Fort Myers Wants to Dismiss Toxic Tort Case
In 1962, the city of Fort Myers began dumping waste from the water treatment plant in a residential neighborhood without telling the residents that the waste contained arsenic. City officials claim that the arsenic levels were within normal levels, but residents say that in some cases exposure to the toxic sludge caused cancer.
Residents filed a lawsuit against Fort Myers last month, claiming that the city acted negligently in its decision-making and failed to warn them of the dangers. They also want a court order requiring the city to clean up the mess. But the city recently filed a motion to dismiss most of the residents’ claims.
What Is a Motion to Dismiss?
A motion to dismiss is a formal request for a court to dismiss a case (or part of a case). One or both parties may ask the court to dismiss certain claims, counterclaims or the entire lawsuit. There are many reasons for dismissal, including lack of jurisdiction (meaning that the court doesn’t have the authority to review the case) and failure to state a claim (meaning that there is no legal basis for the lawsuit).
In this case, Fort Myers says the residents can’t bring their claims because the statute of limitations ran out decades ago. The statute of limitations, or deadline, for filing a personal injury claim in Florida is usually four years from the date of the injury. Plaintiffs argue that the injuries have been ongoing. The court will decide whether the residents’ lawsuit complies with the statute of limitations.
What Is a Toxic Tort?
A toxic tort is a specific type of personal injury that occurs when a person is exposed to toxic chemicals or materials, like in the Fort Myers arsenic case. This type of injury is common among workers who are routinely exposed to toxins in the workplace. For example, construction workers are often exposed to asbestos.
Unfortunately, corporations and governments often release chemicals into the environment. When toxins are present in the environment residents can develop serious illnesses and new babies can be born with serious birth defects. Pesticides, radiation from power generation, and toxic waste are all sources of chemical exposure.
Chemical spills aren’t always easy to detect. It often takes years before any symptoms develop or to determine how much damage has been done. Contact an experienced attorney if you think you’ve been exposed to toxic chemicals.
Also keep in mind that federal and state environmental laws might also apply to your case. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Fort Myers personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you were injured by toxic chemical exposure. We will examine the facts of your case and develop an effective legal strategy to recover compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.