Hazardous materials or "hazmats" are those types of substances that are deemed dangerous to manufacture, handle, transport. Under state and federal laws, hazmats are generally classified according to four factors: flammability, reactivity with other materials, corrosivity, and toxicity.
Certain substances might be hazardous simply due to their composition, while others might be considered hazardous at certain concentrations. Standards might also vary according to the setting or industry involved. Common hazardous materials include solvents, metal by-products, nuclear waste, pesticides, and ammunition. Hazardous materials are often the subject of ultrahazardous activity lawsuits.
What Are Hazardous Materials Lawsuits?
Hazardous materials lawsuits often involve issues such as:
- Illegal dumping- pollution of the air, water sources, or other similar actions
- Violations of environmental permit/licensing requirements (i.e., transporting/owning/handling hazmats without authorization)
- Creating toxic tort hazards
- Mislabeling of products for sale
Legal Consequences of Hazardous Materials Violations
Hazardous materials violations can often lead to some serious legal consequences. These can include:
- Damages for contaminated property (consequences may even result if it is the persons’ or company’s own property)
- Damages for injuries, such as skin burns, respiratory infections, long-term illnesses, etc.
- Revocation of business operating licenses
- Class action claims
Illegal dumping cases can also involve significant fines and/or criminal charges. Also, destruction or contamination of government lands, or contamination across state borders can lead to federal charges as well.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Hazardous Material Lawsuits?
Hazardous material lawsuits can often involve complex state or federal laws. These can involve a mix of personal injury, property, and environmental law concepts. It may be necessary to hire a personal injury lawyer if you have been injured or affected by a hazardous material issue. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and representation in the event that you need to file a lawsuit or appear in court. Your lawyer can provide you with guidance throughout the entirety of the process.