Houston Toxic Tort Attorney
What is a Toxic Tort?
A toxic tort is a negligent release of a toxic substance such as a chemical, waste or toxin that results in harm to a person or group of persons. The release may be the result of an accidental singular event such as an explosion or chemical leak or it may be the result of a long-time accidental or permitted exposure such as air emissions from a plant or waste released into a stream. The harm may be to:
- property rights–such as pollution, or
- to person—such as chemical burns and reactions, cancers or other diseases.
Cases involving toxic torts often involve incidents of widespread pollution and damage and may have substantial negative impact upon the environment. The Gulf oil spill is one example in recent history of a toxic tort with these implications. Due to the large number of people who may be affected by toxic torts and the complexity of these cases, toxic torts often evolve into class action lawsuits so that the litigation costs may be consolidated and the cases may be concluded in an orderly fashion.
Examples of Toxic Torts
Toxic Torts may result in injury to a single individual or a large group of people. Some examples of the toxic torts include:
- Breast implants that rupture or leak silicone into the body
- A man exposed to chemicals while performing clean up of property in a Texas City plant
- Contamination of surrounding properties by leaking underground storage tanks
- Asbestos exposure from insulation and products
- Nuclear radiation leak from a power plant
- Manufacturing wastes leaking into streams, ponds or ground water
All of the above are examples of toxic torts but are by no way exclusive. If you suspect you have been exposed to a toxic substance and sustained a substantial injury as a result, call us to speak with a Houston toxic tort attorney about your case.
Proving Causation in a Toxic Tort Lawsuit
In order to prevail in a toxic tort lawsuit, the plaintiffs bear the burden of proving that there was a negligent release of a toxic substance that caused damages. Proving the release and existence of damages typically are not the difficult elements. Establishing that a specific toxic substance caused a specific illness or injury such as a cancer or disease is often the most difficult part. This will require reliable expert testimony and often will require expensive testing. Because these cases may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions to bring to trial, there must be substantial damages to justify bringing toxic tort claims. Often, toxic tort lawyers will join together and/or refer these cases in order to share/spread the costs out.
Furthermore, a toxic tort claim may be based in several different theories of tort liability. If the release or exposure arises out of a manufacturing activity or a chemical process (i.e. an oil refinery), then the liability may be based in premises liability law or property law. If the exposure is related to a product that contained the toxin, it may will likely be based in product liability law or medical negligence. Toxic torts may also be based on general principals of negligence and the duty not to negligently injure others.
Call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. to Discuss a Toxic Tort Claim
If you have suffered substantial harm as a result of a toxic tort, call Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. for a free case evaluation. If we take on your case, we put up the expenses and charge you no attorney fees nor expenses unless we make a recovery in your case. Call today: 800-298-0111.