Toxic tort litigation is a type of personal injury lawsuit where you sue an entity that exposed you to a harmful toxin or chemical. When you can prove that someoneexposed you to something that caused harm,you are entitled to compensation for that harm.
While any chemical exposure can give rise to a toxic tort case, certain types of toxins have a history of causing damage.Many of these toxins caused damage to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people.
Toxins Giving Rise to Toxic Tort Litigation
- Asbestos: Asbestos exposure causes
asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Many employees were exposed to asbestos fibers
during the 1960’s and 70’s before the dangers were known. This exposure has
given rise to numerous class action lawsuits.
- Toxic Mold: Certain types of mold can be lethal, especially for children,
asthmatics, and the elderly. Symptoms of mold exposure can range from cold-like
symptoms, such as a stuffy nose or watery eyes, to fever, shortness of breath
and chronic mold infections in the lungs.
- Lead Paint:Lead paint exposure is especially damaging to children. Exposure to lead paint can lower IQ and cause
learning disabilities, including Attention Deficit Disorder, and Hyperactive
- Toxic Wastes: Many famous toxic tort caseswere based onimproper
disposal of toxic wastes. Movies, including A Civil Action and Erin Brockovich,
turned toxic tort cases,based on waste dumping, into Hollywood motion pictures.
Love Canal is another
famous example of toxic waste exposure giving rise to lawsuits. Cancer, especially leukemia, is the most
common injury that arises from improper toxic waste disposal, but other
injuries may result as well.
- Pesticides/Herbicides: Pesticides are used to kill unwanted
pests like bugs and rodents. Herbicides are used to kill unwanted plants, like
weeds. Unfortunately, sometimes they also injure people as well. Agent Orange (an herbicide), dioxin and DDT
are examples of pesticides and herbicides that gave rise to toxic tort
litigation after they caused birth defects, disability and death.
If a drug company releases a drug without proper testing, or if a drug turns
out to be dangerous, this may also give rise to a toxic tort case. In recent
years, toxic tort cases have arisen relating to Accutane, Baycol, Celebrex,
Paxil, Premrpo, Vioxx, Zoloft, and Zyprexa among others. Thalidomide may be the
most famous example of a drug that led to toxic tort cases. During the late
1950’s and early 1960’s, the drug was prescribed to thousands of people before
it was discovered that it could cause severe birth defects.
- Chemicals: Exposure to chemicals comes from a number of different places. You might be exposed to formaldehyde from treated wood and carpet, or industrial chemicals like benzene and beryllium. Chemicals used in dry cleaning solvent have also led to lawsuits after birth defects occurred.
Getting Legal Help
If you were exposed to a toxin and suffered injury, you need to consult with an experienced environmental attorney who can help you begin building your case.