Skip to main content

Exit WCAG Theme

Switch to Non-ADA Website

Accessibility Options

Select Text Sizes

Select Text Color

Website Accessibility Information Close Options
Close Menu
Law Offices Of Richard A. Fogel We Place An Emphasis On Providing You With The Best Possible Resolution
  • A Firm With Experience
  • ~
  • That You Can Trust

How Is Chemical Exposure Proven?

Double exposure of engineer in safety helmet with oil plant.

Toxic torts (injuries caused by exposure to chemicals and hazardous substances) can be complex cases to prove, and equally challenging to defend. Victims of chemical exposure may suffer from a range of health issues, from minor irritations to severe, life-threatening conditions. For years now, New York courts have defined and refined the test or standard required for plaintiffs alleging an injury caused by toxic exposure. Below is a look at the ways in which chemical exposure is proven in an attempt to establish liability. If you are a property owner or insurance company facing a chemical exposure lawsuit, contact the Law Offices of Richard A. Fogel, P.C., to review your case with an experienced and successful New York toxic tort defense attorney.

Identifying the Chemical Agent

The first step in proving chemical exposure is identifying the specific chemical agent responsible for the harm. This involves collecting evidence from the site of exposure, such as samples of air, water, soil, or materials containing the chemical. Chemical analysis and testing are conducted in laboratories to determine the presence and concentration of the toxic substance.

Establishing a Link to Health Issues

Proving that the identified chemical agent caused the plaintiff’s health issues is a critical aspect of a toxic tort case. Medical records, clinical studies, and expert testimony play a significant role in establishing this causal link. Toxicologists, epidemiologists, and other medical professionals may analyze the victim’s symptoms, the nature of the chemical, and relevant scientific literature to demonstrate that the exposure led to the alleged health problems.

Demonstrating Negligence or Liability

To hold a party responsible for chemical exposure, it is necessary to prove negligence or liability. This involves showing that the party knew or should have known about the dangers of the chemical and failed to take appropriate precautions to prevent exposure. In some cases, strict liability may apply, where the mere presence of a hazardous chemical is sufficient to establish liability, regardless of negligence.

Documenting the Extent of Exposure

Quantifying the extent of exposure is essential for determining the severity of the impact on the victim’s health and for calculating damages. This can involve measuring the duration and intensity of exposure, as well as assessing the cumulative effects of long-term or repeated contact with the chemical.

Challenges in Proving Chemical Exposure

Proving chemical exposure presents several challenges, including the complex nature of toxic substances, the variability of individual reactions to chemicals, and the need for specialized scientific knowledge. It is often difficult to directly link a specific chemical to a particular health condition due to the multitude of factors that can influence health outcomes. Additionally, legal standards for proving causation in toxic tort cases can be stringent, requiring a high level of scientific certainty.

In New York, the case of Parker v. Mobil Oil and its progeny have been the guiding light by which plaintiffs and defendants argue whether chemical exposure has been proven to establish liability. These cases require an expert witness who can testify as to the specific quantity of chemical exposure that has or has not occurred. The expert must also be able to say how much chemical exposure would be required to cause the condition at issue. An expert’s opinions cannot be either conclusory or subjective if they are to pass muster with the court.

Contact the Law Offices of Richard A. Fogel for Toxic Tort Defense in New York

Proving or challenging chemical exposure in a legal context is a multifaceted process that requires a thorough understanding of the chemical involved, its potential health impacts, and the legal standards for establishing causation and liability. With a master’s degree in science and years of experience as a toxic torts defense lawyer in New York, attorney Richard A. Fogel has the necessary expertise in toxic tort insurance defense and is well-equipped to navigate the complexities of these cases on behalf of his clients.

For knowledgeable legal advice and effective representation in a New York toxic tort claim, call the Law Offices of Richard A. Fogel, P.C., at 516-721-7161.

Skip footer and go back to main navigation