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Toxic Tort and Chemical Exposure

Toxic Tort and Chemical Exposure Lawsuits

Exposure to chemicals causing life-altering injuries can happen on the job site without warning. A toxic tort and chemical exposure lawsuit can assist with medical bills but, as safety advocates, our intent is to warn the public before exposure happens, and we hope you will assist us in these efforts.

Quite often, exposure to chemicals happens in the workplace and individuals are unaware of the dangers and risk. It is critical that workers make their best effort to understand the chemicals in the workplace in order to take the precautions necessary to protect yourself and your family.

How Does Toxic Exposure Occur?

Most commonly, exposure and resulting injuries occur when a worker inhales chemical fumes or absorbs chemicals through the skin. While a single incident of exposure is usuallynon-threateningg, prolonged exposure to chemicals can cause serious injuries.

Exposure is not limited to the workplace. Individuals can also be exposed to dangerous chemicals in their own neighborhood or even at their home without even knowing.

Common Types of Chemical Exposure

At TorHoerman Law, we handle a wide variety of toxic exposure cases.
While we are not limited to these, our most common cases include:

Asbestos

The use of asbestos dates back more than 4,000 years ago but became more prevalent when manufacturers discovered its heat resistance and strength at the end of the 19th century. Asbestos use grew through most of the 20th century until the growing concern of asbestos-related diseases forced asbestos to be restricted and phased out.

Prolonged inhalation of asbestos can cause serious and fatal diseases including lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. According to the Environmental Working Group Action Fund, 10,000 people die each year from Asbestos-caused diseases in the United States.

Asbestos litigation continues to be filed on behalf of individuals who worked with asbestos and were not protected from the known risk of lung disease.

Pesticides and Herbicides

Chemicals used to kill weeds in our crops and insects in our homes and on our food products have been linked to serious side effects such as cancer and neurodevelopment in children.

The term pesticide, herbicide and insecticide are often used interchangeably, but have distinct functions and meanings specific to the target that they aim to control or kill.

Insecticides are a type of pesticide that are used to prevent or kill insect infestations that destroy crops and plants. Herbicides are a type of pesticide used to eliminate plants and weeds. Herbicides can be selective – destroying only specific types of plants – or they can be nonselective – destroying any plant that they come into contact with.

Currently lawsuits are being filed against Monsanto for cancers believed to be caused by Roundup, their top selling herbicide that is made with glyphosate. Every year, farmers spray, on average, almost a pound of Roundup on every acre of cropland in the U.S. Roundup Lawsuits claim that Monsanto has known for more than 30 years that there is a link between the use of Roundup and cancer, yet failed to warn the public of the dangers.

Diacetyl and Dangerous Flavoring Chemicals

Chemicals use in Food Production – Chemicals such as Diacetyl and other substitutes are used to produce butter-like flavoring in foods and have been the subject of “popcorn lung” lawsuits for years.

Diacetyl is a highly toxic chemical compound that is very dangerous to the people who work with it on a job site. Diacetyl exposure can cause a permanent, servers and potentially lethal lung disease referred to as “popcorn lung” after the widely reported diseases found in workers in the popcorn industry. This highly toxic chemical is used as a buttery flavored additive and therefore found in coffee roasting plants, bakeries, animal feed plants, tortilla factories, bakeries, candy factories and other flavoring manufacturing plants.

Diacetyl lawsuits continue to be filed on behalf of factory workers diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, or diacetyl-induced lung disease.

Water, Air, and Soil Contamination

Unfortunately, most people are exposed to at least some level of water, air, or soil contamination in or around their home or neighborhood. There are a number of different reasons why these contaminations occur. It could be anything from self-inflicted exposure (not properly storing chemicals, etc.), a lack of local infrastructure (bad public water filtration systems, lack of landfills, etc.), or private business negligence (dumping trash, releasing toxic fumes, etc.).

Common effects of water, soil, and air contamination include:

Metal Poisoning

Also referred to as “heavy metal toxicity”, exposure to metals like lead (e.g. paint chips), mercury (e.g. Amalgam Fillings), arsenic, cadmium and manganese can cause serious side effects.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Generally, carbon monoxide poisoning happens at home and it is a common occurrence. Exposure typically comes from kerosene space heaters, charcoal grills, gas water heaters, propane heaters and stoves, boats, spray paint, solvents and paint removers. A tenant who has been injured by carbon monoxide poisoning may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuits against his or her landlord in some instances. Personal injury lawsuits against landlords is dependent upon state law. Carbon monoxide poisoning lawsuits against apartment complexes and management companies that don’t care for old furnaces can result in large civil judgments.

What is a Chemical Exposure Lawsuit?

A person who suffers a personal injury as a result of being exposed to a harmful chemical may file a toxic tort or chemical exposure lawsuit seeking compensation.

Chemical exposure lawsuits usually take two different forms: either as a worker’s compensation lawsuit or as a personal injury lawsuit.

More than likely, you will not be the only person injured by this chemical exposure. In order to prove that the chemicals did, in fact, cause your injuries, you will need to prove that other individuals suffered similar injuries. When a group of people suffer similar injuries from the same source, they usually file a mass tort lawsuit against the same defendant. So, if you file a claim for chemical exposure, you will most likely be asked to join a mass tort.

Mass tort lawsuits are essentially the same as individual lawsuits, but allow all cases to grouped together so that the attorneys and judge can address any common procedural issues initially, cutting time and costs for everyone involved.

When Should I File a Chemical Exposure Case?

If you have been exposed to a dangerous chemical and suffered any injuries, it is important that you contact an experienced toxic exposure attorney right away. The amount of time allotted to file a claim after an injury — known as the statute of limitations – differs by state. It is usually less than two years after you were first exposed to the chemical.

What Information Do I Need to File a Chemical Exposure Case?

You should be sure to keep as much information as possible for your toxic exposure lawyer to formulate a strong case for you. For a full description of evidentiary materials, refer to our evidence outline.

How Do I Choose a Chemical Exposure Lawyer?

Chemical exposure lawsuits are complex cases that require experience and extensive resources. It is less important that your chemical exposure lawyer live near you as it is important that your lawyer have experience in this area of law and the resources to represent you properly. Generally, these lawsuits are filed against large corporations that have access to highly paid defense attorneys that will make sure the corporation is well represented. You need an equal team working on your side. And, similar to every lawsuit, you need to be sure that your chemical exposure lawyer is easy to contact and keeps you up to date on the on-goings of your case.

Consider asking potential representatives the following questions before making any final decisions:

  • How much will your services cost?
  • How will I pay? Are there any upfront costs?
  • Do you offer contingency fees?
  • Are you experienced in chemical exposure lawsuits?
  • Will you be available to contact at my convenience?

Preferably, you want to find a chemical exposure lawyer who works on a contingency fee arrangement. A contingency fee arrangement means that your lawyer finances the case out of their own pocket. You only pay for their services after you have been awarded compensation for your injuries. Chemical exposure lawsuits.

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