Filing a Toxic Tort Against Your Landlord
Were you informed of lead-based paint, asbestos, or other toxic substances when you began renting your apartment or home? Landlords are required by Pennsylvania law to disclose this information, and if they kept it a secret, they may be held liable for your damages. Asbestos and lead are two lethal substances that can cause devastating medical conditions with long-term exposure, or with exposure that children face at a young age. You may have a toxic tort on your hands, and it is most likely time to speak with an attorney if lead or asbestos have been found in the property that you rent.
Was Your Landlord Negligent in Their Duty to Test for Asbestos?
Your landlord may be required by federal law to test for asbestos. Asbestos is a chemical used for fire retardant, and was widely incorporated in buildings and dwellings until the early 1980s, when it was found that it causes mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer for which there is no cure. The average life expectancy for a victim of mesothelioma is just 12 to 21 months. Mesothelioma is caused by long-term exposure to microscopic asbestos fibers, which are breathed into the lining of the lungs and stay there. As such, only airborne asbestos is deadly. If it is in the ceiling and testing is performed in the home that shows that it is not in the air, the landlord does not have an obligation to remove the asbestos. Of course, just because there are no airborne fibers when it was tested years ago, or even recently, does not mean that there will never be airborne fibers. Fibers get released into the air when the asbestos is disturbed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lead-based paint was widely used until 1978. The greatest hazard of lead-based paint is to children who may eat paint as it flakes off the walls or ceiling of a home. Lead causes permanent development issues for children. Like asbestos, your landlord must inform you if the home you are in has lead paint. During the removal of lead-based paint, your landlord must employ a contractor certified in the removal of lead-based paint, as per Pennsylvania’s Lead Certification Act, because the removal of lead-based paint can cause a serious hazard to current or future inhabitants if not done properly.
Call an Experienced Philadelphia Toxic Tort Attorney For Help Today
Whether you have developed mesothelioma from asbestos contamination, or your child has suffered from lead-based paint, you must contact an injury attorney immediately to discuss your legal options for compensation. Your landlord may be held responsible for the medical costs, pain and suffering, as well as other serious damages that you have suffered. To find out more, call the compassionate and dedicated Philadelphia toxic tort attorneys of van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin today to set up a consultation at no cost.