Multiple studies have linked chlorpyrifos to brain damage in developing fetuses. You might be eligible for compensation if you suffered prolonged chlorpyrifos exposure and eventually gave birth to a child with birth defects. A chlorpyrifos birth injury lawyer can investigate your claim and obtain enough evidence to prove it. You are more likely to recover reasonable compensation if you work with a lawyer than on your own.
Chlorpyrifos is a toxic organophosphate insecticide that has been widely used to kill bugs that invade various crops, including oranges, alfalfa, and walnuts. This chemical substance breaks down into oxen inside the human body. Oxon is a much more hazardous compound compared to its basic form.
What Is Chlorpyrifos?
Chlorpyrifos is a popular organophosphate insecticide. It has been widely used to control destructive pests and insects on high-value crops and soil. It’s highly effective against invasive pests like worms, weevils, and aphids and public health pests like mosquitos. Chlorpyrifos has been sprayed on food crops, industrial plants, and non-structural wood treatments like utility poles, fence posts, and processed wood products.
Chlorpyrifos has been sprayed on food crops throughout the United States since the 1960s. These food crops include, but are not limited to, apples, corn, alfalfa, broccoli, soybeans, walnuts, and wheat. It has also been applied on golf courses to maintain the health and picturesque appeal of the turf. The chemical was widely used in residential places until 2000 when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned it from household use.
Animal products like meat, milk, and eggs may contain chlorpyrifos residue, as the pesticide is sprayed on feed crops. Chlorpyrifos residue has been detected on many regularly consumed fruits, including melons, oranges, and citrus. It has also been detected in drinking water.
According to a CDC study, children carry nearly twice the chlorpyrifos levels in their bodies compared to adults. The possible explanation for this significant difference in chlorpyrifos levels between children and adults is that children insert their hands or fingers in their mouths more often. They also consume more fruits and take more water for their weight compared to adults.
EPA published a revised chlorpyrifos human health risk assessment report in 2016. The report found that chlorpyrifos had no safe uses. The agency banned chlorpyrifos from agricultural use in August 2021. It also announced that non-agricultural uses of the pesticide, including management of mosquitoes, will be under review in 2022.
Did Chlorpyrifos Cause Birth Defects?
Multiple studies have established a link between prolonged chlorpyrifos exposure and some birth defects. Exposure to this toxic pesticide during pregnancy can damage or alter the brain of a developing fetus.
Pregnant women can get exposed to chlorpyrifos through consumption, inhalation, or skin contact. They can then pass the toxic chemical to the developing fetus. Expectant mothers working on agricultural fields where the pesticide is sprayed or residing near those fields are at a greater risk of chlorpyrifos exposure.
Birth defects associated with chlorpyrifos include:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Intelligence deficiencies
- Cognitive impairments interfering with memory, concentration, and motor abilities
- Down syndrome
- Severe developmental disorders
Get a chlorpyrifos birth injury lawyer involved if you suspect your child might have developed birth defects due to your chlorpyrifos exposure during pregnancy. You might have grounds to recover damages from the chlorpyrifos manufacturer through a product liability claim.
You might also have grounds to sue your doctor for failing to detect symptoms of chlorpyrifos-related complications while you were pregnant. Failure to make a correct diagnosis is one of the most common and deadly types of medical malpractice.
Failing to diagnose health problems or complications during pregnancy can harm both the would-be mother and the developing fetus. An undetected or untreated placental infection, for instance, can cause an infant’s oxygen deprivation at birth.
How a Chlorpyrifos Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help You Recover Compensation
Investigate the Birth Injuries Your Child Suffered
Your lawyer will investigate the type of birth injuries that your child developed. This investigation might involve gathering as much information as possible from you. It might also involve obtaining and reviewing your child’s medical records. The lawyer will then determine if a direct link exists between your chlorpyrifos exposure during pregnancy and your child’s birth injuries. Of course, the input of expert witnesses will be crucial in proving this link.
Determine the Long-Term Impact of the Birth Defects on Your Child
A chlorpyrifos birth injury lawyer can also assess the long-term effect of the birth injuries on your child. Perhaps the child will require expensive treatments and surgical procedures. Maybe the child will need assistance with the activities of daily living. You could recover substantial compensation if your child is likely to suffer long-term consequences from the birth injuries.
Determine How Much Your Chlorpyrifos Birth Injury Claim Is Worth
A lawyer will help you calculate the total recoverable damages in your birth injury claim. Damages usually include quantifiable financial losses such as past and future medical expenses, therapy costs, long-term care costs, and costs of assistive devices. They also include subjective, non-financial losses such as pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Help You Avoid Costly Mistakes
An insurance company or its adjuster may contact you immediately after finding out that you are planning to file a birth injury claim. An adjuster might call you and ask for specific details about your case. The adjuster might pretend to care about your situation and promise to help hasten the claims process if you provide a recorded statement.
The adjuster might also ask you to sign HIPAA authorization forms, claiming that your child’s medical records are required to confirm the injuries. In reality, the adjuster will use the recorded statement and medical records to discredit your child’s injuries.
Your lawyer can walk you through all the possible mistakes that could weaken your claim or hurt your chances of recovering damages. The lawyer will discourage you from recording any statement or signing any forms from the insurance company or its adjusters. Letting your lawyer handle all communications with the insurance company or adjuster can help avoid costly mistakes.
Your lawyer can also help prepare your case paperwork. The lawyer will submit all the required documents and file the claim within your state’s statute of limitations.
Assemble All the Available Evidence
A birth injury lawyer will help you compile all the evidence required to support your claim. Pictures or videos, witness statements, and medical records and documentation are some crucial forms of evidence in a chlorpyrifos birth injury case. The lawyer may also bring in an expert witness to testify in your favor. The expert witness will explain how chlorpyrifos exposure altered the development of your child’s brain.
Negotiate a Reasonable Settlement with the Insurer
The insurance company of the chlorpyrifos manufacturer may want to settle the matter out of court. The company may send a low settlement offer and try to convince you to accept it. Negotiating with the insurance company on your own when you are caring for a child with birth defects and facing financial constraints can be challenging.
A lawyer with many years of resolving birth injury cases can negotiate with the insurer on your behalf. The lawyer knows what evidence can compel the insurer to offer a fair settlement amount. The lawyer also understands how to counter the tricks and arguments that insurance companies often use to lowball injured parties.
Level the Playing Field
The liable party’s insurance company will have a team of skilled defense attorneys. It will also have enough resources to gather evidence to disprove or devalue your claim. Having a birth injury lawyer in your corner can help level the playing field and improve your likelihood of recovering compensation. A lawyer with sufficient resources and a competent workforce can conduct a comprehensive investigation and build a strong claim.
Who Are the Liable Parties in Chlorpyrifos Lawsuits?
Corteva (Lorsban), the chlorpyrifos manufacturer, is the main liable party in chlorpyrifos lawsuits. Besides the manufacturer, plaintiffs have also listed municipalities in chlorpyrifos lawsuits. The plaintiffs claim municipalities failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the toxic pesticide from contaminating the water supply.
As previously mentioned, medical professionals can also be potentially liable for failing to diagnose pregnant women with chlorpyrifos-related medical conditions and treat them on time. The knowledge and skills of a birth injury lawyer are crucial in proving the medical provider’s negligence in a chlorpyrifos lawsuit.