Toxic Torts

Barrett Law Office, PLLC’s attorneys maintain a practice in environmental law through the representation of clients, specifically plaintiffs, in toxic tort cases. Environmental problems can arise from simple negligence or, on the other end of the behavioral spectrum, deliberate conduct. Either way, individuals across the U.S. have suffered the effects of environmental wrongdoing as diverse as birth defects, the infliction of diseases through toxic exposure (e.g., cancer developing from human exposure to carcinogens), and the contamination of private property resulting in diminished property value. In some cases, businesses suffer losses because of polluters.

Toxic tort cases come in many varieties. Some cases involve contamination of a site where the contaminant was actually disposed. Other cases of contamination feature encroachment of the contaminant, through a migratory plume, across property lines and sometimes over great distances depending on the local geology. Frequently, such migration occurs through movement of groundwater. Certain cases of environmental contamination result from recent episodes of contamination while others can be traced back to bygone days before much of America’s industrial capacity was shifted overseas and when less attention was focused on the environment, both governmentally and privately. Our attorneys are prepared to represent victims of toxic torts, whether the subject matter concerns personal injury or property damage.

Federal regulatory control of environmental practices, of course, is relatively well known by observers, especially in terms of programs administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, many individuals are unaware that state law causes of action can be pursued by attorneys to obtain recovery for environmental tort victims. Of course, the nature of claims alleged plaintiffs varies across cases based on the unique sets of facts at hand. Further, the law applicable to such matters varies from state to state. As a general proposition, however, lawyers often rely on state common law causes of action including negligence, gross negligence, trespass, and/or nuisance.

Attorneys generally evaluate a toxic tort case for the types of damages and other forms of relief that can be asserted. In litigating a toxic torts case on behalf of plaintiffs, attorneys typically consult experts who assist in establishing (1) the liability of the defendants and (2) the damages suffered by plaintiffs. Hydrologists, toxicologists, epidemiologists, medical researchers, and others often provide expert testimony in this area.

There is also a non-scientific side to this inquiry. To increase the prospects for recovery, attorneys often resort to investigating corporate histories by tracing sales of business entities and their assets, mergers between entities, and other changes in organizational form – for the purpose of identifying all responsible parties, including relevant successors in interest.

Barrett Law Office, PLLC attorney have litigation experience in Tennessee and elsewhere in the U.S.

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