Toxic Tort Law
Injuries can happen in a variety of ways, from accidents, to intentional acts. And, perhaps surprisingly, one of the most unusual and unavoidable ways is being injured from your environment. Indeed, toxic torts are often unmentioned, but they do occur.
What Are They?
A tort occurs when someone performs a wrongful act, like an assault or robbery, on another person, who can then sue the tortfeasor in court to recover damages. Based on that, a toxic tort is just what it sounds like; a tort that occurs due to a toxin, a poison, which is introduced to the injured party. For example, if someone is injured from asbestos exposure, groundwater contamination, or pollution, this could be considered a toxic tort.
What Do The Cases Look Like?
Toxic tort cases are not easy. While no cases are guaranteed to win, these are particularly difficult to prove for a number of reasons. First, the cases generally involve multiple plaintiffs or defendants, depending on the harm. For example, if the drinking water is polluted, then a large group of people who drink the water would be harmed, and they could file together. Next, it is very hard to prove the required element of causation. While the plaintiffs may clearly be injured, and the water may clearly have something wrong with it, it is incredibly hard to prove that the water caused the illness. This gets even trickier over time, and almost all court cases take a lot of time. So, if your case gets to the discovery phase, it may be years after you filed and some evidence may have been lost or may no longer be available.
Toxic torts are not that common, but the discussion about what qualifies as toxic or harmful is still in full swing. Certain parties have been trying to pass a law for years that would make asbestos illegal in the country, which would in turn help plaintiffs suing for exposure. Just this year, the House of Representatives passed a bill that updates the asbestos law, increasing the safety testing requirements and removing some of the loopholes that allowed companies to hide the information that would betray asbestos. This bill, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, is a big step in the right direction for the health of the country and the legal system as a whole.
Reach Out to Us for Help
If any of this sounds familiar to you now or comes up in the future, contact us at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. We will talk to you about your case and discuss filing and what the damages may be.