high risk of developing the condition even if you hadn’t been exposed to paraquat.
2. Do I Need to Hire an Attorney Before Filing My Claim?
While it’s possible to represent yourself during the claims process, doing so is unadvisable. Not only do you have enough to worry about without having to navigate complicated legal proceedings, but you probably don’t have the resources needed to go up against a major manufacturer.
Fortunately, since most reputable product liability firms accept cases on contingency, you’ve got nothing to lose by retaining counsel. You won’t be responsible for any legal fees unless your claim yields a payout, and even then, the fee will come out of the recovered funds, not out of pocket.
3. How Long Do I Have to Take Action?
It’s wise to consult an attorney as soon as you realize paraquat exposure may have contributed to your diagnosis. Whether you intend to join an existing action or file your own suit, you have a limited amount of time to do so.
Some cases that were filed on behalf of farmers and agricultural workers have already been closed. As for independent claims, the standard statute of limitations is three years in South Carolina.
That means you likely have three years from the date on which you realized—or should have realized through reasonable diligence—that paraquat exposure caused your Parkinson’s to take the manufacturer to court. As there are a number of exceptions to this deadline that can shorten it considerably, however, it’s imperative to call a lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak with a South Carolina Product Liability Lawyer
At Hodge & Langley Law Firm, we understand the devastating impact that a Parkinson’s diagnosis can have on the whole family. If you or someone you love is living with the disease and you think paraquat exposure was to blame, we will help you gather the evidence needed to strengthen your case. To schedule your free consultation with a product liability attorney in South Carolina, fill out our Contact Form or call 864-585-3873.