Crumb rubber is a type of material made from recycled rubber from automotive and truck scrap tires. The recycling process involves removing any steel and tire cord, and breaking the rubber pieces into smaller granulated particles. Crumb rubber is commonly used in:
- Astroturf for athletic games
- Material for athletic race tracks
- Children’s playgrounds
- Waterpark floor surface
- Landscaping and trails
There have been several injury and safety concerns connected with crumb rubber. First, there are concerns regarding toxic exposure through inhalation or ingestion of the crumb rubber particles during usage or play. This problem is compounded by the fact that tire rubber materials may differ from batch to batch or by manufacturer.
Secondly, there are also concerns regarding increased risk of injury during athletic use of crumb rubber, especially on astroturf surfaces. These have included increased risk of broken bones, sprains, twisted ankles, “turf burns”, and other injuries.
Other factors may also create increased toxic exposure and injury risks from crumb rubber, such as:
- Indoor usage of crumb rubber (buildup of volatile organic compound or VOC’s in the area)
- Usage of crumb rubber outdoors in very hot temperatures
- Crumb rubber that is very old or in need of replacement (can be in a corroding state)
Who Can be Held Liable for Crumb Rubber Injuries?
Various parties may be found liable for crumb rubber injuries, depending on the situation. In many cases, manufacturers or producers of crumb rubber can be held liable for injuries caused by a defective crumb rubber product. This can apply to both toxic tort injuries as well as injuries resulting from sports usage or playground usage. For instance, broken or corroded crumb rubber can often present a trip hazard, especially for children’s playgrounds.
In other cases, the owner or maintainer of the premises can be held liable for injuries resulting from crumb rubber. These types of claims are typically based on negligence, and may require showing that the premises owner knew or should have known of the dangers associated with the crumb rubber, yet failed to take steps to make repairs or resolve the risks.
Are There any Legal Remedies for Crumb Rubber Injuries?
Crumb rubber injury claims may often require legal action to resolve. In such cases, the legal remedy will typically involve a monetary damages award. The damages will often compensate the injured party for losses such as medical costs, hospital expenses, lost wages, and other costs.
In some instances, serious issues with crumb rubber may lead to broader measures, such as a product recall, or stricter enforcement of industry standards. Also, some injury claims may require a class action filing to provide legal relief for the affected consumers.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Crumb Rubber Injury Case?
Crumb rubber injury lawsuits can be complex; you may need to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need assistance with the legal process. Your attorney can provide you with guidance and research for your claim, and can represent you in court as needed.