Toxic Exposure

Exposure to Toxic or Hazardous Substances

Injury from toxic exposure is more common than one may think. They include cleaning products, pesticides, building materials, and other chemical compounds. One common thread to toxic poisoning is the illnesses many of them cause might go undetected for years. Take for example Asbestos: since its commercial inception over 75 years ago, a familiar material.

Despite years of evidence about the destructive injuries caused by this toxic mineral, it is still found in homes and virtually all other types of buildings. Asbestos was an insulating material in thousands of consumer products; such as toasters, hair dryers and automobiles that are still employed by the public.

When one inhales the microfibers of asbestos, this is when sickness prevails. They remain in the body and are directly related to fatal diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Other toxic substances that can cause serious injury include:

  • Toxic mold
  • Pesticides
  • Mercury
  • Lead
  • Hazardous waste
  • Radiation
  • Contaminated groundwater
  • Chemical solvents: benzene, ammonia, chloroform (commonly found in cleaning products)
  • Commercial chemical compounds used in manufacturing

Injury from Toxic Exposure in Product Law and Other Torts

Those who are needlessly exposed to toxic chemicals can experience a variety of severe injuries that includes but is not limited to this list.

  • Learning disorders
  • Speech difficulties
  • Diminished brain function
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Memory loss
  • Mesothelioma
  • Leukemia
  • Anemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Seizures

Typically, when one is injured by a chemical product or byproduct, negligence may not need to be proved. This is because all dangerous chemicals are accepted as being inherently hazardous. The fact that the chemical that injured you is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of hazardous substances is proof enough. But if negligence is also present, the stronger your case.

Strict Illinois and federal laws require full disclosure, safe storage, and proper disposal of hazardous chemical substances. Failure to adhere to these laws not only exposes a company to substantial fines but also liable for injuries to victims under a premises liability claim.

Other methods of damage recovery can be a negligence-based lawsuit against a trucking company or railroad if a toxic chemical spill or atmospheric release (such as ammonia or Acrylonitrile – which is used in the manufacture of industrial plastics) after an accident injured you or killed a beloved family member.

Depending on the circumstances, toxic substance injury claims are often very complex; can take several different legal avenues to compensation, and if forced to trial, take years to resolve. If the injury occurred on the job, workers’ compensation and possible third party liability claims would apply.

The fact that any such civil action can involve a single injured plaintiff or hundreds who live in a single neighborhood – or work at the same location – make toxic materials cases all the more intricate. If the injuries led to wrongful deaths, even more elements would come into play.

A Cook County Premises Liability Attorney Can Supply Recourse to Victims

If a single injured victim seeks a negligence-based hazardous substance injury claim; this is the most straightforward. But as often happens when many are injured by a single event – such as a railroad accident which results in a disastrous toxic chemical spill, or the owners of a chemical plant who allowed dangerous substances to contaminate a community’s water supply – class actions or mass torts might ultimately be appropriate.

Both allow for many to band together in a single lawsuit, rather than clog court dockets with many civil actions of the same type. The rules for these “one for all in all for one” claims and lawsuits are very different than individual civil actions. Your attorney can explain these intricacies during your initial consultation.

If your family member suffered a wrongful death because of a toxic chemical spill, or you were injured by a hazardous chemical at work, Buttafuoco & Associates offer free consultations. To discuss your case with a Cook County premises liability attorney at our office call 1-800-NOW-HURT or complete our online contact form.