Toxic air lawsuits are a relatively recent development in personal injury law. This type of lawsuit comes in two varieties: cases involving outdoor air pollution and cases involving indoor air quality. Although clean air is a basic necessity, there are surprisingly few ways to ensure that you will recover damages for an injury suffered from breathing polluted air. The Clean Air Act sets standards for outdoor air emissions, but it does not address indoor air quality standards. Even though a majority of people spend most of their time indoors, there is no single federal agency that regulates indoor air quality. The lack of federal standards makes it more difficult to pursue private claims for injuries.
Unlike water pollution, which has a long history under state law, there are few successful lawsuits based on outdoor air pollution. Cases can be brought under traditional legal theories, such as nuisance, trespass, and negligence, but the movable nature of air makes it difficult to identify the responsible party. Even when the party can be identified, it is difficult to prove the party is responsible for an injury that may not arise for decades. It is even more difficult to prove the party is responsible for an increase in the level of illness in a particular area. The difficulty in establishing cause and proving damages has made personal injury cases based on outdoor air pollution rare. Indoor air quality can be an issue in any type of building, including residential apartment buildings and office buildings. Toxic air can result from asbestos, radon, mold, cleaning chemicals, tobacco smoke, and other substances. Lawsuits based on indoor air quality have become more popular because of scientific innovation. Science can now detect toxins in the air and tie those toxins to specific illnesses.
While losing a loved one or handling a situation where harm comes to your loved one is stressful no matter what the circumstances, if this has happened to you or someone you know, you should reach out a trained professional who can assist you in determining if you have a claim to seek compensation for the loss or your loved one. Because you can’t put a price on the life or health of a friend or loved one, it is only right to seek the assistance of an attorney, like a personal injury attorney Dekalb County GA can count on, to assist you bringing attention to any party at fault and to assist you in gaining closure in the matter.
Thanks to contributor Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into toxic air and personal injury cases.