People come into contact with chemicals every day at work, home, and school.
However, most of these chemicals are safe—it’s the dangerous
ones that you have to worry about. Contamination of groundwater or soil,
chemical exposure in the workplace and exposure to mold, asbestos and
lead paint can lead to illnesses, injuries, diseases or even death.
If you’re a victim of chemical exposure, you can take legal action
against negligent parties to receive compensation. Most chemical exposure
cases are handled through class action lawsuits, where one of the parties
is a group of people who are represented collectively by a member of that
group. If you’re considering taking action, it’s important
to know about common misconceptions when it comes to chemical exposure
class action cases.
#1: Exposure to Chemicals Has to Be Direct
In order to experience illness, injury, or disease from chemical exposure,
it must enter the body, but that doesn’t mean it has to happen directly
or through physical contact. In many cases, victims are exposed to toxic
materials through ingestion, inhalation, or through the skin.
#2: Money from Class Action Is Evenly Split Among Plaintiffs
Damages in chemical exposure class action cases are divided according to
the severity of a plaintiff’s injury or loss. To be part of a class
action class, you must only be similarly situated, not identically situated,
so plaintiffs will have varying degrees of injuries. If a case is settled,
the terms will specify who gets what and that usually means that the more
injured someone is, the more money they will get.
#3: Chemical Exposure Class Action Settlements Are Taxable
As a general rule, when a class action lawsuit is related to physical harm
you suffered, such as cancer as a result of toxic waste, the judgement
is not taxable. These damages are usually meant to compensate you for
medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, attorney fees and pain
and suffering. If you receive punitive damages, which are meant to punish
the defendant, they may be taxable.
If you or a loved one was injured due to toxic exposure, contact our
Philadelphia toxic tort lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C. We represent clients from Pennsylvania, New
Jersey and nationwide.
Call (215) 278-4449 or contact us online
for a free consultation.