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Who can be sued in a toxic tort case?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Personal Injury Law

A toxic tort case enables a victim who was harmed by exposure to a harmful substance to seek compensation for the damages they’re dealing with because of that exposure to any number of hazards, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, pesticides and many other substances.

Once a person opts to pursue compensation through a toxic tort claim, they have to determine whom to hold liable. The following are some of the most commonly named parties in toxic tort lawsuits.

Manufacturers of hazardous substances

Manufacturers are frequently at the center of toxic tort litigation. They can be held liable if they failed to properly test a chemical before distribution, if they knew or should have known about the dangers associated with the chemical or if they failed to provide adequate warnings or instructions regarding its safe use.

Distributors and retailers

Distributors and retailers can also be held responsible in toxic tort cases. Although they didn’t manufacture the product, they are part of the chain of distribution that brought the hazardous product to market. Liability for these parties typically hinges on their role in selling or distributing the toxic substance without proper safeguards or warnings.

Employers and workplace exposures

Employers may be liable for exposing their employees to harmful chemicals or substances in the workplace. This liability is often based on the failure to implement safety measures, provide adequate protective equipment, or ensure a safe working environment. In these cases, the employer’s knowledge of the risks and the measures taken to mitigate these risks are critically examined.

Property owners and environmental contamination

Property owners can be held accountable if their property is the source of environmental contamination. This includes landlords who rent spaces with asbestos or lead paint without taking appropriate safety measures. Liability may depend on the owner’s knowledge of the contamination and the steps taken to address or disclose it.

In some cases, more than one party is liable for harm caused by toxic tort negligence or intentional misconduct. Because these cases are complex and contain multiple elements, it’s a good idea to seek assistance from a legal representative who’s familiar with the concepts at the center of the case, as they can chart a thoughtful and effective way forward.