Chemical Pollution/Spills Mass Tort Attorneys
If you sustained a serious injury or developed a disease from exposure to toxic chemicals, contact the environmental and toxic harm mass tort lawyers of Wallace Miller immediately. You might be entitled to financial compensation from the negligent party responsible for events like an oil spill, hazardous waste leak, or polluting the air with hazardous substances.
Whether you’re an employee at an oil or gas refinery plant or a nearby resident, you could inhale fumes in the air or drink contaminated water. A range of medical complications can arise from chemical exposure, including cancer and respiratory illnesses. It can interfere with every aspect of your life and daily routine. If you need ongoing medical treatment to manage your symptoms, you could face significant financial strain and end up in debt if you can’t afford your bills.
The chemical pollution/spills mass tort attorneys of Wallace Miller understand the challenges of exposure to pollutants and toxic chemicals. It can lead to adverse effects and endanger the lives and health of anyone living or working in the area. The company at fault for the incident could be held liable for your medical condition and the resulting medical costs and other expenses. We are ready to represent you in a mass tort lawsuit and seek the justice you deserve.
High-Risk Exposure to Environmental Hazards
Numerous groups of people have a significantly higher risk of exposure to gas, oil, and other substances that pollute the air, whether from a chemical spill, explosion, or another type of dangerous incident.
The most common groups that suffer the effects of chemical pollution and spills include:
- Oil rig workers
- Construction workers
- Chemical spill cleanup personnel
- Refinery plant workers
- Oil rig and refinery maintenance and repair workers
Residents living near chemical refineries and other areas containing toxic substances can also suffer the consequences of a spill. Fumes and tiny particles can contaminate the air. Anyone in the area can experience eye and nose irritation or lung damage from inhaling the chemicals. Oil and other harmful substances can also contaminate food and water, causing inflammation and internal organ damage after consumption.
Common Types of Chemical Pollutants
Oil spills and chemical waste create pollution that endangers wildlife and humans. It’s a serious health hazard that can cause a range of adverse medical issues and deadly diseases.
The most common pollutants that result from chemical spills and other disasters include:
PFOS and PFOA
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are two chemical substances found in the environment. They pollute the air and can end up in a person’s bloodstream. Since they break down slowly over time, they stay in the body and cause irreparable damage to cells, tissue, and vital organs.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies PFOS and PFOA as possible human carcinogens. That means they have the potential to cause cancer in humans.
Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Methyl tert-butyl ether is a common additive to gasoline at refineries. Although the substance reduces pollution emissions, it can contaminate groundwater and lower the quality of water. Contamination typically occurs when underground gasoline storage tanks leak and the chemical makes its way into the air and drinking water.
Breathing in MTBE can cause nose and throat irritation. It can also cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Chronic exposure to MTBE can lead to medical problems, such as:
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage and renal failure
- Various forms of cancer
- Reproductive issues
- Low white blood cell count
Many manufacturers use asbestos to make a range of consumer products. Microscopic fibers from asbestos can contaminate the environment. When someone ingests or inhales these fibers, they can develop a respiratory illness.
Mesothelioma is one of the most common risk factors of asbestos exposure. According to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos is a known human carcinogen.
Oil and Other Fossil Fuels
Chemical plants and refineries contain gas, oil, and other hazardous substances. Explosions and fires can occur and release toxins into the area and affect nearby communities. Anyone can inhale fumes or particles from dangerous chemicals and suffer a range of health problems.
An oil rig explosion can cause large amounts of oil to spill into the ocean. As it makes its way into rivers and streams, it can contaminate the drinking water residents use every day. Cancer and other diseases can develop from ingesting the toxic chemical compounds found in the oil.
Adverse Effects of Chemical Pollution and Spills
Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause medical complications, such as:
- Skin rashes
- Respiratory illnesses
- Birth defects
- Chemical burns
- Nerve damage
- Kidney damage and cancer
- Vision loss
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Female reproductive problems
- Neurological disorders
- Lung damage and injuries
- Liver failure
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
If you experience signs of chemical exposure or develop mesothelioma or another disease, do not hesitate to contact Wallace Miller. We can review your case and determine whether the chemical pollution or spill is responsible for your diagnosis. We will investigate to find the company at fault and pursue legal action against them on your behalf.
Compensation for Chemical Pollution and Spills
You could file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the negligent company for the adverse effects of exposure to a dangerous chemical. You might also qualify for a mass tort lawsuit.
Mass tort litigation combines lawsuits from multiple plaintiffs into a single case to bring against one defendant. Instead of pursuing compensation individually, you can participate in one lawsuit with others who experienced the same or similar health problems.
Plaintiffs don’t split the monetary award equally. Typically, each person receives an amount of money based on the severity of their injury, total medical expenses, and other contributing factors.
The compensation you receive might compensate you for injury-related losses such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Emotional distress
- Damage to personal property
You could also pursue punitive or exemplary damages if you file a lawsuit. This form of compensation punishes the defendant for their misconduct and aims to prevent the defendant from performing similar actions in the future. Every state has laws regarding the type of evidence you must show to recover this financial award.
If your loved one died from exposure to a chemical pollutant or the adverse effects of a chemical spill, you could pursue a wrongful death case. The laws vary from one state to the next regarding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Some states allow a surviving family member, such as a spouse, child, parent, or dependent to pursue legal action, while others only allow the personal representative or executor of the deceased’s estate to do it.
The amount of compensation you receive varies depending on the law where you live and can cover a range of losses that might include:
- Medical expenses for the deceased’s fatal injury or illness
- Loss of consortium or companionship the deceased can no longer provide to a surviving spouse
- Lost income and benefits the deceased could have earned if they survived
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of guidance, love, care, and instruction provided to minor children by the deceased
Wallace Miller will review the circumstances of your situation and advise you about whether you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations for Chemical Pollution/Spill Injuries
You must file your lawsuit within the time period established by the statute of limitations in your state. Most statutes allow between one and five years. If you don’t initiate your lawsuit within the required timeframe, you could lose your right to pursue compensation from the negligent company in court.
The chemical pollution/spills mass tort attorneys of Wallace Miller are familiar with various state laws and procedures. We can prepare your case for litigation and file suit before time runs out.
Wallace Miller will advocate for your rights and provide the guidance and services you deserve. You won’t have to fight this battle alone. We will remain by your side during every step of the legal process. We always treat our clients as our priorities and strive to maintain open and honest communication with them until we resolve their cases.
We understand the burden of pursuing a case while treating an injury or medical condition. Many people can’t afford both. Some will forego legal representation because they don’t think they can pay the legal fees and associated costs. Wallace Miller takes cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about paying us upfront. We won’t collect our legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Our legal team believes in representing injured clients who are suffering the consequences of others’ wrongdoing. We’re not afraid to go up against large companies that place the public at risk of harm. You can depend on us to be there for you every step of the way and support you during this challenging time in your life.