A lawsuit brought by a person who has been harmed by exposure to a dangerous substance is called Portland toxic torts suit, and Portland toxic tort attorneys are frequently asked a number of questions regarding what is potentially a very complex legal area.
People—either individuals or groups of people – are often unsure of their rights when it comes to filing claims against pharmaceutical corporations, pesticide manufacturers or chemical companies. We list below the most commonly asked questions relating to Portland toxic torts cases.
How do toxic injuries happen?
The vast majority of injuries that would lead to a toxic tort suit are made up of:
- Occupational exposure to hazardous materials or chemicals while working. These substances would include things like asbestos, benzene, silica and beryllium.
- Prescribed drugs that caused unforeseen and unintended side effects.
- Exposure to hazardous substances within a home, either a family residence or rented accommodation. Exposure to mold—a potentially highly hazardous substance–would be a common example. People can often experience terrible symptoms if they ingest airborne particles of this relatively common substance.
- Contact with common consumer products, all of which are widely available, such as pesticides and garden weed killers, which can cause serious injuries if ingested or handled incorrectly
Is it difficult to prove fault in Portland toxic torts?
Our Portland toxic tort attorneys encourage anyone who feels they have been injured by a toxic substance to call us for a free consultation, even if you feel intimidated at the thoughts of taking on a huge multi-national corporation. A good personal injury lawyer can establish liability though a number of legal arguments, including:
- The defendant showed negligence by not exercising due care in allowing his employees to work with a hazardous substance, such as asbestos, or by allowing members of the public to come into contact with the hazardous substance.
- The defendant’s action—or lack thereof—did not meet his duty of care. Did he provide his workers with appropriate personal protective equipment? Did he have warning signs up to alert the public to potential hazards? If not, he did not take appropriate measures, and he should be held liable.
- By not meeting his duty of care, a worker or member of the public was injured as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence.
- In some cases, certain behavior is found by the court to be so dangerous that anyone engaging in it will be held what is referred to as strictly liable for any damages or injuries that arise from that behavior. Toxic tort injury victims in such cases do not have to show that the defendant acted carelessly.
- If a dangerous product or substance was known by the defendant to be hazardous, and the defendant deliberately hid that danger from the people who could be exposed to it, or marketed the product in a misleading way, an injured party could make a toxic tort claim on the basis of intentional misrepresentation or fraud.
But who do I actually sue for my injuries or health problems?
This is the area where the services of qualified Portland toxic tort attorneys can be essential. It can be difficult in some cases to figure out who exactly is responsible for exposing the victim to a dangerous substance.
For example, plaintiffs (the injured party) may be advised to file suits against:
- The manufacturer of the toxic product
- The manufacturer of machinery that actually exposed a worker or member of the public to the toxic substance
- The owner or lessor of the house, premises or site that either contains or emits toxins
- Companies that store toxic substances in such a way as to pose the hazard of exposure to toxins
- The manufacturers of the safety equipment that was meant to protect workers from exposure to toxic materials, fumes or other substances but didn’t
I was exposed to toxins years ago but only recently became quite sick. Can I still sue?
Again, our Portland toxic tort attorneys should be your first port of call. In Oregon, very strict statutes of limitations for filing claims do apply in personal injury cases. However, because the courts have recognized that symptoms due to toxic exposure can take years to manifest themselves, most courts will apply the “discovery rule.” This means that the statute of limitations does not start taking effect until the injured party actually discovers the harm.
Contact a lawyer as soon as you realize that your exposure to a toxic substance has made you ill. The likelihood is that it is not too late to sue.