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Toxic Tort

No Recovery, No Fee.


Toxic Torts

Toxic torts are personal injury claims brought by individuals who were wrongfully exposed to a toxin in the environment.  In some cases, the toxin comes from exposure to a defective product, such as a pesticide.   In others, it comes from exposure to polluted air, water, soil, or paint.  Toxic tort litigation is a complex area of law because it often intertwines with consumer, environmental and product liability laws.  Toxic tort claims also often involve large volumes of evidence, and the defendants are typically large corporations with deep pockets to finance litigation defense. 


Phillips & Associates is adept at navigating the complexities of toxic tort litigation.  Through years of experience handling toxic tort matters, we have developed a nuanced understanding of the issues, the science and the law, thereby enabling us to deliver the best possible results to our clients.

      Table of Contents

  1. Compensation Available in Toxic Tort Cases

  2. Common Defenses in Toxic Tort Cases

  3. How Does a Toxic Tort Lawyer Get Paid?

  4. How Long Will My Toxic Tort Case Take to Resolve?


Compensation Available in Toxic Tort Cases

The compensation that the victim of a toxic tort may be entitled to receive will vary depending upon the nature of the client's injuries, their personal and professional circumstances, their medical bills, and their prognosis.  That said, the general categories of damages available in toxic tort actions include the following:

  • Past medical expenses and reasonably probably future medical expenses: Compensation for medical expenses is limited to what was (or will be) directly related to the toxic exposure.

  • Past and future lost wages: A toxic tort claimant may be entitled to compensation for wages they lost because they were forced to take time off work while healing from their injuries. To the extent the client will suffer impairment in the future, they may also be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity.

  • Cost to modify one's residence: Catastrophically injured individuals may require residential modifications such as ramps and specially constructed showers which accommodate their new disabilities. The cost of construction for these home modifications is a recovery form of damage.

  • Non-economic damages: This category of damages is generally the largest component of any toxic tort recovery.  Non-economic damages are damages for the intangible pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and general loss of enjoyment of life that is commonly suffered in these cases.

  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages are damages above and beyond the plaintiff's actual damages awarded to punish the defendant for willful or malicious misconduct.  Punitive damages are frequently pursued and awarded in toxic tort action taken to trial.

  • Wrongful death: When the victim of a toxic tort dies, their immediate family member can pursue claims for wrongful death.  In a wrongful death action, these family members can recover compensation for their emotional pain and suffering, a loss of companionship and financial support, and the funeral and burial expenses associated with the victim's death.

Common Defenses in Toxic Tort Actions

When pursuing a toxic tort action, there are a variety of potential defenses that the defendants can raise.  The following defenses are some of the most common:


All personal injury actions including toxic tort actions require the plaintiff to establish that they suffered harm as a direct consequence of the defendant's negligent or wrongful conduct.  In law, we refer to this cause and effect connection as "causation."  A frequently asserted defense in toxic tort actions is that whatever harm the plaintiff suffered was not the result of the toxic exposure.  Often times, it is necessary to retain medical experts who review the plaintiff's medical records, or scientific experts who conduct specific chemical analysis, to establish the connection between the toxic exposure and harm. 

Statute of Limitations

Someone who suffers a toxic tort injury does not have an indefinite period of time to take legal action.  Generally, the injured party must initiate a lawsuit within two years from when they knew or should have known that they had grounds to pursue a toxic tort action.  Since the defendants in these actions often conceal or deny their misconduct, statutes of limitations can become a contentious issue when it comes to delayed discover of a toxic tort injury   But in any case, if the defendant can establish that the plaintiff did not initiate their lawsuit before the statute of limitations expired, the plaintiff's case may be dismissed.

How Does a Toxic Tort Lawyer Get Paid?

Phillips & Associates handle all toxic tort litigation on a pure contingency fee basis, so cost is never a barrier to quality representation.  Our firm also advances all costs incurred in the course of litigation.  We offer free and immediate consultations to prospective toxic tort clients.  Contact us today for an evaluation of your case.

How Long Will My Toxic Tort Case Take to Resolve?

Due to the complex nature of toxic tort actions and the fact that the courts sometimes limit trials in actions where there are large groups of similarly situated plaintiffs, toxic tort actions can sometimes take longer to resolve than other types of personal injury cases.  At Phillips & Associates, we pursue aggressive litigation strategies that often enable us to leverage favorable settlements earlier on in the case.  However, we are also prepared to go to trial in any case where the defendant refuses to fairly compensate our clients for their injuries.  All of this is to say that on the short end, a toxic tort case can resolve in as little as a few months, or as long as several years.  We are dedicated and unwavering in our commitment to justice for toxic tort victims and their families.


  • Personal Injury

  • Car Accidents

  • Cycling Accidents

  • Bus Accidents

  • Slip-and-Falls

  • Dog Bites

  • Brain Injury

  • Wrongful Death

  • Toxic Torts

  • Product Defects

  • Medical Device Defects

  • Medical Malpractice

  • Food Poisoning

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Wrongful Termination

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