My father was a welding supply salesman, and now has Parkinson’s. How can I prove the connection?

Welding Supply Parkinsons Connection Drug Toxic Chemicals

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My father was a welding supply salesman, and now has Parkinson’s. How can I prove the connection?

If your father, in his work as a welding supply salesman, would have come in contact with manganese fumes, there may be a causal connection between his job and his current diagnosis of Parkinson’s. However, this will be extremely difficult to prove. Parkinson’s disease has many possible causes, not all of which are known, and exposure to the manganese in welding rods is not necessarily accepted as the most likely cause. If you have any chance of prevailing in this type of claim, you will need to work closely with an attorney who has significant experience with welding rod injury cases.

Your attorney will want to talk to your father to find out if he actually ever did any welding, such as while demonstrating the products he was selling, or if he spent significant time in the shops where the supplies were being used rather than in the office area of his customers. Mere contact with unheated welding rods has never been linked to Parkinson’s disease, so significant exposure to heated welding rods will need to be shown. Your attorney may also want to try and find others who sold the same welding supplies to see if they are also suffering from Parkinson’s to try and link this for your father.

If your attorney can find a strong enough link to warrant bringing a case, he or she will also determine who, exactly, should be sued. Your father’s employer may be sued if it did nothing to reduce your father’s exposure to welding rod fumes. However, it would need to be shown that your father’s employer required that he demonstrate the products or that he spend significant amounts of time in welding shops while welding was going on and that his employer did nothing to protect him from the gases created by heated welding rods. This will probably be extremely difficult to prove.

Another possible party to be sued may be the manufacturers of the welding equipment that your father was selling. This type of case would be based on a theory of strict product liability – that the manufacturer was creating an unreasonably dangerous product that injured your father.

In either situation, the case will involve a battle of experts – your attorney will call experts to try and link your father’s Parkinson’s problems with his prior job as a welding supply salesman while the defendants will bring in their own experts to testify that there is no link or that any link is so tenuous as to not be enough to hold anyone liable. You will have the burden of proving the link, however, and since this link is not easily proven even when there has been significant direct contact with heated welding rods, your attorney may advise you that you do not have a case. However, you should discuss your father’s situation with an attorney before making any decisions. You can have an experienced lawyer contact you directly with a free assessment of your case by completing FreeAdvice’s case evaluation form.

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