How Long Do I Have to File a Paraquat Lawsuit?

As of December 5, 2021, 319 cases have been consolidated in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The number of cases continues to grow, and it’s not clear just how many plaintiffs there may be. Initially, the number of cases was expected to be small compared with other chemical-exposure-related MDLs because of the more limited use of paraquat. 

As the MDL picks up momentum, you may be wondering whether you still have time to file a claim. The answer will depend on the specifics of your situation and the law in your home state.

Paraquat Statutes of Limitations

Most lawsuits in the United States are subject to a statute of limitations. That limitation period is different for different types of claims. The time allowed to file a product liability claim like a paraquat Parkinson’s disease case may be as short as two years or as long as six years. But, it may be difficult to determine when that period started. 

Some states start the clock ticking as soon as the injury occurs. But, many states start counting later–not when the exposure occurs or the symptoms start, but when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the exposure-related injury. That could be the date of diagnosis. Or, it could be even later, if the plaintiff didn’t know about the exposure or didn’t know about the possible connection between the chemical and the condition. In some cases, the parties disagree about when the countdown should have started, and the court has to determine whether the claim is permitted or is barred by the statute of limitations.

Some states also have a statute of repose, which is a hard cut-off date that applies whether you were aware of the exposure-related illness or not.

Paraquat Exposure May be Invisible

The paraquat litigation may be especially complicated in this regard. That’s because people who experience symptoms or are diagnosed with a medical condition generally know whether they have taken Zantac or used Roundup to keep the dandelions in their yard at bay. So, for example, when a long-time Zantac user who is suffering from bladder cancer hears that ranitidine-based drugs can cause that type of cancer, it’s relatively easy to connect the dots. 

However, those who actually prepare and apply paraquat aren’t the only ones at risk. In addition to others working in the environment, those living nearby may also be at risk. Many victims may not even know that they’ve been exposed to paraquat. 

As paraquat litigation moves forward, more information is becoming available to the public. There may be many people living in agricultural communities who may have developed Parkinson’s disease due to paraquat exposure, but have been unaware of the connection between the herbicide and their conditions. That means assessing statutes of limitations on a case-by-case basis.

If You Believe You Have a Paraquat Case, Act Quickly

Because the cut-off for filing a paraquat lawsuit depends on multiple variables, there’s no quick and easy answer you can read and rely on. That uncertainty means that any delay in talking to a paraquat litigation attorney could potentially cost you the opportunity to pursue compensation. 

At Action Matters, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the information you need. We know that knowledge is the first step toward protecting your rights, and finding the right attorney to help you pursue compensation is critical.

If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and have used paraquat, worked on a farm where paraquat was used, or believe you may have been exposed by nearby farmers, fill out the contact form on this page right now. We’ll connect you with an attorney who handled paraquat claims in your area. 

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