A toxic tort is a legal claim for harm caused by exposure to a dangerous substance. In a toxic tort claim, the plaintiff alleges that exposure to some dangerous substance caused an injury or illness. These claims are often brought on behalf of a group of people, in what is called a class action lawsuit. One example of a class action lawsuit is when a group of workers alleges exposure to asbestos while on the job. While class actions are common, a single individual may also bring a toxic tort lawsuit. Here’s what you need to do if you have been a victim of chemical exposure.
Those who are affected by toxic torts can usually recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. The major exception to the ability to recover through a civil lawsuit is when a worker is injured by a toxin at work. Although his or her employer may have been directly responsible for the exposure that occurred, work-related injuries are not handled through the civil tort system. Instead, all fifty states in the US have passed legislation that creates an exclusive remedy through the workers’ compensation system.
Assuming that you are legally eligible to file a lawsuit and you wish to make a claim against the party who is responsible for your chemical exposure, there are a few things you need to prove. For one, you must establish a legal duty and demonstrate that the legal duty was breached. Negligence is a common legal fault principle and will look at whether a reasonable party may have been more careful. Then you have to prove that the breach of duty caused you direct pain and suffering. This is often the most challenging aspect of any toxic tort claim.
Figuring out who to sue in a chemical exposure case is also tricky. Plaintiffs often don’t know who manufactured a dangerous product. For example, suppose a patient is taking a drug that is manufactured by several different pharmaceutical companies. If the patient develops cancer years later, it may be difficult to determine which company manufactured the particular drug that caused the patient pain and suffering.
If you have reason to believe that you have been a victim of chemical exposure, it is imperative that you take action and contact the law offices of Jacoby & Meyers today. Toxic tort claims are subject to the statute of limitations and if you wait to file, you could miss out entirely on due compensation.