Test Case to go Forward in Texas Toxic Tort

Environmental Torts

Although hundreds of Mission, Texas residents are suing numerous manufacturers who used the Hayes-Sammons plant decades ago to produce pesticides and other chemicals, only one woman will get her chance to argue her case—for now. With insurance companies and their huge corporate clients fighting tooth and nail over every case, lawyers are becoming more tentative in the battles they fight.

In this case, the lawyer, Linda Laurent Thomas, who represents nearly 2000 plaintiffs in this case, has selected Guadalupe Garza to take her case forward to fight for damages in this case. She argues that Garza’s case is the most clear-cut, the easiest to prove, and therefore should be allowed to go forward to set a precedent for others to follow. Or perhaps the suit will convince the lawyers from the chemical companies to settle.

Although this case is much more clear-cut than some others, such as the Fallon, NV leukemia cluster, judges are still pushing for harder evidence. So far, judges have stalled the case, arguing that clients must link their illnesses to specific chemicals before the case can go forward, and, since there were many, many chemicals in use at the plant and present as pollution, this makes great difficulties for the plaintiffs.

Hence Garza’s case. Doctors have identified four specific chemicals—DDT, Benzene Hexachloride (BHC), toxophene, and dieldrin—as the agents responsible for causing her cancer.

However, the ever-cagey corporation lawyers have argued further that the case should not be allowed to go ahead until she can show which company’s products caused her illness. Since many manufacturers supplied DDT, they hope this dodge will allow them to escape punishment, since it would be impossible to track the specific molecules responsible for the cancer.

The judge seems to have not bought this argument, and is allowing the case to go forward, although a trial date has not yet been set.

The arguments in this case show the lengths that chemical companies will go to avoid taking responsibility for the toxic pollution they cause. If your community has been hurt by a toxic event of this nature, you need an experienced lawyer to help you step forward and hold the polluters responsible. Contact PersonalInjury.com today to get in touch with a lawyer in your area who can put the fire to corporate polluters.