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Welding Rod Neurological Disorders Injury Law
I have used welding equipment in my hobbies but not at work. Who is liable for my injuries due to welding rod exposure?
The welding industry has known for quite a long time that there is a link between exposure to manganese in welding and neurological disorders. However, safety information has not always been available to the welding industry, let alone people who use welding in their hobbies. The companies that manufactured and sold the welding supplies that you used may be liable under a theory of strict product liability. That theory states that the manufacturer or distributor of a product that poses an unreasonable danger leading to your injury is liable to you for that injury. If you wore any type of ventilator as part of your safety equipment, the manufacturer and/or supplier of that ventilator may share in the liability, because your ventilator may not have been effective. Be aware that the link between welding rod exposure and the injuries associated with it is still somewhat weak, mostly because the injuries in question tend to have many possible causes, not just welding rod exposure. Your case is further complicated by the fact that your exposure was a result of the hobby use of welding supplies. The defendants in your case would argue that you are responsible for your injuries – that you used the welding supplies incorrectly, that you assumed the risks of welding when you chose to weld as a hobby. The defendants may also argue that your homeowners insurance should cover your damages since you were doing the welding at your home.
However, your homeowners’ policy is not likely to provide much help. Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover you for exposing yourself to toxic substances by engaging in activities such as welding. Your policy probably has a section called “Exclusions” or “Covered Risks” that can tell you what types of activities and injuries are and are not covered, and you can also check with your insurance agent. But unless your insurance policy was set up to cover the fact that you were welding at home and were being exposed to dangerous fumes at home, your insurer will probably deny coverage, stating that your injuries are outside the common injuries contemplated by the policy.
These arguments, combined with the difficulty of linking welding rod exposure to your injuries, may be enough to deny you any relief in a lawsuit. You need to discuss your case with an attorney who has a great deal of experience with welding rod exposure cases to evaluate your case – to tell you what the pros and cons of your case are and whether you are likely to prevail or not.
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