An Illness Can Be Taken To Court
Going to court for a personal injury lawsuit is, in most cases, about a person taking a negligent but responsible party to task for physical damage. The most common types of personal injury cases are traffic accidents, where people get hurt in the collision, or “premises liability” cases that occur on a property. In premises liability cases, the injuries can run the gamut from slipping and falling on an unsafe surface, to falling down a flight of uneven, improperly maintained stairs.
But there’s one type of injury that can have a major impact on a person’s life, and sometimes even lead to a slower, painful death. That injury is the contraction of an illness, and premises liability covers this type of injury as well.
Health Is A Responsibility
The most common example of a premises liability-related illness occurs in restaurants. That’s not a big surprise as the mouth is the one part of the body that we constantly expose to “foreign matter,” in this case, food. There are plenty of ways for food to make a person sick, which is why restaurants are required, by law, to maintain strict standards of health and cleanliness. Improperly prepared food, for example, such as meat that’s not fully cooked, can make a person sick, and even cause food poisoning. Meanwhile, not properly securing food, such as leaving rice or flour accessible to pests like mice, rats or cockroaches, can lead to diseases like salmonella and even polio. The fleas that live on rats can even transmit bubonic plague, which is why even in 21st century, America is dealing with the latest diagnosis the plague occurring in June of this year, to a teenage boy in Idaho!
So it’s easy to see how restaurants—and of course, food products sent out from factories, depending on preparation—can, under the right circumstances, inadvertently lead to sickness through food poisoning or dis-ease transmission. In these cases, it’s all about ingesting contaminated food, which, legally, should not happen, as the restaurant does have a legal obligation to ensure that food it prepares is safe for human consumption. That’s one reason why, if it can be proven, illness as a result of improper food preparation can certainly turn into a lawsuit for personal injury based on negligence.
But there are other types of illness that can arise from a property that also should not be occurring. And in if you should happen to contract an illness as a result of this environmental neglect, you still have some legal ac-tion available to you to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable.
This is always going to be a potential issue in Florida, because mold thrives in dark, warm, humid environments, all of which Florida can provide all year round. Mold, however, reproduces by sending tiny, nearly invisible spores into the air. The more mold there is in a building the more spores are present in the air, which people may then breathe in. For some people who already have some kind of respiratory condition, such as asthma, this is enough to provoke strong reactions.
Even for people that don’t have an existing respiratory condition, breathing in certain types of mold can eventually lead to a respiratory or bronchial related illness. Black mold, for example, produces a substance known as mycotoxins that can lead an otherwise healthy person to develop asthma, or even bleeding lungs.
This means that if a person spends a significant amount of time in a building in which black mold is present, and is not informed of the presence of black mold, a serious illness can occur. If the building owner is aware of the presence of mold, but did nothing about it, or if the owners never bothered to check for mold, and are unaware of its presence, they are still legally responsible for spreading that illness.
The use of asbestos in the USA has become heavily restricted and regulated since the discovery that it was a carcinogenic substance. That is to say, breathing in particles of asbestos can cause a very specific type of lung cancer. And while modern structures throughout the USA no longer contain asbestos as a form of fire-proofing or electrical insulation, many older buildings still contain asbestos. Despite asbestos being medically diagnosed as unsafe, it was never required that buildings that used asbestos have that material removed.
This means that for some, working in a building with asbestos in it can eventually lead to the formation of lung cancer. Once again, if a building owner/manager is aware of the presence of asbestos, or doesn’t even bother to check for its presence, and this leads to people in the building contracting lung cancer, that is premises liability, and an attorney experienced in matters of property related injury or illness can help you to find out the best way to proceed to get your justice done.