Occupational Disease & Toxic Torts
A tort is an injury incurred by an individual due to the carelessness of another. A toxic tort is considered injury incurred by a toxic substance due to the carelessness or negligence of another. These toxic torts are often work related injuries and or diseases. In both cases, the law deems the injured party in entitled to compensation, be it financial or health care oriented.
Advances in technology and industry have led to brilliant developments in the world's economy and structure. Unfortunately, the advancement comes at a high price. Individuals in certain industries are exposed to toxins on a daily basis. Constant or overexposure to materials such as asbestos, lead paint, dry cleaning fluids, pesticides and more have irreversible and often fatal consequences. Toxic torts of this type can include injuries such as brain damage, kidney problems, birth defects, cancers and other health issues.
Toxic torts and the injuries involved are often due to unregulated use of substances, improper disposal of substances that lead to tainted waters and soils and lack of better-developed alternatives to toxic substances. Often the companies involved that are accused of negligence are proven to have prior knowledge of existing toxins in the workplace and are guilty of ignoring the hazards risked by employees.
Exposure to a toxin and the effects of the toxin are not isolated to one individual. More often, a group of people will suffer from similar medical problems due to the proximity of time and space as related to the exposure. Lawyers will often group the toxic torts of these individuals together and argue what is known as a class action suit. Proving damage has been done to many individuals under the same circumstances is easier than proving environmental damage for just one individual. Many toxic torts are brought to court in this manner.
While large corporations can be intimidating and may have teams of lawyers on hand to combat toxic tort cases, proving a toxic tort is easier than trying a criminal case. An individual or group of individuals with a claim must prove that the medical issues they experience are most likely a result of the negligence of another. Unlike with criminal cases, it does not have to be proven 'without a doubt.'
Because many of the medical injuries incurred via toxic exposure are irreversible, lawyers will often seek financial retribution and compensation for past and future medical expenses as well as compensation for loss or lack of employment due to injury, among others.