When an injury accident occurs at a California workplace, it is often clear who is at fault. However, determining who is responsible for an occupational disease is much more complex. Exposure to mold, asbestos and chemicals can cause lung disease, even cancer. These situations can cause significant financial loss, so it is important for victims to seek compensation for damages. First though, the liable party must be identified.
The manufacturer is often at fault for causing toxic exposure. An employee may use a specific chemical or product on a daily basis, unaware that frequent exposure can cause bodily harm. Manufacturers have a duty to sell safe products. As a result, if something is dangerous and the manufacturer does not warn consumers of the dangers, then it can be considered negligent and, therefore, held liable for any damages.
Contractors can also be held liable for damages caused by toxic exposure. If the contractor is working on an office building and negligently removes insulation or another part of the building, this could cause employees to become exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Employers can also be at fault for chemical exposure. If employers require workers to use specific products and chemicals knowing that they are dangerous, then they can be sued for any damages that result from the exposure. Most likely, though, the injured worker will file a workers' compensation claim to receive benefits.
Those exposed to chemicals should seek legal help as soon as possible. The longer one waits, the more complicated the case will be as it will become more difficult to determine the cause of the exposure and the liable party.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Legal Responsibility for Toxic Exposure," accessed on June 7, 2015