The Basics of Toxic Tort Litigation
Toxic Tort Cases
Regardless of regulations to phase out toxic chemicals and materials, they still make their way into consumer goods, houses, workplaces, buildings and the environment. These toxic substances can be the cause of a wide range of injuries, affecting the victims’ quality of life, in most cases, these are lifelong injuries. Large communities are often exposed to extremely harmful products, from irresponsible manufacturers and construction companies, whose reckless practices devastate entire families.
Exposure to Toxic Chemicals & Materials Include:
- Asbestos exposure
- Contamination of groundwater or soil
- Contamination of air and the environment
- Chemical exposure in the workplace
- Toxic chemicals in defective medications
- Lead paint exposure
- And more
There are many ways these injuries can occur. They can be caused by the item itself or in the manufacturing process. Examples include the use of a chemical that was previously thought to be safe and problems stemming from chemicals that leak out of the production plant into the surrounding air or water. Innocent people are hurt or even die from these dangerous products. When that happens, toxic tort litigation should be instigated by the victims.
Most Common Illnesses
Sadly, many people live in areas that are exposed to man-made toxins in the environment. These are some of the most common illnesses and diseases, due to toxic chemical and materials:
- Birth defects
- Cancer (various types)
- Fertility and reproductive problems
- Heart disease
- Neurological disorders
Why Toxic Torts?
When you join a toxic tort action, you’re not alone. Hundreds, and even thousands, of people tell the same story about big business, injustice and the need for accountability. Together, your claim becomes that much more powerful and profound, making it harder for the negligent industries to dispute your claim. We are your powerful voice against negligent corporations. Wilshire Law Firm works on the front lines to help you get the compensation you and your family deserve. During the last decade, we have successfully litigated thousands of cases, recovering more than $130 million, in verdicts and settlements.
Do I have a Toxic Tort Case?
When dangerous substances, such as chemicals, pesticides, and pharmaceutical drugs hurt people, a legal claim known as a toxic tort might be warranted.
- Home exposure – occupants of a house or apartment are exposed to a substance in the building, such as the black mold claims mentioned above.
- Consumer products – plaintiffs are harmed by a product, such as a pesticide.
- Pharmaceutical drugs – although drug companies try to list all potential side effects in their products’ packaging, others can occur and harm users. Prozac is one drug that has had a toxic tort claim filed against it.
- Occupational exposure – this category applies to workers injured on the job. Industrial workers can be injured through exposure to either high levels of toxins over a short period of time or lower levels over a long term. There have been toxic tort claims alleging exposure to asbestos and benzene on the job that would fall into this category.
In a toxic tort claim, plaintiffs allege that exposure to a dangerous substance resulted in their illness or injury. Although toxic tort claims can be filed on behalf of an individual, they often seek compensation for a group of people, which is referred to as a class action lawsuit. Examples of class action lawsuits include groups of workers alleging exposure to asbestos and homeowners suing their insurance companies for rejecting black mold claims. A well-known case involved the town of Hinkley, California alleging contamination of their water supply by Pacific Gas & Electric.
Plaintiffs have the burden of proving their toxic tort case by a preponderance of the evidence. That evidence will vary depending on the individual case; but, in general, plaintiffs will have to prove:
- The substance in question was dangerous.
- Plaintiffs were exposed to the substance through the fault of the defendant.
- Plaintiffs were harmed by exposure to the toxic substance.
Toxic Tort Claims
Although these points seem very straightforward, toxic tort claims can, in fact, be very difficult and costly to prove for the plaintiffs because of the research and expert testimony required. Therefore, the cases, typically, seek a large sum of money, which means that only defendants with deep pockets are usually sued. Because those companies have a lot to lose, they will mount a very aggressive defense. No expense will be spared to poke holes in the plaintiffs’ testimony, or scientific evidence, and high-priced attorneys will contend that the plaintiffs have not provided all the necessary proof for their claims. Defendants might also attempt to have the case dismissed on procedural grounds, such as whether the claim was filed before the statute of limitations expired.
In addition to the very competent defense attorneys, there are other difficulties that may arise when prosecuting a toxic tort lawsuit. First, proving causation is not easy. It is usually hard to identify and prove the source of the toxic substance that caused harm. Also, many illnesses can take years for symptoms to develop – sometimes the substance or production facility in question no longer exists. Finally, intervening or contributing factors must be ruled out or quantified, such as plaintiff’s potential exposure to other chemicals.
A second hurdle to overcome is the procurement of sufficient evidence. Evidence can be hard to gather, especially if many years have passed since the exposure. Documents may no longer exist, and witnesses might be hard to find. Also, memories become less reliable over time, and an expert defense team will look to confuse witnesses during their testimony.
Finally, the underlying science can make or break a case. In some cases, there are strong scientific studies that support claims that a toxic substance causes a specific disease or health condition. In other cases, however, the causal linkage is not yet known. This means that even if a certain substance does cause a health problem, the supporting science might not be established until years after the toxic tort claim has been dismissed.
Why I need Wilshire Law Firm
For the past ten years, Wilshire Law Firm has represented thousands of accident victims, who have suffered serious injuries, also as a result from exposure to toxic chemicals and materials. We have recovered more than $130 million in settlements and verdicts. Our number one priority is to make sure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve for their damages and losses. Our bilingual team and network of experts are ready to help you, 24/7.
When people have been injured by toxic chemicals and materials, Wilshire Law Firm has helped them stand up, speak out, and get the compensation they deserve. As a result, our firm has emerged as a leader in the complicated world of toxic tort litigation. We can guide you through the process and help you get justice and compensation.
Wilshire Law Firm is currently assisting Vernon and Paramount residents in toxic torts claims for environmental contamination. Our firm is, also, handling Talcum Powder cases, nationwide.
Our Attorneys Provide Outstanding Service
- We can help you find the best medical treatment and financing for your medical expenses.
- We are familiar with courts and judges, in multiple districts, we can help you.
- We utilize cutting-edge investigation techniques and research to support the evidence.
- We have a diligent, bilingual team to communicate with you, at all times.
- We always treat our clients like family.
For our exceptional work ethic and dedication to our clients, our attorneys have received an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell – the highest possible rating for, both, ethical standards and legal ability; the pinnacle of professional excellence in the field of law. We’re, also, at the top 1% of all U.S. attorneys for the Litigator Awards. Our major media appearances include ABC, FOX News, KTLA News, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsweek. You don’t pay, unless you win!
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals and materials, or as a result of a defective and/or dangerous product, you should speak with our experienced toxic tort injury lawyers. Learn more about your rights and your legal options for recovery. You may be entitled to compensation!
Last Updated: 03-07-2017
Our lawyers have decades of experience in providing excellent results in these areas of practice.