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Environmental Factors and Personal Injury Cases: Uncovering Hidden Liabilities

In some cases, it’s unclear who (if anyone) is liable for an injury. This can be especially true in cases caused by environmental factors, such as toxic exposure, air pollution, water and soil contamination, industrial waste, and hazardous substances cases.

The liable party will depend on several factors specific to the case. Our team of Abogados de lesiones personales can help you determine who you may be able to hold liable for environmental negligence. 

Determining the Liable Parties in Toxic Tort Cases Can Be Complex

Who you sue depends on what injured you. 

Property Owners

In some cases, the liable party will be the property owner or manager. This can happen in toxic exposure (e.g., asbestos) or soil or water contamination claims.


In a hazardous substances case, the manufacturer could be liable for not correctly labeling or warning the consumer. 

Third Parties, Such as Drivers

If the hazardous substance exposure occurred due to an accident, a truck driver or other road user could be liable. 

Transportation companies could also be liable for contamination. A recent example of transportation company liability in a toxic exposure case is the Norfolk Southern derailment that created a toxic soil crisis in Palestine, Ohio. The company faces several lawsuits stemming from the derailment.

Companies Who Contributed to the Exposure

This will depend on the specifics of your case, but you may be able to sue a company that caused or contributed to your exposure. For example, victims of the Flint water crisis sued an engineering consulting firm for failing to do enough to get the City of Flint to treat the toxic water.

The Government

In some cases, you might be able to sue the government for toxic exposure. A recent example of this is the Camp Lejeune water contamination case. Veterans and people who lived on or near Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, were exposed to water contaminated with toxic “forever chemicals.” Veterans and their families (who met certain criteria) were able to file claims against the government for the conditions they developed due to the exposure.

Another example of suing the government for toxic exposure is the Flint water crisis. Victims received $600 million from the state of Michigan and $20 million from the city of Flint for allowing residents to be continually exposed to water with unacceptable levels of lead. 

Proving Liability for Toxic Chemical Exposure

Like determining who is liable, proving they are liable is also difficult. But you don’t need to handle it alone. The process you take to prove liability depends on who the liable party is. 

If you’re suing a manufacturer, you can hold them strictly liable for your injuries. You can do so via defective design, manufacturing defect, or lack of adequate warning or instructions. This means you must prove: 

  • The defendant was the designer, manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the product. 
  • The product had some sort of defect when the defendant released it.
  • You used the product in a way the defendant should have foreseen.
  • You were injured after using the product in a foreseeable way.

If you’re suing a property owner, driver, or another party whose negligence led to your accident, you must prove the following: 

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, the property owner has a duty to ensure their property is safe for visitors.
  • The defendant breached their duty of care by behaving negligently. The property owner knew that their property was unsafe for visitors due to some sort of contamination.
  • The defendant’s breach of care caused your injuries. You suffered injury or illness due to toxic exposure.
  • You sustained damages due to the defendant’s negligence. You have medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering due to the toxic exposure.

Conditions Associated With Toxic Exposure

Any condition related to toxic exposure may be compensable. If you developed any of these conditions after toxic exposure, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim and pursue hazardous substances litigation: 

  • Adult leukemia (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune) 
  • Anemia (linked to lead in water)
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune)
  • Bladder cancer (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune)
  • Cardiovascular effects (linked to lead in water and asbestos exposure)
  • Hearing problems (linked to lead in water)
  • Increased risk of cancer (linked to vinyl chloride)
  • Kidney cancer (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune)
  • Kidney dysfunction (linked to lead in water)
  • Liver cancer (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune)
  • Mesothelioma (linked to asbestos exposure)
  • Multiple myeloma (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune)
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune)
  • Parkinson’s disease (linked to forever chemicals at Camp Lejeune)
  • Reproductive problems (linked to lead in water)
  • Slowed growth in children (linked to lead in water)

Some toxic exposures, such as lead poisoning, can be fatal. 

You Have Rights After Toxic Exposure

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to toxic exposure, KJT Grupo de Derecho can help. We can help seek justice for any type of toxic exposure, including asbestos exposure, water and soil contamination, and air pollution. Depending on your case, you may want to file a lawsuit or join a class action. We can help you determine the best course of action. Call us today for a free consultation: (818) 507-8525.

We Will Fight For You

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