At Nanato Media, we pay particular attention to mass torts, and we always keep an eye on new opportunities. While there are certain risks that attorneys have to evaluate before getting evolved, these cases can represent some of the highest-yielding ROI opportunities. As we’ve previously said in another article, people sometimes compare mass torts to the stock market. However, if you get involved (after careful research and consideration) with the right tort at the right time, the odds are on your side.

Earlier this year, we created an article on the Top Mass Torts To Follow In 2021, which went over the most recent torts at the time, their potential, and the latest updates. We did the same in 2020, even singling out the specific tort, Talcum powder. In a separate article, we went over the opportunities for law firms, the ways to get involved, and actionable tips on how to make a 360-degree strategy that can get you to the top. This year, we’ve continued following all relevant torts. We picked Paraquat as the most significant opportunity for law firms to get into mass torts, primarily through their Hispanic communities. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of Paraquat. We’ll look into news/updates and search volumes, and we’ll come up with actionable tips on how to get started with a marketing strategy for Paraquat cases.

  • What is Paraquat, and what makes it a potentially viable Mass Tort?

Paraquat (Dichloride) is an agricultural and commercial-only herbicide and is among the US’s most well-known and used ones. It’s important to mention that there are no domestic uses for Paraquat. It’s mainly used to disinfect sensitive crops and control weeds for agricultural and industrial purposes. Its commercial nature makes it a product that comes with “proof of use” for most of the professionals who’ve been using it, and specific protocols and measures have to be followed when applying it. Due to its high toxicity, Paraquat has been in the spotlight, and in 2016 EPA introduced new regulations and safety measures/precautions that would help minimize accidents and poisoning among those who were mixing or using it.

The vast majority of questions and the first wave of Paraquat cases started to rise after October 2020. This is because at this time, the EPA proceeded to its regulatory interim for the popular herbicide. What’s under review right now is if Paraquat should retain its commercial use or if there should be further restrictions and limitations due to the risks involved in its use. Those risks concern personal and ecological health (to other mammals, birds, and plants), causing health organizations weigh their options. Based on these developments, and because Paraquat’s high toxicity is associated with ingestion-related deaths and Parkinson’s disease,  several lawsuits have emerged from people claiming to be harmed.

Fact:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has stated that “one sip can kill.” Over thirty countries, including the EU, have banned the herbicide.

Paraquat’s non-domestic usage, its strict correlation with commercial/agricultural use, and all the latest research, studies, and developments have raised a lot of questions for the herbicide and the threats it brings. One of the most critical points of consideration is the ability to prove usage since the protocols require specific measures & precautions, and every application comes with commercial receipts. What’s even more noteworthy here is that despite all the known toxicities and potential harms to humans and nature, the herbicide producers seem to have failed to warn about possible links with Parkinson’s disease. A couple of years ago (2019), the EPA reviewed some initial research and ruled them insufficient, but things seem to have shifted and additional attention has been raised.

  • What steps can you take to get started with Paraquat, and what are the most suitable marketing strategies?

As we’ve already explained earlier in this article, Paraquat is still in its very early stages. We have to mention that there are no settlements or jury verdicts as of this time, and investigators/lawyers are still gathering information and waiting for new evidence and research to emerge. These factors may create some levels of uncertainty, however, this would be true of any mass tort in such early stages. Conversely, getting in early also means opportunities for excellent conversions and a fantastic ROI if things move forward. Our point of view is that attorneys should make an informed decision if they decide to move forward. Understand the risks and consider the Paraquat tort as an investment in its early stages that needs to be treated with the proper care and dynamics.

As a matter of fact, we are already working with law firms that want to get involved in the early stages of this particular mass tort journey. The first two points that we raised are:

  1. You need to begin with awareness campaigns.
  2. You need to capture the interest of your local Hispanic communities.
  • How would you go for awareness if your law firm decided to catch the Paraquat Tort wave?

1. Our first tip would be to look into TV. If you follow our blog, you know that we don’t always hold TV ads in high regard, as it can require a long-time commitment, efforts in production, and a significant monetary investment. Still, it can be a great supplement to a suitable ally that helps you kickstart your campaigns. Getting on TV, especially on Spanish networks, can create the necessary awareness in people affected by Paraquat who don’t know it yet. TV ads can move them to the awareness stage and potentially inspire them to start researching on what to do next.

2. The second step would be to utilize social media networks, such as Facebook and Instagram. Either through your law firm’s organic posts or paid ads, you can target people based on demographics and interests. Despite the latest privacy updates that iOS 14.5 is bringing, US Hispanics mainly use Android devices which allows for better targeting through custom audiences. Through your social media campaigns, you can further raise awareness. At the same time, you can collect and track information while also creating opportunities to gather leads from people that want to learn more from a professional like you.

3. Simultaneously, you can also start investing in the Google display network and YouTube. The display network can be your ally in remarketing to and retargeting people that interacted with your website or other owned assets. If, for example, searchers see your TV ad or social media post and get on your website to learn more but don’t convert, you’ll be able to get in front of them on websites they browse in the future, reminding them of their potential case with Paraquat. Similarly, YouTube can help you gather additional awareness by showing in-stream or bumper ads that prompt viewers to learn more or even fill out lead capture forms without leaving the video platform.

4. Last but not least comes the Google Search Network. Google Ads are what we consider the gold standard for law firms that want to stay profitable in the long run, sign new cases, and increase their caseload. Paraquat is still at its early stages, meaning that intent and search volumes are being created right now. On the one hand, that means that we don’t see hundreds of thousands of queries each month. On the other hand, we also don’t come across CPCs that remind us of Personal Injury campaigns in markets like LA or NY. Interest has been growing since November, and so search volumes have followed. As you can see on the graph below, in November, there were practically no queries. December and January signaled an early kick-off in interest with the first couple of hundred monthly searches. Since then, it has only gone up, standing at almost 5k related, high-intent queries. All these data and facts lead us to believe that an “early adopter” status and an investment in creating the necessary awareness and interest can help you catch the wave and aim for an impressive ROI if things move forward.

What are our top takeaways for the emerging Paraquat tort?

  • The Paraquat Mass Tort is still in its early stages, with researchers investigating the extent of the damages it is allegedly causing and the herbicide’s connection with Parkinson’s disease.
  • The EPA seems to be paying particular attention to Paraquat, and evolutions in third countries and the EU can signal progress. Still, we don’t have any settlements or verdicts, but we keep our ears and eyes open for any update.
  • Raising awareness, especially to the US Hispanic population (that could be people working with Paraquat for years, if not decades), must be your priority if you want to get involved. Educating your audiences and them moving them to the research stage can get your law firm valuable leads that will enhance the Mass Tort’s status and empower people who are affected and in need of legal and medical help.