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Personal Injury: Can I Sue Polluters?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year about 6.7 million people around the world suffer from premature deaths due to pollution. You may have noticed pollutants in your area, but can you sue? Can you seek compensation if you’ve suffered an illness caused by pollution?


In Florida, this is a complex situation, and two recent bills in Florida (SB 1252/HB 347 and HB 789/SB 738) would make it harder to sue polluters in the future for personal injury and economic damages. If you’ve been diagnosed with an illness or have suffered property damage because of pollution, contact Flaxman Law Group to find out whether you may have a claim.

Could I Have a Claim Against Polluters?

The challenge with these claims is that it can be hard to prove your injuries were caused by pollution and then to target specific polluters. For example, if you track the US EPA Air Quality Index (AQI) in your area and think your child’s allergies are caused by the AQI, it would be challenging to prove that. It would also be difficult to determine who is at fault, since car exhaust, industry, and other factors could all impact air quality.

That said, there are a few cases where you may be able to seek compensation:

  • Radon exposure. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause lung cancer if you’re exposed to it over time. In Florida, landlords and home sellers are required by law to disclose any known problems with the property, including high radon levels. If they don’t and you suffer a serious illness as a result, you may have a claim.
  • Occupational illness. Some jobs simply have more exposure to air pollutants. Some factory workers, for example, can be exposed to fine particulates in the air due to the manufacturing process. Many firefighters are exposed to harmful chemicals and the toxic by-products released into the air during a fire. If you’re injured on the job or suffer an illness because of pollutants and dangerous substances at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Property damage. If someone spills toxic chemicals on your property, pollutes a stream or waterway on your property, or otherwise causes property damage that interferes with your enjoyment of your property or your home’s value, you may have a claim.
  • Class action lawsuits. Sometimes, a group of parties who have been injured by one or more negligent parties come together to file a claim. For example, a group of residents may file a lawsuit together against a major manufacturer in their area, alleging that the facility failed to dispose of pollutants correctly and this caused illnesses among local residents.

Even in these cases, you may face challenges with a claim. Polluters are often large, multinational companies with deep pockets for legal defense. An experienced attorney who is not afraid to face such companies and who can gather persuasive evidence is important.

If you’ve suffered property damage or have an illness you think may have been caused by exposure to pollutants, don’t wonder whether you have a case. Get answers by calling Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626. We can schedule a consultation between you and a member of our team in Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood so you can get answers.

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