What is a Toxic Tort?
Toxic torts and environmental torts are claims for damages when people have been harmed due to exposure to a dangerous substance, such as chemicals, pesticides, or pharmaceuticals. In some cases, dangerous chemicals leak into air or groundwater, causing injuries and illnesses to an entire neighborhood. In other cases, corporations believe a chemical is safe initially, but at a later date it turns out to be dangerous. When a substance turns out to be toxic, some corporations hide this information, causing many more people to be harmed. A toxic tort lawyer may be able to bring a claim on their behalf. Toxic tort lawsuits depend on scientific studies and expert testimony. At Moll Law Group, our injury attorneys fight for the rights of people nationwide who have been harmed by toxic substances. We can retain knowledgeable experts for our cases. Billions of dollars have been recovered in cases in which we were involved.
Establishing Liability for Toxic Torts
Toxic torts can arise in numerous contexts, such as exposure in the home and neighborhood, exposure through consumer products, exposure at work, or exposure through pharmaceuticals. In most cases, the defendant is a corporation or other powerful entity, with significant financial resources to fight a toxic tort lawsuit. In addition to resources, they may have numerous procedural defenses that can be used to defeat a claim, which is why it is important to retain an experienced toxic tort lawyer.
What a plaintiff must prove in a toxic tort or environmental tort case can vary depending on the legal theories, statutes, and regulations involved. You will usually need to show that a substance was toxic and dangerous, that you were exposed to the substance, and that the exposure caused your injuries and damages.
The third element of causation is often the most hotly contested by the defendant. This is because it can be hard to trace exposure to a certain substance. Defendants may argue that there were intervening factors that caused the victim’s harm. Moreover, if years have passed since the exposure, it may be hard to secure evidence. Witnesses may have forgotten the details that would make them credible, while documents and photographs may have gotten lost. Scientific studies can make a huge difference to a case. New scientific developments can bolster a claim that may not have been persuasive just a few years before.
If you successfully prove your case, you may be able to receive a wide range of damages, such as medical bills, lost income, lost earning capacity, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. You may also be able to recover medical monitoring damages that allow you to be screened periodically to detect and provide early medical care for health problems connected to the toxic substances. These damages are usually sought in class action cases, and they may be structured as a lump sum payment or a fund that plaintiffs can access as problems arise.
When a defendant's conduct is particularly egregious, punitive damages may be available. For example, if a defendant actually knew that exposure to a particular drug would cause serious, permanent injuries to consumers but hid that information and failed to issue a recall of the drug, it might be appropriate to request punitive damages.
Explore Your Options with a Knowledgeable Toxic Tort Attorney
At Moll Law Group, our lawyers may be able to help victims throughout the U.S. pursue a toxic tort or product liability claim. These are complex cases that generally require sophisticated legal strategies. We can represent injured individuals in states such as California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Call us at 312-462-1700 or use our online form to arrange a free consultation with a toxic tort attorney.