Have you been exposed to a toxic substance at work that resulted in damages or loss of income? Or perhaps took prescription drugs with insufficient warnings about potential side effects and suffered harm from it? You can file a toxic tort claim!
Exposure to harmful substances, especially at work, violates the right of every individual to work and live in a safe environment. Toxic tort cases seek justice for victims who have suffered harm due to contact with hazardous materials, chemicals, and other items.
Toxic tort cases are relatively unique among personal injury cases and often involve a complex interplay of medicine, science, and law. This article will explain everything you need to know about toxic tort. Let’s dive in!
What Is Toxic Tort?
A tort is a civil wrong that causes a person to suffer injury or loss, resulting in legal liability for the party responsible for the tortious act. A person who has been injured is entitled to be put in the position they were before the tortious act—often by financial compensation.
A “toxic tort,” therefore, is a tort caused by toxic substances.
Considering the variety of chemicals and dangerous substances an average person comes in contact with each day, the list of harmful materials that can lead to a toxic tort is almost endless. But the majority of exposure comes from:
- The workplace
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- The environment
- Consumer products
Toxic tort cases often result from negligence. For example, manufacturers of dangerous chemicals are duty-bound to warn customers of the potential dangers of using their products. If a manufacturer fails to provide warnings on their product packaging, and you used the product and were harmed, you could sue the manufacturer for toxic tort.
Examples Of Toxic Torts
As mentioned earlier, you can be exposed to toxic substances at home, at work, or even in an environment where dangerous toxins can be in the air or water. For example, potentially toxic substances can be found in mold, wood, paint, or even chemically-treated carpets at home.
One real example of a toxic tort case involved Erin Brockovich, a lawyer who helped build a toxic tort case against Pacific Gas & Electric Inc—a utility company based in California. In her research, Erin found that the company had been poisoning the town of Hinkley, California’s water supply with chromium-6 for nearly 30 years.
As a result of Erin’s work, Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation was forced to pay a toxic tort settlement of $333 million, making it one of the biggest settlements in US history.
How To Raise A Toxic Tort Case
If you have suffered an injury at work or home due to exposure to toxic substances in products, food, water, or even in the air, you can file a toxic tort case against the company responsible. However, to win a toxic tort case, you’ll need substantial proof that:
- The substance was dangerous
- You were exposed to the substance
- The exposure was a result of negligence on the part of the defendant
- The exposure caused you losses or was harmful to your health
Proving A Toxic Tort Claim Isn’t Easy
Toxic tort cases are usually hard to prove liability because often many parties are at fault, and any legal claim must consider all avenues for potential liability. Moreover, they may involve a lot of expert opinions, including doctors and environmentalists.
That said, if you’ve been exposed to toxic substances, the first thing you should do is to contact a doctor immediately.
After consulting with your doctor, hire an attorney or a law firm, like Strom Law Firm, that has access to top environmental, chemical, and hazardous waste experts to handle your case. An experienced attorney will have the chops to prove liability even in the most complex cases and secure you a fair settlement.
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