What is a Toxic Tort?

While most personal injury claims are generally concerned with singular accidents that cause people to suffer serious injuries, toxic torts are often the opposite. A toxic tort is a lawsuit that originates from someone’s exposure to a toxic or otherwise hazardous substance, which usually occurs over time and across repeated exposure incidents.

Toxic exposure that warrants a lawsuit can come from contamination in many forms, including air, soil, water, and food contamination. Substances like beryllium, lead, sulfur dioxide, and arsenic are common culprits in toxic torts. Although contamination form can vary from case to case, the common thread throughout toxic torts is that the defendants are held liable for failing to properly manufacture or store the contaminants in question.

Toxic Exposure Due to Unsafe Products

A product can cause toxic exposure due to a manufacturing or design defect. For example, Roundup herbicides have been in the center of toxic tort news for years due to the product’s links to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Users have complained that long-term use of the product, or a large amount of skin exposure, can cause this rare form of cancer to develop. In this situation, the toxic exposure was allegedly caused by a design defect, i.e., using an unsafe chemical in the weed killer.

Food products can also be the cause of toxic or unsafe exposure. In recent news, multiple baby food companies have been hit with class actions after heavy metals like arsenic and cadmium were found in their products. In this example, toxic exposure might have been caused by a manufacturing error if it is determined that unsafe elements

Environmental Toxic Exposure & Unsafe Containment

Some of the worst cases of toxic exposure are caused by environmental exposure. Dangerous substances that are stored or disposed of incorrectly can gradually seep out of their containers and into the environment. Soil and groundwater can become poisoned as the toxicity worsens, and anything within the ecosystem will suffer from it. People in entire communities can become ill in severe cases.

Disastrous events like oil spills can also lead to devastating environmental toxic exposure. Even the best and quickest responses to these disasters can only do so much to control the widespread harm caused by the uncontained toxic substances.

Chronic Illnesses & Lifelong Medical Care

Toxic torts are not something that claimants should handle without the assistance or representation of an experienced attorney. Some of the most common effects of toxic exposure are severe illnesses and chronic diseases, like various forms of cancer. Treating such health conditions will require lifelong medical care, which means the total cost of treatments can be astronomical. Insurance companies will not want to pay such a large amount, regardless of their policyholder’s liability, and they will fight tooth-and-nail in and out of court to protect their finances.

As such, it is important for anyone who needs to file a toxic tort to first consult with a local toxic tort attorney. They can help prepare the claim, investigate liability, calculate damages, and counter any insurance company arguments that will arise.

Golomb Spirt Grunfeld, P.C. is a toxic tort law firm in Philadelphia, but with a nationwide presence. Our attorneys are the first name in toxic tort representation for clients across the country. Find out why by calling our firm at (215) 278-4449">(215) 278-4449 to arrange a free initial consultation at your convenience.

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