Crossett, in southern Arkansas, has seen better days. Back in 1962, the Georgia-Pacific paper company bought a local mill and transformed it into a paper, plywood, and chemical plant, according to Newsweek. In the process, it brought over 1,000 jobs to the small town, a zoo, a 3-D printer in the library, and $6.7 million in annual tax revenue. However, it has cost the town hundreds of lives as citizens have been picked off by cancer from the toxic chemical leakage from negligent plant operations. Annually, the plant emits 1.5 million tons of carcinogens, including lethal substances such as dioxin, formaldehyde, chloroform, hydrogen sulfide, and acetaldehyde. Decades ago, in the early 1990s, Georgia-Pacific began offering large sums of money to residents, in an effort to be absolved from “any and all past, present, or future, known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries or death.” Some residents were offered a few tens of thousands, while others were offered amounts well into the six digits, neither of which could cure a deadly form of cancer or bring a loved one back from the dead. However, if you have been injured from the negligent disposal of toxic substances of a plant, business, or governmental utility, you may be owed considerable financial compensation.
Filing a Toxic Tort
A toxic tort, or lawsuit, is filed when a dangerous chemical substance causes you or your loved one’s serious injury, illness, or death. Toxic torts can be filed in the following circumstances:
- Occupational exposure - A worker is exposed to dangerous substances on the job and becomes sick as a result;
- Environmental exposure - You get sick from air quality, contaminated water, toxic substances in the soil, or from another environmental danger;
- Consumer product exposure - Something that an individual purchases causes an illness due to toxicity;
- Home exposure - A resident becomes sick from mold, formaldehyde, lead based paint, fungus, or another toxic substance that was used in creating or upkeeping the building; and
- Pharmaceutical drug exposure - A pharmaceutical drug company created a medication with serious, damaging side effects.
Who Was at Fault?
One of the more famous recent cases of negligent, and even criminal, toxic exposure to the public is that of Flint, Michigan. In 2011, Flint faced a $25 million deficit as part of its economic struggle following the downsizing of General Motors in the 1980s, according to CNN. The city cut its funding to the water supply, and, down the line this led to millions of residents being exposed to dangerously high levels of lead, which can have serious health effects for young children in particular. When you get sick from an any or possibly an unknown cause, it is important to contact an attorney who will be able to figure out the cause and the negligent party. Whether it is a city agency, a large corporation, or your employer, a lawyer will hold them accountable for damages.
Call a Jonesboro Lawyer Today
If you were injured or became sick as a result of a company taking short cuts, a plant dumping toxic chemicals into the water supply, or from a dangerous pharmaceutical, you need to contact a lawyer immediately. Call the Jonesboro, Arkansas toxic tort attorneys with Wells & Wells today at 870.782.4084 for professional assistance.