Lawsuit Claims Woman’s Parkinson’s Disease Was Caused By Paraquat Herbicide – Legal Reader

The complaint alleges that Syngenta’s communications manager wrote in her notebook that the company should not phase out atrazine “until we know something about” paraquat “because studies have shown it to be linked to Parkinson’s disease could”.

A lawsuit filed in Missouri federal court in April alleges that a Missouri woman developed Parkinson’s disease from exposure to the herbicide paraquat. The lawsuit names Syngenta and Chevron as defendants.

The lawsuit alleges that the woman was “regularly” exposed to paraquat for over 15 years, from direct exposure, drinking water contamination, and the herbicide drifting in the wind. The woman, according to the complaint, routinely handled paraquat while employed by the Monroe County Service Company, and she also lived on a farm that routinely sprayed paraquat. The complaint alleges that her husband applied paraquat on the farm, she routinely escorted her husband while he was spraying paraquat, and she could feel the paraquat on her skin after it was sprayed on numerous occasions. The complaint also alleges that she washed her husband’s contaminated work clothes and that the woman estimates that she has been exposed to paraquat over 100 times.

The lawsuit is just one of many lawsuits against Syngenta and Chevron alleging that they failed to warn of the dangers of paraquat.

Paraquat

Paraquat was first discovered as a herbicide in 1955 and first sold as a herbicide in 1962 under the name Gramoxone. It is typically sold as a liquid concentrate that is diluted with water before being loaded into a spray tank and sprayed on weeds. It’s usually formulated with surfactants that allow it to stay in contact with weeds, penetrate the surfaces of weeds, and penetrate plant cells, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that paraquat is applied to around 15 million hectares of crops per year and is typically sprayed with a tractor-pulled pressure tank, truck with pressure tank, airplane, hand sprayer or backpack sprayer.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the brain that primarily affects the motor system that controls our movements. The lawsuit claims it is “one of the fastest growing neurological diagnoses on the planet”.

Image by Bruce Blausen. Blausen.com employees (2014). “Medical Gallery of Blausen Medical 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI: 10.15347 / wjm / 2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436., CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The primary motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, according to the lawsuit, are:

  • Resting tremor (shaking while muscles are relaxed)
  • Bradykinesia (slow voluntary movements and reflexes)
  • Stiffness (stiffness)
  • Postural instability (poor balance)

Depending on the complaint, these primary symptoms can cause secondary symptoms, such as:

  • Excessive drooling and saliva
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Bad coordination
  • Muscle cramp
  • Bad posture
  • A calm, monotonous, indistinct voice
  • A mask-like expression
  • Smaller handwriting
  • Freezing the walkway

According to the complaint, non-motor symptoms can often show up years before the onset of the primary motor symptoms. These include:

  • depression
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Low blood pressure when you stand up
  • constipation
  • Loss or change in your sense of smell

There is no cure for the disease and treatments cannot slow or stop its progression, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that “one of the primary pathophysiological characteristics” of the disease is death of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. The complaint explains that these neurons produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is essential for motor control of the brain.

These neurons are not replaced and do not grow back when they die, the complaint, so if too many of them die, the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can result.

The complaint claims that these neurons are “particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress,” which is a poor balance between oxidizing agents in the cells and the cells’ antioxidant defenses. Oxidative stress is a major contributor to dopaminergic neuron death, and may be the major cause of death, according to the lawsuit.

Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Paraquat is alleged to kill plants by creating oxidative stress, but it can also injure and kill animals by creating oxidative stress as well. This oxidative stress, according to the lawsuit, is due to paraquat’s tendency to go through redox cycles when it comes to oxygen molecules that are abundant in living cells. The lawsuit claims that science knew that paraquat had a strong redox potential in the 1930s, and that science has known since the 1960s that paraquat can produce oxidative stress through redox cycling.

