In toxic exposure cases, such as treated lumber or asbestos, finding those responsible can be difficult. Below is a general list of who might be responsible for causing mass injuries. Each can be a defendant, but may be sued under different legal theories and award size can vary.
Common toxic exposure defendants include:
- Manufacturers – Manufacturers are those who actually create the chemical or toxic compound. These individuals may be culpable simply by virtue of creating and unleashing a toxic substance into the general population.
- Processors – Processors are those who apply the chemical to the product, such as those who treat the raw lumber with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) or sprayed asbestos into ceiling insulation.
- Distributors – Distributors are often the middlemen in the retail end of the process. Still, they may be liable for poorly inspecting the goods they put into the stream of commerce.
- Retailers – The retailers are the ones who sell directly to consumers. While it may seem unfair to include them in this list, bear in mind that every party that may potentially be liable must be included to preserve a recovery. Plus, it is also entirely possible the retailer was partially or wholly responsible for releasing a toxic substance.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
As you can tell, these lawsuits can be very complicated, with several parties and many ins and outs. A personal injury attorney can help organize which party is responsible and under which legal theory they should be sued.