Imagine if a population had been unknowingly exposed to harmful chemicals for years on end without any knowledge of what was happening. What legal recourse would be available to them to try to reclaim some semblance of their quality of life, or account for the steep medical bills they may suddenly incur?
Fortunately, toxic tort litigation can help these people through incredibly trying times. Toxic tort litigation focuses on the social wrongs committed when a person or people are injured because of exposure to a toxic substance. Common examples include pesticides, noxious chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Individuals often don’t know the danger they’ve been subjected to until many years after the fact, when a serious illness has developed and begun to show itself.
In a toxic tort, the plaintiff has the responsibility of proving that they were exposed to a dangerous substance and that there’s a causal relationship with the injuries they’ve suffered as a result of that exposure. Proving causality is one of the most difficult things for a plaintiff to do.
Plaintiffs may make a toxic tort claim based on a company’s negligence, fraud, and liability.
Negligent claims are based on a plaintiff alleging that a defendant exposed them to a toxic substance. These cases focus on the defendant’s failure to properly warn or investigate the dangers of its product and the harm it could inflict on unsuspecting consumers.
Toxic tort claims of fraudulence are based on a company knowing a substance was dangerous, then either concealing that information or misleading the public with its marketing. These claims frequently involve state and federal statutes that provide a baseline of corporate accountability.
A large number of toxic substances have been – and are – much more common than many people know. Asbestos is just one example of a product that tens of thousands of people once interacted with on a daily basis. But now, even after more than 40 years of regulation, it’s associated with an extremely high risk of mesothelioma, and more cases of the lung disease are diagnosed every single day.
Other instances of unregulated substances have presented similar dangers. At a Pennsylvania Naval base for example, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) may have contaminated the water supply for military personnel and citizens of surrounding towns, causing unknown blood-clotting disorders, cancer, and other related medical complications. Once PFOA and PFOS were determined to be carcinogenic, the Navy base had little to offer the public to reassure them over their health concerns.
If you suspect you have been exposed to a dangerous pesticide, chemical, or pharmaceutical, consult with your medical professional immediately to learn about your healthcare treatment options. Illnesses can progress quickly and carry life-altering effects. Our attorneys are also here to discuss your concerns and any avenues you might have for compensation for your injuries and the harms suffered by you and/or your family.