Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause various health issues, from acute respiratory distress to cancer and even death. Despite stringent regulations governing toxic exposure, people can still ingest toxic substances in food, medicine, air, drinking water, and consumer products.
If you believe you have been exposed to toxic materials and became ill as a result, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation for your damages. A Southern California toxic exposure lawsuit attorney at KJT Law Group can help you understand toxic exposure laws in California and go over your legal rights. Call us today at (818) 507-8525 to begin a free case evaluation.
In addition to the stringent rules and regulations these organizations established, California Health and Safety Code Div. 20 § 25249.6 states that businesses must provide a clear and reasonable warning to individuals who could be exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
If a business is found to have exposed someone to a toxic chemical in violation of California or federal law, the victim can sue for damages incurred as a result of that exposure.
Understanding Proposition 65
Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is a California law in the Health and Safety Code. It governs the release or discharge of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity into the drinking water or surrounding land where runoff of such chemicals could contaminate drinking water.
Under Proposition 65, the Governor of California must provide an annually updated list of chemicals known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) regulates these chemicals.
Acute and Long-Term Effects of Toxic Exposure
Signs of chemical exposure differ, depending on the chemical, amount of exposure, length of time and frequency of exposure, and how you were exposed. Chemicals affect different body parts, including the respiratory, renal, cardiovascular, reproductive, nervous, skin, immune, and hepatic systems.
The health complications of dangerous chemical exposure may include:
Acute and chronic respiratory disease
Kidney damage or failure
Infertility, birth defects, and infant mortality
Reduced cognitive function and confusion
Reduced memory and coordination
Autoimmune response or immune failure
Skin rashes, dermatitis, or other irritation
Liver damage, tumors, fatty liver disease, and liver failure
When you are exposed to toxic chemicals without your knowledge or permission, you may suffer mental and emotional anguish as you try to determine the cause of your illness.
Toxic Exposure Cases in California
Toxic exposure can occur at home or in the workplace, and negative health effects of toxic exposure may appear after one or multiple incidents over time. Every case requires a unique approach based on the frequency, duration, and proximity of the exposure, as well as where the exposure occurred.
Some examples of California toxic exposure cases include:
Webb v Special Electric Co., Inc. (2016): An employee was exposed to asbestos during his work shipping pipe materials. He later contracted fatal mesothelioma as a result of repeated exposure. His employer and the material supplier were aware of the risks of exposure to asbestos and failed to warn the employee. The jury decided in favor of the employee and awarded $5 million to the employee and his spouse.
Joanne Anderson v. Johnson & Johnson (2018): A customer used talcum powder that contained asbestos for years and contracted mesothelioma as a result. They sued the manufacturer and talc suppliers for negligence and received a jury award of $21.7 million in compensatory damages and $4 million in punitive damages.
Water Replenishment District of Southern California v. 3M Co et al. (2021): The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRDSC) filed a lawsuit against 3M Company and other consumer and industrial products manufacturers for contamination of groundwater with perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). In their complaint, the WRDSC alleges that the companies were aware of the health risks presented by PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” and continued to use PFAS in their manufacturing processes. Yet, they knew or reasonably should have known that the chemicals would contaminate drinking water supplies and present significant health risks to the public. This case is ongoing.
Determining Responsible Parties in a Toxic Exposure Case
A toxic exposure case can encompass a wide range of chemicals and exposure methods. When the exposure occurs due to negligence or willful misconduct, you can hold responsible parties liable for the injuries you sustained.
Because there may be so many potential responsible parties, toxic torts cases are notoriously complex. Individuals and entities who bear responsibility in a Southern California toxic exposure case include:
A toxic product manufacturer
A supplier of toxic materials to manufacturer
A distributor or seller of toxic materials
A packaging and labeling company
A company or other entity responsible for releasing toxic materials into the air, ground or water
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney on our team can help you gather evidence to determine all the at-fault parties in your case, so you can seek compensation from everyone responsible for your injuries accordingly.
Types of Compensation You Can Seek in a California Toxic Exposure Case
If you have been injured due to toxic exposure, you should not have to pay for the expenses you incurred. At KJT Law Group, we pursue justice and fair compensation for our clients in all types of personal injury cases. We can review your case and help you establish a fair value for your losses, including:
Economic damages, such as lost income, hospital bills, and reduced earning potential
Non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life
Statute of Limitations for Toxic Exposure Cases in Southern California
You generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit for toxic exposure from the date you discover your illness or injury due to toxic exposure, per CCP § 335.1. This time limit can change, depending on the circumstances of your exposure. With that, you may want to consult our team as soon as possible.
A Southern California toxic exposure lawsuit attorney at our firm knows the time limit for filing your case. They can verify that you are still within the legal statute of limitations and help ensure you do not miss critical legal deadlines for filing your toxic exposure lawsuit.
Seek Assistance From Our Southern California Toxic Exposure Lawsuit Attorney
If you have suffered an injury or illness by toxic exposure due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit for your losses. Reach out to KJT Law Group today for a free consultation at (818) 507-8525. Our Southern California toxic exposure lawsuit lawyer works on contingency, so we only get paid if you do.
If you or someone you love was injured in a toxic exposure, contact KJT Law Group at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.