Legal Responsibility for Toxic Exposure

In other personal injury cases, it was clear who is liable for your injury. For instance, if you are shopping at a supermarket and you slip and fall on the floor, it is more likely that the supermarket will be held responsible for your injuries. But with poisonous exposure cases, it is more complicated to determine who is at fault for your injury. Here is a list of some common kinds of defendant who may be liable for poisonous exposure injuries:

The Manufacturer of a Poisonous Product

With the legal theory called as “strict product liability,” the plaintiff may be successful in his/her claim against the manufacturer who sold a poisonous product that injured him/her. Under the rules of strict product liability, the plaintiff is not required to prove that the manufacturer was negligent, but the product it produced was unreasonably harmful. In a toxic exposure case, even if the fumes from the product resulted to your injury, the product can still be considered “defective.” You can bring a strict liability case against the companies that developed, produced, sold or furnished the product. You can also charge the manufacturer based on the negligence, violation of warranty, or the manufacturer’s intentional and wrongful conduct.

The Supplier

Although the suppliers or distributors do not produce the product, the suppliers can still be held liable for your injury. Similar to most of the personal injury cases, the essential question to ask is if the supplier had a “duty of care” to avoid you from the exposure to toxins. There are times also that this duty of care means giving sufficient warnings and safety information. In other cases, it means not selling the product at all.

Contractors and Other Users

Your injury may be caused by somebody else, exposing you to a poisonous substance. For instance, if the contractor is employed to eliminate the insulation from your house, and the contractor negligently subjected you to asbestos in the insulation, the contractor may be held liable for the injuries sustained as a consequence of your asbestos exposure.

Property Owners

The building owners have legal duty to preserve a healthy and safe building. If the building owner is unable to do this, then he/she may be responsible for any injury incurred by the tenants or visitors as a consequence of the owner’s negligence. There have been some building owners that were charged recently for failing to get the asbestos away in insulation, and lead-based paint.

Your Employer

If you are injured as a result of toxic exposure at work, instead of filing a lawsuit against your employer, you may file a worker’s compensation claim. There is some exclusion to this rule and you may be able to recover the damages against the third party, but you must contact an experienced lawyer for clarification about your legal options.

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