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The attorneys at Humphrey, Farrington & McClain obtained a favorable ruling on a motion to dismiss in a lawsuit filed by Henry Holyfield and Tara Holyfield against Chevron USA and Syngenta, the makers of the herbicide Paraquat.    The ruling means that the case can move forward.

Henry Holyfield alleges that he was exposed to Paraquat and that this exposure contributed to his development of Parkinson’s.  According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, “Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominately dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra.  Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. The progression of symptoms is often a bit different from one person to another due to the diversity of the disease. People with PD may experience:

  • Tremor, mainly at rest and described as pill rolling tremor in hands. Other forms of tremor are possible
  • Bradykinesia
  • Limb rigidity
  • Gait and balance problems

Paraquat is a herbicide used to eradicate weeds and grasses.  It has been available for use since the 1960’s.  Often used by professionals, Paraquat was often sprayed on farmland by airplane, by tractor mounted sprayers and by hand sprayers.

Paraquat can cause injury by ingestion, inhalation and through skin exposure.  It is known to cause injury to the heart, kidney, liver and lung.  A small sip of Paraquat can be fatal.

Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated that Paraquat exposure increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s and Parkinsonism.  The herbicide has been banned in many countries but is still in use in the United States as a restricted use pesticide.

Agricultural workers who were exposed to the herbicide paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease may have a claim for financial compensation.

The Holyfield’s are represented by Steve Crick, Kevin Stanley and Paul Anderson of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain and by John Heisserer at Rice, Spaeth, Summers & Heisserer.  For more information, call Steve Crick at 816-836-5050.

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