In this modern day and age, chemicals and possibly harmful substances are everywhere - including the air we breathe. Science has revealed that these chemicals, while necessary for certain industries and products, have also have potential to do great detriment to our health and the health of our loved ones. Therefore, there are regulations that have been put in place to avoid overexposure to such products. Anyone who handles these substances has the responsibility to carefully and cautiously comply with those standards so that the public's health is not put at risk. If they fail to do so because of negligence or carelessness, they may be liable for any injuries that resulted from their actions.
This area of personal injury law is known as toxic tort law, reserved specifically to injury cases involving exposure to poisonous or toxic substances. In a claim of toxic tort, the plaintiff will attempt to prove through legal theories such as negligence and strict liability that the defendant had a duty to protect them from chemical contamination but failed that duty, causing their injuries. There are three main types of toxic tort claims:
Home-Related Toxic Torts:
Any claim of chemical exposure that originated in private residence is considered a home-related toxic tort. These claims include mold contamination, exposure to asbestos and injuries due to the use of harmful building supplies and chemicals. Potential culprits for chemical exposure at home include landlords, contractors and manufacturers of home building supplies. If a real-estate agent sells or rents a contaminated home, either knowingly or negligently, they can also be held liable for the injuries because they should have reasonably have known about and protected their clients from the danger.
Occupational Toxic Torts:
Under the regulations set in place by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, employers are required to provide their workers with a safe work environment and safe tools to complete their tasks. In spite of these efforts to promote safe industries, workers are still exposed to toxins such as pesticides, asbestos and benzene. A toxic tort claim involving exposure at one's worksite, the employer is not the only object of scrutiny as to fault for the injuries. Other possible at-fault parties may include manufacturers of equipment that was either made with harmful chemicals or were defectively manufactured to leak chemical toxins and owners of toxin-ridden buildings where people work.
Pharmaceutical Toxic Torts:
Another common type of toxic tort involve prescription drugs that cause unnecessary health complications. Much like a product liability claim for a defective drug, these claims involve patients who were prescribed a medication that had unforeseen or unadvertised health risks. Many pharmaceutical toxic torts involve many injured plaintiffs who come together against the manufacturer of the drug to file a class-action lawsuit for the damages.
Chemical exposure to harmful substances in any setting can lead to detrimental injuries. The most common chemicals involved with toxic tort have been known to cause brain injuries and even increase the chances of developing cancer. Birth injuries and developmental complications have been found in young children who grew up near contaminated air, soil and water and workers in industries that involve asbestos and benzene significantly more likely to contract fatal cancer and disease than others.
If you or someone you know has injuries that are connected to exposure to chemicals and toxins, you may have grounds to file a claim for compensation. Toxic torts are notoriously complicated and require several elements of proof for success. Therefore, it is impertinent that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney in San Fernando Valley about your situation in order to determine how you should proceed.
At The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus, we understand the dangers associated with exposure to chemicals. As a victim, you have no way of knowing that you are being exposed and no way of successfully avoiding toxicity. We want to help you determine who is responsible for causing you harm and recover compensation for your injuries from them. Contact a San Fernando Valley personal injury attorney from our firm to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help you.