Thu 13th Aug | 2015

Fighting for Victims of Chlorine and Chemical Exposure

Negligence Cases BY

Poorad Razavi and Don Fountain have extensive experience handling chlorine and other chemical exposure claims. Recently within the past year, and following heavily contested litigation, Razavi and Fountain were able to successfully obtain a confidential settlement on behalf of their client for a lawsuit that was filed for the wrongful death of her husband, who died from exposure to chlorine gas while working at his employer’s place of business.

The suit was initially based on the employer’s negligence and strict liability, given the inherently hazardous nature of chlorine gas. The employee’s responsibilities included filling tanks with chlorine to be used within the community. To perform his duties, the now-deceased employee transferred pressurized chlorine gas from large 2,000 pound storage supply canisters known as “ton tanks” to smaller tanks known as “20 pound tanks” through a series of transfer lines, fitting and valves owned by his employer. However, the employee was exposed to deadly chlorine fumes due to a failure of the chlorine gas transfer system, leak, and escape of chlorine gas.

The claim further evolved to include the franchisor of the employer, who was tasked with providing training to the employer and its employees. However, after years of litigation, it was finally revealed that the training and supervision of both the supervisor and the employer were both unregulated and significantly deficient.

It is important to understand that the use of chlorine gas by corporations is a largely unregulated industry. While there are trade institutes that set out multiple safety guidelines across the nation, there is absolutely no requirement that any company adhere to these safety protocols. Moreover, multiple state and federal agencies have even identified chlorine gas as a hazardous material threat from both industrial accidents and as a terrorist weapon. Nonetheless, despite the fact that the exact same chemical composition of chlorine gas has been used as a weapon of war since World War I, the chlorine industry disputes that state law deems the storage, handling, and maintenance of chlorine gas as an ultra-hazardous activity – which would result in much stricter regulation by enforcement agencies. As a result, it can be very challenging for victims of chlorine exposure to receive proper justice without experienced attorneys in this field like Razavi and Fountain.

The same challenges often exist for victims who have experienced other chemical or pesticide exposure. Razavi and Fountain recently filed suit on behalf of a construction worker who was severely injured when a speed sprayer expelled chemicals all over his body. Specifically, the defendant was spraying an orange grove while utilizing an orchard air-blast speed sprayer. The speed sprayer was a self-propelled 4-wheel drive vehicle with an industrial fan on the back that quickly propelled vast quantities of chemicals in order to cover large areas with pesticides and other chemicals. However, the operator of the speed sprayer was safely enclosed in a self-contained enclosed Spray Cab unit that remained unexposed to the toxic chemicals that he was spraying. Razavi and Fountain expect to demonstrate that their client’s injuries stemmed solely from the defendant’s negligence.

Finally, due to the progressive nature of neural and cognitive effects from toxic exposure of chlorine, pesticides, and other chemicals, being able to demonstrate the full extent of a victim’s injuries can be challenging without the right attorneys on your side. Razavi and Fountain have significant experience in these cases and have worked on exposure claims not only to provide some measure of justice for our clients but also to highlight the need for greater safety practices by companies that handle large quantities of extremely deadly substances that have the potential to cause widespread devastation to the public in general.