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Joliet toxic chemical exposure lawyerTo win a product liability lawsuit, you have to prove that the product caused a significant injury and financial loss. When someone is instantly injured by a defective product, as when a child is poisoned by a product with unsafe packaging, it is easy to see the causal connection between the product and the injury. However, when someone is exposed to a product over a long period of time and alleges that the product gave them cancer, the causal connection is much harder to prove. So, how do you prove causation and win compensation for a personal injury when the damage caused by a dangerous product happened over a long period of time? 

Proving Causation in a Long-Term Exposure Lawsuit

Government warnings based on scientific research. Years of research are typically required to prove how a particular chemical affects the human body. Government agencies often fund this research and issue associated warnings and regulations, including the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

For example, the EPA classifies benzene, a compound found in petroleum, as a “known human carcinogen” that affects the bone marrow; this classification makes it relatively easy to show causation between exposure to benzene and blood-based cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” it opened the door for litigation against the maker of Roundup weedkiller, which contains glyphosate.

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Will County defective products attorneyYou have probably seen a warning label on at least one product in your house, from laundry detergent pods to hair dryers. But do you know why that warning label is there? One reason is to prevent you from winning a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. 

Product liability lawsuits are different from other personal injury lawsuits in one important way. In most personal injury cases, you must show that you suffered injury due to another party’s negligence, meaning that they failed to act with reasonable caution. In a product liability case, however, you do not have to show negligence. You only have to show that you suffered injury because a defect in the product made it dangerous or unfit for its intended use. You can argue your case based on one of three types of defects:

  • A defect in design
  • A defect in manufacturing
  • Inadequate instructions and warnings on the product

In order to win a product liability case, you must show that:

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Orland Park personal injury attorneyIn what the NHTSA has called "the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history," approximately 46 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled. The airbags were found to have chemical defects that can cause them to explode and spray metal shrapnel onto passengers. The propellant in the air bags was found to break down when exposed to high temperatures and humidity. This causes the propellant to burn too quickly and results in increased pressure in the inflator, which can cause the inflator to explode.

Dangerous Products

The faulty airbags have injured nearly 200 people and killed 19. Takata airbags are in cars made by 19 different manufacturers. Some automakers, such as Tesla, Honda and Subaru, have been vigilant about getting news of the recall out to the public. They have contacted consumers by putting ads on social media and sending representatives door-to-door. Unfortunately, other automakers are not being as aggressive with their outreach. Of course, letting people know about the recall is only half the battle. It is sometimes difficult to get people to respond to recalls such as this because they do not think the problem is a big enough concern to actually take the car in to be fixed. The NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers are urging the public to get their defective airbags fixed as soon as possible. The repair is free for consumers.

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