There are special tort law rules for when people are injured by dangerous activities or hazardous materials that impose strict liability.
Workers in the Phoenix area were injured while cleaning up after a train derailment accident that spilled chemicals.
Workers responding to a train accident are harmed by chemicals
The incident occurred in Tempe after workers went to the area where a Trans Union Pacific train that was carrying wood and chemicals caught fire days earlier. During the accident, the train burst into flames as it was crossing a bridge at Tempe Town Lake, and the local fire department was dispatched immediately. The locomotive was pulling over 100 cars on this train, and crews were immediately sent to deal with the hazardous materials. Large amounts of chemicals and rubber went into the water and land beneath the bridge.
Two contractors were hurt during the cleanup as effort. As they were moving some toxic chemicals that are used to make paint thinner and nylon, part of the bridge collapsed, and the containers fell and released these dangerous substances. The main chemical responsible for the damage is called Cyclohexanone. This substance is also flammable.
During a transfer from the train onto a hazardous materials tanker, a large hose popped off of the rig and sprayed two workers in the face with chemicals, and they were burned by the vapor and required treatment.
The assistant fire chief for Tempe explained that the heat in the summer can sometimes cause equipment they use to handle hazardous materials to malfunction. However, she concluded that the department was still investigating, and they did not know exactly what caused the collision and related problems.
One worker at the scene was listed in critical condition as he was taken away to the hospital. However, he did recover and was sent home after treatment for burns. Union Pacific claimed that both individuals who were injured were since released and are in good health.
Strict liability for hazardous activities
A special area of tort law deals with extremely hazardous substances or materials by imposing liability on companies that cause harm and injuries. A company that works with or transports these kinds of dangerous items will often be strictly liable for any damage that they cause, which is supposed to compel businesses to take very thorough precautions.
The reasoning behind these rules is that a business that profits off of a certain type of activity that is potentially dangerous should also have to pay for losses if a mistake is made. They may also have special types of high risk insurance that covers the potential for losses.
Phoenix accident attorneys are available
There are personal injury attorneys who can give you more information about the process of bringing a lawsuit. To schedule a consultation, contact:
4425 North 24th St., Ste. 225, Phoenix, AZ 85016