What are my rights if the business next door to mine was using polyurethane without proper ventilation and I became sick as a result?

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What are my rights if the business next door to mine was using polyurethane without proper ventilation and I became sick as a result?

We share a wall and a very short hallway. They were using this hallway to vent it. The fumes were blowing directly into my store, as such I missed a whole week of work and had to go to the hospital where I was diagnosed with toxic exposure to the chemicals. I was violently sick for multiple days. They also did the process without letting me or my company know it was going on. What can I do?

Asked on June 30, 2013 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can file a personal injury claim with the insurance carrier for the business.  When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of your lost income.  Your personal injury claim filed with the insurance carrier for the business should include these items.

Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to your medical bills.  Compensation for your lost income is straight reimbursement.

If the case is settled with the insurance carrier for the business, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier for the business, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the business.  If the case is NOT settled with their insurance carrier, your lawsuit for negligence against the business must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

If the business which caused your injury is renting that property, you would also have a personal injury claim to be filed with their landlord's insurance carrier.  This claim would be in addition to the personal injury claim discussed above.  You would provide the same information (medical bills, medical reports, and lost income).  If both the claim against the landlord and the claim against the business are NOT settled with their respective insurance carriers, name both defendants (business and landlord in your lawsuit).  Your lawsuit would then have two separate causes of action (claims), one for negligence mentioned above and a separate cause of action for premises liability against the landlord.

If the case is settled with both insurance carriers (business and landlord), NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is settled with the insurance carrier for one but not both parties, only name the party with whom the case has not settled as a defendant in your lawsuit. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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