The Basics of Toxic Tort Litigation
Each and every day, thousands of new products are introduced to the market throughout the world. When used correctly, these new products are helpful and/or enjoyable. Although, sometimes a new product will cause serious illness or injuries. When dangerous substances, such as chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs hurt people, a legal claim known as a toxic tort can be used to fight hazardous products and manufacturers.
Toxic and dangerous substances can harm people in many ways. They can injure people through prolonged exposure to a product, or the manufacturing process, itself, can be harmful to people. Chemicals used in manufacturing that were thought to be safe can later be discovered to cause harm, and chemicals can also leak out of the production plant into the surrounding air and nearby water. Many innocent people are hurt or even die from dangerous products and production in this manner. When injuries of this nature occur, the victims can initiate toxic tort litigation.
Filing A Toxic Tort Claim
The plaintiffs in a toxic tort claim allege that exposure to a dangerous substance resulted in their illness and/or injury. Toxic tort claims can be filed on behalf of an individual, however, they often seek compensation for a group of people, which is referred to as a class action lawsuit. There are numerous scenarios that can warrant a toxic tort claim; however, these are the most common:
- Consumer products – plaintiffs are harmed by a product, such as a pesticide.
- Home exposure – occupants of a house or apartment are exposed to a substance in the building, such as the black mold claims.
- Occupational exposure – workers injured on the job. Industrial workers can be injured through exposure to either high levels of toxins over a short period of time or lower levels over a long term. There have been toxic tort claims alleging exposure to asbestos and benzene on the job.
- Pharmaceutical drugs – undisclosed side effects can occur and harm users. Prozac has had a toxic tort claim filed against it.
The burden of proof is on the plaintiffs in a toxic tort case. Through providing a preponderance of evidence, the plaintiffs must prove:
- The substance in question was dangerous - strong scientific studies must prove that substance caused disease or injury.
- Plaintiffs were exposed to the substance through the fault of the defendant - This can be difficult to prove as documents and facilities get destroyed and witnesses forget over time.
- Plaintiffs were harmed by exposure to the toxic substance - Intervening or contributing factors must be ruled out or quantified, such as plaintiff’s potential exposure to other chemicals.
High Cost Of Toxic Tort Claims
Toxic tort claims can be very costly to prove for the plaintiffs because of the significant research and expert testimony required. Due to these expenses and a large number of plaintiffs, toxic tort cases typically seek a large sum of money, which means that only fairly wealthy defendants such as large manufacturers and corporations are usually sued. Since these companies have a lot to lose in the public eye, they will mount a very aggressive defense. They will spare no expense in acquiring high-priced attorneys as well as their own expert researchers to poke holes in the plaintiffs’ testimony and scientific evidence. Defendants might also attempt to have the case dismissed on procedural grounds, such as whether the claim was filed before the statute of limitations expired.
We Can Handle Your Case And The Costs
You should never be afraid to mount a legal fight against a large company that made you sick or caused you injury just because they have great wealth. The attorneys at Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys can help you stand up to them. We have the knowledge as well as the assets necessary to take them on in court. We've helped many people who have been harmed by substances in gaining financial compensation from those responsible for the harmful exposure. Although nothing can bring loved ones back or erase the pain of the illnesses and injuries associated with toxic exposure, we will fight to ensure you are compensated for the pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical bills, and other damages caused by toxic substance exposure.
Contact Joe and Martin
If you or someone you know has injured or made sick by toxic exposure at home, on the job, or by a product, contact Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys today at (843) 357-8888, or fill out our online contact form. Our legal team is standing by to answer all your questions and evaluate your claim in a FREE consultation.