According to the lawsuit, paraquat’s redox cycle creates a reactive oxygen species known as a superoxide radical. Reactive oxygen species, so the complaint, can damage lipids, proteins and nucleic acids, essential components of living cells. Superoxide radicals, according to the complaint, “can trigger a cascading series of chemical reactions that generate other reactive oxygen species”.

“Since the redox cycle of paraquat can repeat itself indefinitely under the conditions typically found in living cells, a single paraquat molecule can trigger the production of innumerable molecules of the destructive superoxide radical.”

Paraquat’s redox cycle makes paraquat highly toxic to dopaminergic neurons, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit implies that once paraquat enters the brain, it can repeat its redox cycle indefinitely, killing more and more dopaminergic neurons until the victim dies.

The complaint claims that the surfactants that paraquat is typically mixed with actually increase the herbicide’s ability to stay in contact with and penetrate skin, mucous membranes and other epithelial tissues, thereby increasing its toxicity to humans.

Paraquat, according to the lawsuit, “is a powerful oxidizing agent that disrupts, damages, and ultimately kills the function of dopaminergic neurons by creating oxidative stress through redox cycling.”

The lawsuit claims scientists purposely give animals paraquat to give them symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that they can then study.

According to the lawsuit, hundreds of animal and in vitro studies have found that paraquat can kill dopaminergic neurons through oxidative stress.

According to the lawsuit, paraquat is banned in numerous places around the world, including Switzerland, China and the European Union. Paraquat’s possible links with Parkinson’s disease were specifically mentioned when the EU banned it.

Studies linking paraquat to Parkinson’s disease

The complaint alleges that numerous epidemiological studies have linked paraquat exposure to Parkinson’s disease in humans, “including several studies showing two to five-fold or greater increases in the risk of Parkinson’s disease”.

One of Dr. Liyan Hou’s 2019 study published according to the complaint found that paraquat exposure induced cell death in dopaminergic cells.

One of Dr. A 2011 study published by Caroline Tanner found that paraquat plays a role in Parkinson’s disease in humans and that “this finding may be of great public health importance” as it “remains one of the most widely used herbicides is “.[s] worldwide.”

A 2012 by Dr. Study published by Samuel Goldman found that those with the GSTT1 * 0 genotype who had used paraquat had 11.1 times the normal risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. According to the lawsuit, the GSTT1 gene encodes an enzyme that can prevent redox cycling. Those without this gene have the GSTT1 * 0 genotype and are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, according to the lawsuit.

A 2002 by Dr. Study published by Alison McCormack found that paraquat kills dopaminergic neurons.

A 2011 by Dr. Study published by Robert Nisticó found that paraquat kills dopaminergic neurons, serotonergic neurons and noradrenergic neurons.

One of Dr. A 2011 study published by Phillip Rappold found that paraquat is converted to PQ +, which enters dopaminergic neurons via dopamine transporters and reacts with dopamine, thereby increasing the oxidative stress induced by paraquat.

A 2012 by Dr. Pei-Chen Lee’s study found a link between Parkinson’s disease and paraquat, according to the lawsuit.

A 2013 by Dr. The study published by Gianni Pezzoli found that those exposed to paraquat were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, according to the complaint.

Causes of action

The lawsuit seeks damages on the basis of several pleas, including:

Negligence: The complaint alleges that the defendants were not reasonably careful when they failed to adequately test the safety of paraquat and when they presented paraquat as safe even though they knew or should have known that it was not safe.

Strict product liability – design flaws: The complaint alleges that Paraquat is design-related defective, since it represents an unreasonable risk even if it is manufactured properly if used properly or reasonably foreseeable.

Strict Product Liability – Failure to Warn: The lawsuit alleges that the defendants knew, or should have known, that paraquat can cause Parkinson’s disease, but they failed to warn of the risk or instruct people how to use things like masks and Gloves used to protect against paraquat exposure.

The complaint alleges that Syngenta’s communications manager wrote in her notebook in 2003, according to The New Yorker, that the company should not phase out atrazine “until we know about” paraquat “because studies have shown it may be linked to Parkinson’s disease. Illness.”

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