Understanding Toxic Tort: An Overview From A Personal Injury Attorney
Written by Cooper and Friedman on August 27, 2018
Torts are civil wrongdoings that lead to personal injury. A toxic tort is a civil wrong doing that resulted in an injury because one was exposed to a toxic substance. Tort law is designed to
hold individuals and corporate industries responsible for the consequences of their actions whether intentional or not. The aftermath of exposure to a dangerous chemical or
substance is often widespread. Therefore, a civil lawsuit can be brought on by either an individual or a group in what is called a class action lawsuit. If someone is found liable, financial compensation could be rewarded for any pain, suffering, lost wages, or medical expenses incurred.
Common examples of instances where toxic tort has come into play include illness, injury, or death as a result of:
● Mold, lead, formaldehyde, or asbestos often found in building material within one’s home or work environment
● Pharmaceutical drugs that have not been properly tested
● Side effects that were not properly disclosed on prescription medications or tobacco
● Consumer contact with pesticides often used to kill bugs, rodents, and other pests
● Vietnam veterans who came into contact with agent orange during combat
● Contaminated soil, water, or air pollution via hazardous waste from a chemical dump site or landfill
While toxic tort cases cover a large variety of health conditions and diseases, a few common ones include:
- lung disease
- Hodgkin’s disease
- multiple myeloma
Those who manufactured or distributed a product could be held accountable for its harmful effects. The same can be said for those who owned the property where one came into contact with the contaminant. If the injury occurred because of hidden information, it may be considered an intentional toxic tort. Depending on state law, intentional toxic torts can be seen as a serious crime.
One of the most famous toxic tort cases, Erin Brockovich, was turned into a film starring Julia Roberts in 2000.
The real life legal case involved a law clerk (named Erin Brockovich) who helped build a case against a California utility company (Pacific Gas & Electric). The case, which focused on drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium, settled for $333 million. This is reported to be one of the biggest settlements in U.S. history ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit.
If you or someone you love needs legal help from an experienced tort lawyer in Kentucky or Southern, Indiana, Cooper and Friedman can help. The attorneys at Cooper & Friedman in Louisville, KY have over 50 years of combined experience getting compensation for personal injury cases including those involving tort laws. For more information, including a free case consultation with a tort attorney, call 502-459-7555.