What is a Toxic Tort?

Jun 18, 2020 | Asbestos, Business Fraud, Defective Pharmaceuticals, Toxic Exposure

In legal language, negligence, personal injury, malpractice, and similar claims fall under the umbrella of “tort law.” But have you ever heard of a “toxic tort?” If you live near an oil and gas or chemical facility, perhaps you should know more about this important cause of action.
Toxic Contamination
There is increasing concern about residents near oil and gas facilities developing cancer and respiratory problems. People living close to the facilities are 56% more likely to develop leukemia than those 10 miles away due to exposure to toxic substances. Children are especially suspectable to these risks.

Chemical exposure is a dangerous possibility to many, but it does not just originate from factories and refineries. In fact, the most common cases of toxic torts arise through occupational exposures, pharmaceutical drugs, exposure in the home, and consumer products.

Toxic Tort Cases
Personal injuries, illnesses, and, in worse cases, death caused by exposure to toxic substances, can be remediated through legal channels. Toxic tort lawsuits are claims that arise when someone is injured through the exposure to a toxin. Toxic substances include pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, chemicals, asbestos, hazardous waste, and more. People can be affected by these substances through ingestion, air pollution, or exposure to contaminated water.

Toxic tort litigation is brought on behalf of individuals or groups of people who have been exposed to and harmed by the dangerous substances. Harm is often caused by negligence based on conduct or failure to warn, or by knowingly fraudulent behavior on the part of the defending company. In these cases, the injured party or parties must prove the following:

  • the substance is dangerous,
  • the person injured was exposed to the substance, and
  • the substance caused actual harm to the person injured.

If these elements are present, victims can sue for medical expenses, wages, and pain and suffering.

Winning Toxic Tort Cases
Toxic tort lawsuits can be quite complex. For example, causation is very hard to prove in these cases because tracing the injury back to the chemical or substance that caused harm was well as the company that produced the chemical or substance exposure can be difficult to show with available evidence. Additionally, the onset of illness from exposure to dangerous chemicals or substances may take years. This time allows for inventing factors and competing causes of the illness to arise, making the plaintiff’s case harder to win.

If you or someone you love has been affected by toxic contamination, you may be entitled to recovery. However, these claims are seldom open-shut cases. Therefore it is especially important to have highly skilled and experience lawyers representing your rights. At Williams Hart, our attorneys are knowledgeable and tactful when it comes to litigating toxic torts as well as all other claims of negligence, strict liability, and fraud. Contact our office today to consult with a friendly and skilled lawyer who can help you understand the nature of your case and get the recovery you deserve. 

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