Toxic tort cases are exceedingly expensive to prove and take years to conclude. Administering the case and retaining multiple layers of experts drains resources. For immediate assistance, simply fill out the brief application to the right for a free consultation with one of our legal funding specialists. RD Legal Funding can convert your settled cases into immediate cash via our proprietary Fee Acceleration post-settlement funding program. You can also reach us at 1-800-565-5177 to speak with a Fee Acceleration expert.
The first mention of the concept of toxic tort was in a published opinion in 1979 In re Agent Orange Liability Litigation. A toxic tort is now known as a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs were injured by contact with a toxic substance for which another individual or company is responsible. Most toxic exposures arise through pharmaceutical drugs or occupational exposures as well as consumer products and environmental causes.
Some notable toxic tort actions include:
Bhopal: In the world’s worst industrial disaster, over 500,000 people were exposed in 1984 to methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals which had leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. The official death toll is estimated at 3,787, with tens of thousands more injured. Union Carbide maintains the accident was the result of sabotage. A $470 million settlement in 1989 with the Indian government resolved all existing and future claims.
Love Canal: In 1995, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Occidental Chemical Corporation would pay $129 million to cover the costs of the Love Canal “incident.” From 1942 to 1953, Hooker Chemical Corporation dumped 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals in the city of Niagara Falls’ abandoned Love Canal. The company then covered over the dump and sold the property to the Niagara Falls School Board which built homes and a school adjacent to the canal. This toxic dump disaster gave birth to the nation’s Superfund program, founded to clean up the most hazardous toxic waste sites.
Toxic torts and the movies: In 1996, as a result of the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind, Erin Brockovitch and Ed Masry proved that Pacific Gas & Electric had been poisoning the small town of Hinkley, California’s water with toxic Chromium 6 for over 30 years. The lawsuit resulted in a payout of $333 million to residents.
The movie “A Civil Action” tells the story of the pollution of groundwater in Woburn, Massachusetts by Riley Tannery (a subsidy of Beatrice Foods), W.R. Grace and Unifirst. Unifirst settled for $1 million. Then, with additional action by the Environmental Protection Agency, W.R. Grace and Beatrice Foods were forced to pay $64 million for the largest chemical clean up in the history of the Northeastern United States.
Toxic torts today: Toxic tort continues to be the cause of major lawsuits including:
The Rand Institute for Civil Justice reports that asbestos litigation is the longest-running toxic tort litigation in U.S. history. Through 2002, about 730,000 people have brought claims against some 8,400 businesses. Defendants and insurers have spent a total of $70 billion on litigation.
Toxic tort cases are currently pending as part of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These relate to the use of chemical dispersant Corexit 9500 used to remediate the spill. One suit claims that Corexit is four times more toxic than the oil spilled and is endangering residents, fishermen, fish, and wildlife.
RD Legal Funding is positioned to help toxic tort litigation plaintiff’s attorneys and their clients with rapid post-settlement legal funding. Please fill out the brief online application located at the upper right corner of this page to start accelerating your legal fees today. Or you can call RD Legal toll-free at 1-800-565-5177 to speak with one of our legal funding experts.