In recent years the public has become more educated about the chemicals in their food, products, and environment. With that education has come a greater awareness of how reckless some chemical corporations are when bringing new products to the market.

While pharmaceutical drugs undergo clinical trials on humans to ensure some level of safety, the same tests are not conducted prior to a new pesticide going to market. This can allow corporations to hide behind dangerous products for years while innocent consumers become sick.

The Ferraro Law Firm has seen this story play out too many times. In the 1990s, we fought against DuPont for selling a fungicide that caused a baby to be born without eyes and now today our toxic tort lawyers are representing agricultural workers who have developed Parkinson’s disease after using paraquat-containing weed killers. Below we explain what we have learned from litigating against some of the most powerful corporations in the world, and why only a few law firms are qualified to tackle these complex cases.

Why Are Dangerous Chemicals Approved in the U.S.?

Some Americans believe that regulations and oversight from agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prevent companies from selling dangerous products. However, these agencies are often slow to respond and in some cases are under the influence of the very corporations they are supposed to govern.

Agencies like the EPA often employ former corporate executives who frequently return to the corporation after their time at the EPA is done. This long-standing problem is referred to as the “revolving door.” In April of 2021, whistleblowers at the EPA claimed that this revolving door was partially to blame for the agency falsifying chemical risk assessments in order to help corporations sell their products faster.

Paraquat is just one example of harmful chemicals that have stayed on the market despite scientific research showing how dangerous they are. Earlier this year, the EPA reapproved paraquat despite more than a decade of research showing that it can cause Parkinson’s disease.

Why Litigation Is Key to Ensuring Safer Chemical Products

With the level of influence large chemical corporations have, it often requires litigation to pressure corporations to do the right thing and protect consumers. But standing up to these multi-billion dollar corporations is no easy feat. Few law firms can successfully resolve environmental toxic tort cases as they require an extensive amount of investigative work, collaboration with expert witnesses, and the resources to continue fighting over a long period of time. The Ferraro Law Firm can successfully handle environmental toxic tort cases, and we have.

Our law firm has multiple history-making verdicts and settlements to our name. Below, we’ve gathered the lessons learned during our litigation against DuPont over a dangerous fungicide.

Castillo v. DuPont: Lessons Learned

In the 1990s, a pregnant Donna Castillo was at a local farm when her life turned upside down. A tractor that was spraying a fungicide on nearby crops came too close to her and doused her in the chemical. The effects of that day weren’t felt until she later gave birth to her son, Johnny Castillo, and it was discovered that he was born with a condition known as microphthalmia (when a baby is born with tissue where the eyes should be).

When the Castillos learned that there were other mothers in agricultural areas giving birth to babies without eyes, they decided to seek justice against the manufacturer of the fungicide that altered their lives forever: DuPont.

James Ferraro, Sr., founder of The Ferraro Law Firm, represented the Castillos and obtained the first jury verdict against a chemical corporation for causing birth defects. The verdict, which totaled $4 million, allowed the Castillos to send Johnny to a school for the blind and pay for therapy and special devices that would make his life more comfortable.

What to Look For in a Toxic Tort Law Firm?

If you or a loved one were injured or became ill due to a dangerous chemical, you should consider the following when hiring a law firm.

1. Financial Resources

It took 10 years to resolve Castillo v. DuPont. With time comes money. If you want to pursue compensation from a large chemical corporation, you need to work with a law firm that has the financial resources to pay for investigators, expert witnesses, and legal staff over what could potentially be a long case.

2. Determination

Since the Big Chemical industry has so much money and influence, many lawyers won’t even attempt to stand up to them, thinking it would be folly to even try.

When Castillo v. DuPont was first presented to James Ferraro, he thought the case was “unwinnable.” However, when he learned that clusters of kids were being born without eyes in places like Fife, Scotland where carbendazim (a chemical similar to DuPont’s benomyl), he thought he had to try. The case quickly turned into what he called a “real-life David-and-Goliath battle.”

3. Trial Skills

Financial resources and a good heart aren’t enough to win cases. Chemical corporations have large, talented legal defense teams who can be ruthless in the courtroom. To stand a chance, you need a lawyer that has the trial skills to anticipate the other side’s arguments and next moves and expertly defeat them.

When vetting the skills of a toxic tort lawyer, don’t just trust what your lawyer tells you. Look at their previous record. In addition to our verdict against DuPont, The Ferraro Law Firm has secured some of the largest asbestos and mesothelioma verdicts in history. Our trial lawyers know exactly what it takes to win a case against a large corporation.

The Ferraro Law Firm Can Fight on Your Behalf

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after using an herbicide that contains paraquat, or if you were similarly injured or became ill after using another weed killer or other chemical product, you may be able to hold the manufacturer financially accountable. To get started, schedule a free legal consultation with The Ferraro Law Firm to see if you may have a case. If you qualify, our toxic tort lawyers will fight aggressively on your behalf to see that justice is served.

  • How Can a Toxic Tort Lawyer Help Me?
  • Why File a Toxic Tort Lawsuit?
  • What Should I Look For When Hiring a Toxic Tort Law Firm?