If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury or illness from toxic exposure to dangerous chemicals, contact FrancoLaw to discuss your legal options. You might be entitled to compensation from the negligent party responsible for the dangerous condition. Our firm aims to hold those responsible for toxic exposure accountable for their wrongful conduct.
Toxic exposure to dangerous chemicals such as asbestos, paraquat and glyphosate can cause serious injuries if chemical exposure occurs in low doses over a long period or high concentration during a single incident. Toxic or chemical exposure can happen at the workplace or in the environment, such as the result of an environmental disaster, and can cause severe lung injury, lung disease, cancer, or other serious injury or chronic illness. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the adverse effects until years later as some medical conditions don’t cause immediate symptoms.
At FrancoLaw, we understand the devastation of discovering you have been exposed to harmful substances without anyone warning you of the danger you were in. The at-fault party could have prevented the exposure from happening and kept you safe. The hospitalization, surgeries, prescriptions, and other treatment you need can become a significant expense and lead to debt. Our firm is here to help you get back on your feet and move forward with your life. You have the right to hold the negligent individual or entity responsible for your injuries. We will fight by your side for justice and be your advocate in your time of need.
Individuals Often at a High Risk of Exposure
Certain people have an inherent risk of being exposed to toxic substances. That’s because they typically encounter them in the workplace.
The people most at risk of toxic exposure include:
- Commercial painters
- Auto repair employees
- Construction workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Maritime workers
- Sanitation workers
- Oil rig workers
- Medical providers
- Refinery employees
Although some job industries expose employees to harmful chemicals, anyone could suffer the dangerous effects of exposure to toxic substances. Someone might live next to an oil refinery and end up with contaminated drinking water or inhale fumes from a construction site. Our firm is currently handling injury or death cases either due to environmental exposure or occupational exposure. If you were diagnosed with a disease and believe it’s due to toxic exposure, you should call FrancoLaw immediately.
Working in certain industries can put you at risk for exposure to hazardous substances, including chemical exposure. Harmful chemicals or toxins get into your body if you breathe, eat, or drink them or if they are absorbed through your skin. Sometimes illness occurs immediately after exposure. Oftentimes, illness happens years or even decades later. Exposure injuries often involve toxic substances, such as:
Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction and shipbuilding materials. It’s also a known carcinogen linked to a chronic lung inflammation called asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of internal organs like the lungs and abdomen.
It can take up to 50 years for asbestos-related diseases to be diagnosed. Millions of people may have been exposed to asbestos, especially in the workplace, including miners, factory workers, insulation manufacturers and installers, railroad and automotive workers, shipbuilders, plumbers, construction workers, and veterans.
Monsanto’s widely used weed killer Roundup contains the active ingredient glyphosate, a probable carcinogen defined by the World Health Organization. Exposure to glyphosate has been linked to cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Landscapers, farmers, groundskeepers, and even garden hobbyists are at risk for glyphosate exposure from Roundup use.
Hydrogen sulfide is hazardous in high concentrations. This naturally occurring gas has a pungent odor. It often builds up in poorly ventilated areas and confined spaces found on oil rigs and in industrial plants. Prolonged exposure can lead to various symptoms, such as:
- Respiratory issues
- Irritation of the eyes
Paraquat, also known by the brand name Gramoxone, is one of the most widely used industrial herbicides on the market. It’s also one of the most dangerous. According to the EPA, “one small sip [of paraquat] can be fatal and there is no antidote.” Exposure to the herbicide through the skin or by inhalation can lead to Parkinson’s disease years later. Paraquat is so dangerous that it is either banned or phased out in 32 countries worldwide. These countries include China, the European Union, and Brazil. It’s still used in the United States, though regulators have restricted it to commercial use only because of its toxicity.
Recent studies were conducted by the National Institute of Health’s Environmental Health Sciences and the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center. They found that people exposed to paraquat developed Parkinson’s disease up to 2.5 times more often than people who were not. Despite these risks, companies like Syngenta, Growmark, and Chevron continue to make and sell the herbicide.
Cadmium can be found in the electrode components of alkaline batteries and in paint. This metal is toxic and can affect the renal, neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and reproductive systems. Workers in construction and manufacturing typically can be exposed to this dangerous substance.
Benzene is a liquid that can exist in large quantities at industrial, manufacturing, and refinery plants. Exposure can occur from direct skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion. Many companies use benzene to manufacture rubber, dyes, plastics, and pesticides. It can also be found in some household products including paint, lacquer, and varnish removers and thinners, to name a few. Recently, high levels of benzene have been detected in several brands and batches of popular sunscreens and after-sun care products.
