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Internet communication increasingly impacting toxic tort claims

Toxic tort litigation, as readers may know, can involve a variety of types of injury. Some claims in toxic tort litigation stem from chemical exposure to dangerous pharmaceutical drugs or medical devices. Others involve exposure to toxins in the workplace.

Toxic tort litigation can be based on legal theories of negligence and strict liability. It can also be based on violation of government regulations which require businesses to warn the public of risks regarding their products, to maintain the workplace in a safe condition, and to abide by environmental regulations. In addition to these avenues of litigation, toxic tort claims may also be based on intentional misrepresentation or fraud, such as in instances where the defendant business was aware of the dangerous nature of a substance but marketed a product without in a misleading way. 

Toxic tort litigation is an area of law that, like most others, continues to be impacted by increased use of the Internet.  This can especially be seen in the way businesses and companies communicate with potential toxic tort plaintiffs.

As has been pointed out by experts in the field, manufacturers and distributors are increasingly using Internet communications as a means of limiting their exposure—no pun intended—to toxic tort litigation. One way they are doing this is to make disclaimers online so that consumers receive the information they need to be fully informed about a product. The Internet also gives businesses fresh opportunities to decrease their exposure to possible toxic tort litigation.

Consumers, of course, need to pay attention to the trend of businesses using online communication to satisfy their legal duties to adequately inform consumers and avoid liability. Consumers, employees and those affected by government agencies also need to understand their options for gaining legal relief when they are harmed by exposure. Working with an experienced attorney is important, especially when environmental issues are at stake, to ensure one’s rights and interests receive the advocacy they deserve.

Source: Connecticut Law Tribune, “Internet Use Can Reduce Mass-Tort Litigation Difficulties,” Jonathan Bick, Dec. 11, 2014. 

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