Articles Posted in Exposure to Toxic Substances

The Maine Supreme Court recently handed down an important decision in an asbestos lawsuit that may have an impact on future toxic tort cases in Maine. Fence

In Grant v. Foster Wheeler et. al., the court affirmed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment for numerous defendants accused of liability to plaintiff for decedent’s alleged exposure to asbestos at a shipyard. Decedent died of asbestos-related lung disease in 2011, and his wife, as representative of his estate, filed a lawsuit against defendants–makers of asbestos-laden products–for negligence, failure to warn, distribution of unreasonably dangerous goods, and loss of consortium.

Asbestos litigation has become prevalent across the country, as those who were exposed to the substance decades ago have only recently emerged with diagnoses of the resulting, latent diseases. However, it’s been years since the Maine high court has issued any kind of clarification on the question of causation in these notoriously complex cases, all of which stem from circumstances that occurred decades ago. That can make proving causation a problematic issue. That was also true in Grant, but at least now asbestos injury lawyers have some clearer direction about the evidence needed to prevail in future cases. Continue reading

The father of a 21-month-old boy says their child died in a Portland hospital after falling ill a week after a visit to the Oxford County Fair. The child was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which is a disease born of E. coli, a bacteria that’s typically found in the intestines of both humans and animals. pettingzoo

After learning of another toddler who is in critical condition with the same condition after visiting the same petting zoo, the deceased boy’s father said he is convinced his child picked up the illness at the petting zoo. He told the Boston Globe he and the other family compared notes on everything they ate, places they went, cleanliness practices. He said the two children didn’t know each other and had never met.

“But we both went to the petting zoo,” he told a reporter.

The other child, 17 months, remains hospitalized. Continue reading

When three young children and their parents were exposed to toxic lead in their rented Maine home, they sought compensation through the courts.

After being denied a jury trial on some of the negligence complaints raised, the family lost the remaining claims at trial. paintbucket

But now, the Maine Supreme Court has found clear errors in the way the trial court handed the case, ruling that the burden of proof was unfairly shifted to the plaintiffs. The victims will now have the opportunity to seek a new trial in the case of Bratton v. McDonough.

INSURANCE ADJUSTERS HAVE THE INTERNET TOO!

Most people at one time or another have heard the advice “Do not put anything in an email or online that you would not want on the front page of the newspaper”. This is never truer than when you are bringing a personal injury claim. The insurance company WILL search for your online profiles. More than once, we have received a call from an adjuster directing us to a client’s online profile.

“So what?” you might be thinking, “I have nothing to hide. Besides, nothing I put on my Facebook or MySpace account has anything to do with my accident.”sThis is almost never true. For example, if you are claiming an injury, and you are writing about all of the things you did over the weekend, that is relevant. If you are posting pictures of your participation in a charity walk, that is relevant. As your attorneys, we know the truth is accident victims have good days and bad days while recovering. It is our job to make that argument on your behalf. However, the insurance adjuster will use this to show that your injuries are not very serious.