Toxic Tort Lawyer, Toxic Tort Attorney in New York, NY
In the modern world, environmental pollution caused by manufacturers of toxic materials is a far too common occurrence. The pollutants these manufacturers produce have a significant effect on Earth’s inhabitants. According to The World Bank, from contained sites alone, toxic pollution affects the health of over 200 million people across the globe. For those who have been caused harm by these pollutants, receiving reparations may seem like a lost cause. However, the toxic tort lawyers at Leav & Steinberg LLP will fight for you and help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Is Tort Law?
By definition, a tort is an act or omission that causes injury or harm to another party or individual and amounts to a civil wrong for which courts impose liability. In tort law cases, the party bringing suit is usually a private party, very often known as a class action lawsuit. In tort law cases, it is assumed that the party a suit is being brought against acted in a way that brought harm specifically onto the plaintiff. This differs from criminal law, where defendants are believed to have committed an action that threatens society as a whole.
What is a toxic tort case?
Toxic tort law allows for groups or individuals to receive compensation for adverse health effects caused by exposure to toxic substances in their environment. Toxic tort cases are often brought under the doctrine of product liability. These cases typically deal with injuries caused by poisonous substances but can also involve tobacco, drugs or pharmaceuticals, and fossil fuels. According to Cornell Law School, in order for a plaintiff to sustain a claim for damages, they must prove that:
- The plaintiff was exposed to a disease-causing substance.
- The defendant is responsible for their exposure.
- The plaintiff has been caused suffering because of this exposure.
What Happened at Camp Lejeune?
Over the past few decades, studies have found dangerously high levels of contamination in Jacksonville, North Carolina’s Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s water supply. Dozens of toxic chemicals were found in the camp’s water supply that residents drank, bathed in, and cooked with. Some of the harmful chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply include volatile organic compounds like perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene.
Many veterans and their family members who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 for at least one month have been diagnosed with a multitude of illnesses. Some of the most common diseases found include:
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Cardiac defect
- Renal toxicity
- Fatty liver disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Female infertility
- Neurobehavioral effects
Some evidence showed that the U.S. Marine Corps knew about Camp Lejeune’s water supply contamination for years and later tried to conceal the issue. When the water contamination was first discovered in 1980 by the U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, the U.S. Marine Corps took zero immediate action and didn’t recognize that the water was contaminated until 1992. It wasn’t concluded that USMC officials weren’t engaged in criminal acts until 2005 when the EPA and Department of Justice launched an investigation. But in 2007, it came to light that EPA officials wanted to charge several Camp Lejeune officials with obstruction of justice, although this decision was overruled by DOJ prosecutors.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021 is a proposed bill that will allow those affected by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to recover damages for the harm they suffered. In order to file a lawsuit, you must have been exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987. This new bill prohibits the federal government from claiming immunity in this lawsuit. The U.S. House of Representatives passed this bill in March 2022, but it is currently still waiting for approval by the U.S. Senate.
What Is the Role of a Toxic Tort Lawyer?
Toxic tort lawyers specialize in toxic tort cases and have a profound understanding of current and historically relevant toxic tort cases. This specialization and a vast amount of knowledge of past cases are essential for toxic tort cases because of how complex they often become. These cases can last years and involve large numbers of plaintiffs and defendants. A toxic tort attorney must be specialized in the law and the science that supports their position in the case.
How the Leav & Steinberg LLP Team Can Help You Build a Toxic Tort Case
If you have been diagnosed with any of the diseases listed above and lived, worked, or served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987, you may be entitled to receive compensation. The experienced toxic tort lawyers at Leav & Steinberg LLP are working with Weitz & Luxenberg Attorneys to help those exposed to the toxic water conditions at Camp Lejeune get the reparations they deserve. For more information about this case, request a free consultation today.