Benzene exposure, whether through inhalation or skin absorption, has been linked to life-threatening diseases including:
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Aplastic anemia
Some of these diseases don’t present with symptoms until several years after exposure to benzene. And often, people who are diagnosed with AML, MDS, or some other form of benzene cancer don’t realize that there may be a connection to past benzene exposure.
A community’s water supply can become contaminated by nearby industries and result in toxic exposure. For example, if you live near an oil refinery, spilled oil could seep into the ground and make its way into nearby rivers and streams. If you drink tap water, you can potentially ingest harmful bacteria and toxins which can cause serious organ damage and other injuries.
PFAS “Forever” Chemicals
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) have been dubbed “forever chemicals” because the chemical compounds don’t break down easily. Many industries use PFAS chemicals for a wide variety of uses, including the manufacture of non-stick coatings, paint, cleaning products, and firefighting foam. The widespread manufacture and use of these products create a lot of opportunities for the chemicals to be released into the air, into the ground, and into water. PFAS has been linked to serious health conditions when absorbed by humans, whether via food and water supply or by exposure through the air and dust. These conditions include various forms of cancer, liver damage, thyroid damage, decreased fertility, high cholesterol, and birth defects.
Air and water pollution place the general public at risk of toxic exposure. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk area, you can breathe in dangerous chemicals without realizing it. They might exist in your office building, a local park, or a drinking fountain.
An oil spill can result from a fire or explosion on an oil rig. An oil rig worker can inhale toxic fumes from the explosion that released the oil or come in direct contact with dangerous chemicals. Ingestion and inhalation can also affect residents near the site of the oil spill.
For example, on April 20, 2010, a massive offshore oil rig known as the Deepwater Horizon, owned and operated by Transocean and under lease to oil giant BP, exploded killing 11 oil rig workers, spilling close to five million gallons of crude oil into Gulf of Mexico, devastating our nation’s natural resources and profoundly harmed the economic and emotional well-being of hundreds of thousands of people. It was dubbed the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. FrancoLaw represented hundreds of businesses and individuals in litigation seeking to hold BP accountable for damages resulting from the oil spill. Our firm proudly secured millions of dollars for Gulf Coast residents and businesses.
Common Injuries and Illnesses Toxic Exposure Can Cause
Whether you ingest, inhale, or touch toxic chemicals, you can suffer a range of medical problems. Common examples include:
- Brain damage
- Skin rash
- Birth defects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Reproductive issues in women
- Damage to lungs and other vital organs
- Kidney failure, cancer, and other related illnesses
- Throat injuries
- Lead poisoning
- Nerve damage
- Asthma and other respiratory problems
- Vision loss
- Chemical burns
Complications can arise from toxic exposure and cause lifelong problems for the victim. Some people become disabled or suffer physical or mental impairments. It can interfere with a person’s job, family, and independence. Even if you can recover, you could face long-term emotional issues. Many individuals end up with depression and other psychological problems.
Compensation You Can Pursue in a Toxic Exposure Lawsuit
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or illness from toxic exposure to dangerous chemicals, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit.
The damages you can recover in a toxic exposure lawsuit can include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of household services
You might also be eligible to pursue exemplary damages. This award punishes the at-fault party for their misconduct instead of compensating the victim for their losses. You must provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s malice, gross negligence, or fraud for a jury to award this type of damages.
If your loved one died from toxic exposure, you could pursue a wrongful death case. Wrongful death is the death of one person caused by another’s carelessness, wrongful act, unskillfulness, default, or neglect. You can seek compensation to cover the losses you suffered from the death of a spouse or child, such as:
- The deceased person’s pre-death pain and suffering (often called a “survival” claim)
- Medical expenses
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
Deadline to File a Toxic Exposure Lawsuit
Whether you suffered an injury or lost a loved one from toxic exposure, you must adhere to a state’s statute of limitations if you want to sue the negligent party. A statute of limitations is a specific timeframe for initiating legal action against someone else. The statute of limitations is different in each state. In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for toxic exposure tort cases.
Depending on the situation, the clock may start ticking either from the date of your injury or from the date you found out what caused or contributed to your injury. There are some limited exceptions such as the discovery rule which can extend the deadline for filing a lawsuit.
Contact Us Today
FrancoLaw will advocate for your rights and fight by your side for the justice you deserve. We can help you hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries. We understand the financial toll an injury can take and the costs you incur should not be your responsibility. We will work hard to secure the maximum compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury or illness from toxic exposure due to someone else’s negligent actions, call FrancoLaw today to discuss your legal options. You can discuss your case with us during a free consultation and receive the legal advice you need to make an informed decision about what to do next. Our firm is experienced in handling toxic exposure cases and we welcome any questions you may have. Call us now at (888) 213-0761 for a free consultation.