Fegan Scott filed a proposed class action lawsuit on behalf of farmers, farm workers, and pesticide users against Syngenta AG, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, and Chevron USA Inc. The suit claims that exposure to the pesticide paraquat, often sold under the brand name Gramoxone®, significantly increased users’ risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease, and that manufacturers failed to warn users of that risk.
According to the complaint, paraquat is typically formulated to include surfactants, which increase its ability to remain in contact with or penetrate the skin and other tissues. Farmers, farm workers, and others are exposed to the pesticide when it is mixed, sprayed on fields via plane, truck, or hand-held sprayer and through contact with sprayed fields. Because the spray can drift onto other land, people located nearby may also be exposed.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, the suit seeks to represent thousands of U.S. consumers who have used or been exposed to paraquat and asks the defendants to pay for medical monitoring costs associated with the early detection of Parkinson’s Disease.
The complaint notes that the manufacturers have known about paraquat’s toxicity for decades, and despite evidence demonstrating the heightened risk of Parkinson’s, manufacturers allegedly failed to properly warn consumers or to change its formulation to reduce the likelihood of exposure.
The complaint alleges that Chevron’s and Syngenta’s misbranding of paraquat is misleading because it omits warnings or cautionary statements necessary to protect human health, further threatening those who are exposed to the pesticide.
The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone who has used or been exposed to paraquat in the United States.