Personal Injury

Cases involving personal injury due to exposure to environmental contaminants are much more scientifically sophisticated than ordinary personal injury cases. Injuries resulting from an exposure to an environmental pollutant require an attorney well-versed in the technical aspects of the exposure source at issue, with a keen scientific mind and experience in handling the various nuances presented by these type cases. These cases also require an attorney with experience defending against federal environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which are occasionally included in a personal injury case involving an exposure to an environmental pollutant.

The Environmental Practice Group at LGWM work with the client and expert consultants pro provide a creative, sophisticated and coordinated response and defense to environmental personal injury claims. Our attorneys have defended personal injury claims related to exposure to various hazardous materials.

Cases of Note

  • We defended a muriatic acid manufacturer against claims asserted by a Plaintiff who allegedly sustained burns when the acid leaked from its packaging. Plaintiff claimed the manufacturer failed to properly package the product and failed to attach proper warnings. We were able to negotiate a nominal settlement of Plaintiff’s claims after establishing the package contained more than adequate warnings and any problems with packaging were the result of mishandling by the retailer.
  • We defended an environmental remediation company against claims the Plaintiff was exposed to chemicals used during asbestos abatement at Plaintiff’s residence. We diligently asserted the defense that Plaintiff could not prove the existence of an injury resulting from the exposure and successfully resolved the case for less than the costs of defense.
  • We defended a specialty contractor in a lawsuit arising from an anhydrous ammonia leak at an Alabama power generation facility. Plaintiff was a forklift operator at the facility where the leak occurred and died due to cerebral edema caused by the exposure. We successfully argued the contractor was not responsible for the leak and negotiated a voluntary dismissal of the claims.
  • We represented a contractor in a lawsuit arising out of the owner’s alleged exposure to thermal and moisture protection chemicals used during construction. Plaintiff claimed personal injuries as a result of the alleged exposure. We argued the alleged injury pre-dated the exposure and, even if they did not, the claims were barred by the Statute of Limitations.
  • We represented a manufacturer in a lawsuit arising out of a purchasers’ alleged exposure to formaldehyde contained in flooring products. Plaintiffs alleged personal injuries and mental anguish. We argued there is no evidence the products contained formaldehyde when sold and the source of the chemical was from other products in the residence.
  • We represented a supplier in a case involving an alleged exposure to dangerous chemicals at a paper mill. Plaintiff alleged the supplier’s failure to warn against exposure to the chemicals resulted in permanent injury. We argued there was no duty to warn Plaintiff of the risks, because the purchaser was a sophisticated user with a warning system already in place. We were able to resolve the case for a nominal amount.
  • We represented a synthetic fuel facility against claims that coal dust residue was allowed to migrate off-site, causing personal injury, including lung cancer, which resulted in the Plaintiff’s death during litigation. We successfully argued there was no evidence Defendant allowed coal dust to migrate off-site and no evidence Plaintiffs’ injuries were a result of exposure to coal dust. After establishing these facts, we were able to negotiate a reasonable settlement and dismissal of all claims against Defendant.
  • We represented a colorant manufacturer in claims it failed to warn Plaintiffs of dangers associated with exposure to its product. Plaintiffs claimed the colorant used in colored gardening mulch was hazardous and caused respiratory injuries. We argued any hazards associated with the colorant had been properly disclosed on the Manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet included with the colorant and Defendant could not legally be held responsible for the third-party’s failure to include the warning on its mulch packing. The Court agreed and granted a motion for summary judgment.
  • We defended a valve distributor regarding claims its product was improperly calibrated and dangerous chemicals leaked as a result. We successfully established the damages sought were excessive and the leak was actually the result of a defective process design. We were able to negotiate a reasonable settlement based on these arguments.
  • We represented the owner and landlord of an apartment complex in multiple lawsuits involving alleged mold exposure at the apartment. Plaintiffs claimed personal injuries and emotional distress as a result of the alleged exposure. Through expert testimony, we established that no elevated mold levels existed or that the Plaintiffs had no adverse reaction to the mold.