What Causes Indoor Air Pollution and When Am I Liable?


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Air pollution is a serious problem for workers and those that reside indoors for most of the day or night, and these issues could lead to litigation. The Environmental Protection Agency becomes involved in these matters when the pollution affects others, and this could lead to negative consequences through a lawsuit against the individual or company liable.

Most individuals spend their time indoors. Whether this is through work or during leisure time at home, the quality of air inside is important. When a company has breached a duty of care to those residing in the interior of a building, the owner or management may be liable for damages to those injured through air pollution. The effects could lead to trouble breathing, lung conditions, disease and cancer. The EPA has strict guidelines that companies and employers must follow to ensure the qualify of breathable air is not negatively affected by these problems. Otherwise, damages may need to pay the victims for numerous compensation issues.

Air Quality Damage

Litigation claims often arise because physical harm or property damage occurs. These are primary concerns the victims face when pollution infects the inside of a building. The case could include instances of negligence, professional malpractice, company violations and offenses to the law. Through breach of warranty or contract and fraud, a company may face severe consequences. The duty of care owed to employees and residents requires the quality of air to present little to no issue to those inside. The breach of this duty causes the injuries in most incidents, and then the business owes monetary compensation to the victims when proven in court.

Indoor Air Pollution Injuries

Personal injuries through indoor air pollution are common. When the landlord, employer or manager of a building is unable or unwilling to maintain the quality of oxygen pumping out of heating and air conditioning systems, individuals sustain physical damage. This makes understanding what occurs important. There are three known categories of harm caused by indoor air pollution. These include sickness that builds, illness related to the building itself and sensitivity to chemicals that come through the air and heating ducts. Some of these problems affect multiple individuals and others only harm one depending on the related element.

When at least one-fifth of occupants in the building complain of discomfort, this is the sickness from the building that affects them. This is usually a solvable problem through leaving the location. While no known culprit is found, the issue may lie within the HVAC system. Various physical symptoms arise through these issues such as headaches, fatigue, drowsiness and tension. Nervous or irritable behavior are common along with congestion and cold-like symptoms with some individuals. The best treatment is to leave the building for periods of time and return. However, if there is a solution found in the HVAC, this could remove all symptoms once treated.

Liability with Indoor Air Pollution

The primary concern when a company, building manager or owner has issues with air pollution in the interior of a property is liability. When damages are owed to the victims in these incidents, it is important to know who is responsible for payment to them. If negligence or a breach of duty exists, these individuals may need to compensate others. This involves a duty of care owed to the residence or workers that reside inside. For a company, the air quality is crucial. Tenants in a building need quality air to live and breathe. Visitors and guests in the building may have limited duty owed to them based on certain factors.

Negligence in not fixing these indoor air issues often leads to successful litigation against the person or company. It is critical to fix broken HVAC systems. Repairs and maintenance should occur regularly to avoid air pollution. Any breached duty that causes the injury will require the compensatory payment to the victim when proven in court. The demonstrations of building related conditions and chemical sensitivity to cleaning and maintenance materials may also cause physical damage to residents, tenants and employees. It is important to check these issues with those inside the building to prevent future occurrences.

The Lawyer in Indoor Air Pollution

When a plaintiff needs compensation to recover from injuries, he or she may need to hire a lawyer to help with the claim. The legal representative needs to protect his or her rights. Proving liability is often the first step in the recovery process that may lead to monetary awards.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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