Toxic Exposure and Pollution

Legal Advocacy for Injured Residents of West Virginia

There are many industries throughout West Virginia that regularly employ dangerous chemicals in their operations. Unfortunately, some companies do not take the measures necessary to properly contain such substances, but instead they recklessly allow them to be released into surrounding areas. Toxins and pollutants that infiltrate the air and ground may cause significant environmental harm and lead to grave illnesses. If your health was compromised due to toxic exposure or pollution, you may be able to pursue claims via a civil lawsuit. The West Virginia toxic tort lawyers at Rich & Gutta are dedicated to helping injured members of our community pursue compensation for their harm. There is no legal fee unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Injuries Caused by Toxic Exposure and Pollution

Generally, the causes of widespread pollution and the release of toxic chemicals in West Virginia are businesses that manufacture products such as plastics, protective equipment, and pharmaceuticals, as well as chemical and industrial plants and energy companies. For example, such companies often release contaminants such as benzene, silica, asbestos, lead, arsenic, heavy metals, and gases into the ground and air. People who are exposed to these noxious substances often develop cancer, reproductive problems, kidney disease, and a variety of other grave health issues.

Seeking Compensation for Harm Caused by Dangerous Chemicals

Lawsuits against companies that carelessly harm people via exposure to dangerous chemicals are often known as toxic tort claims. In most instances, this means that a plaintiff and a toxic tort attorney in West Virginia will allege that while the defendant did not intend to cause anyone harm, it should nonetheless be held liable for the damages caused by its negligence. Thus, to present a successful case, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legally recognized duty, the defendant breached the duty, and the plaintiff suffered injuries that were proximately caused by the breach. Each element of a negligence claim must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it must be shown that it is more likely than not that the plaintiff’s assertions are true.

In toxic tort cases, whether the defendant will be deemed liable generally depends on whether the plaintiff can prove the element of causation. To do so, the plaintiff must establish the presence of the harmful substance and show that he or she was exposed to the substance, and then the plaintiff must show that the harm alleged was directly caused by the exposure to the substance. Since the harmful aspects of dangerous substances and the level of exposure necessary to impair a person’s health are beyond the understanding of the average juror, the plaintiff will typically need to retain an expert to testify about these issues. A West Virginia toxic tort attorney also may introduce expert testimony to demonstrate the health issues that the plaintiff suffered or will suffer in the future due to the exposure.

Depending on the circumstances that led to a plaintiff’s harm, he or she may be able to pursue claims other than negligence as well, such as product liability claims. In cases in which the defendant acted in a willful or wanton manner, the plaintiff also may be able to pursue punitive damages.

Speak to a Trusted West Virginia Attorney

Toxic exposure and pollution can cause a variety of serious health issues, and companies that expose people to dangerous substances should be held responsible for the harm caused by their carelessness or misconduct. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at Rich & Gutta take pride in seeking justice for those that are harmed. We will fight tirelessly to help you pursue the best possible outcome. You can contact us at our office by calling (304) 924-7001, or you can reach us via the online form to set up a confidential and free consultation with a toxic tort lawyer in West Virginia.