Woman with chest pain from COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a debilitating respiratory condition affecting millions of individuals worldwide. For those suffering from COPD, every breath can become a struggle, leading to a diminished quality of life and significant medical expenses. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with COPD and believe it may be due to the negligence of others, Wool Trial Law is here to help you find the justice and compensation you deserve.

We have extensive experience negotiating and litigating toxic tort claims and an impressive track record of success in state and federal courts. When you meet with us, we will assess the merits of your claim, explain your rights, and explore all avenues for recovering damages. Suffering from COPD due to another party’s negligence is tragic. Let us help you right this wrong. Contact our Denver office today for a free evaluation of your case. We represent COPD victims nationwide. 

What is COPD?

COPD is a chronic lung disease characterized by obstructed airflow that worsens over time. This respiratory condition includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which can cause symptoms like persistent cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. COPD is most commonly caused by long-term exposure to harmful substances that irritate and damage the lungs, such as cigarette smoke, occupational dust and chemicals, and outdoor air pollution.

The Link Between Occupational Hazards and COPD

Exposure to certain environmental factors significantly increases the risk of developing COPD. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD, with about 75 percent of cases directly linked to smoking. However, occupational hazards play a significant role in the development of COPD, particularly in industries where workers are exposed to dust, fumes, and chemicals:

Dust Exposure

Dust particles generated during various industrial processes, such as mining, construction, and manufacturing, threaten respiratory health. Workers who inhale dust particles over a prolonged period can experience lung inflammation and damage. Silica dust, commonly found in mining, quarrying, and sandblasting, is a known respiratory hazard. Inhalation of silica particles can lead to silicosis, a progressive lung disease that can increase the risk of developing COPD.

Fume Exposure

Industries like welding, metalworking, and manufacturing produce fumes that contain harmful substances like metal oxides, solvents, and gases. Inhaling these fumes can lead to chronic respiratory conditions, including COPD. Welding fumes, for example, contain metal particulates and toxic gases such as chromium, nickel, and manganese, which, when inhaled, can cause lung irritation and damage over time.

Chemical Exposure

Workers in industries where chemicals are used or produced may be exposed to hazardous substances that can have long-term respiratory effects. Chemicals such as formaldehyde, chlorine, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide can irritate the airways and cause inflammation, contributing to the development of COPD. Industries like chemical manufacturing, pesticide application, and cleaning services pose a higher risk of chemical exposure and subsequent respiratory complications.

In any case, occupational hazards are preventable, and employers have a legal obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of their workers. Adequate protective measures, such as providing appropriate respiratory equipment, implementing ventilation systems, and enforcing safety protocols, can significantly reduce the risk of COPD and other occupational lung diseases.

Parties That May Be Liable for COPD

Determining liability in COPD cases can be complex, but several parties may potentially be held accountable, including:

  • Employers – Employers must provide a safe working environment for their employees. They are responsible for identifying and minimizing hazards, conducting risk assessments, and ensuring compliance with relevant safety regulations and industry standards. An employer who fails to implement adequate safety measures or neglects to provide proper training, personal protective equipment, or ventilation systems, may be held liable for subsequent COPD suffered by their employees.
  • Manufacturers and suppliers – If a defect in a product or equipment leads to increased exposure to dust, fumes, or chemicals, resulting in COPD, the manufacturer or supplier may bear liability for failing to design, produce, or label the product adequately. This includes respiratory equipment, safety gear, and ventilation systems.
  • Contractors and subcontractors – If contractors and subcontractors are involved in a project and fail to protect workers from respiratory hazards, they may be held liable for any resulting harm, including the development of COPD.
  • Property owners – Exposure to harmful substances may be due to the negligence of property owners or landlords. For example, if a property owner fails to address known environmental hazards, such as mold, asbestos, or toxic chemicals, and workers are subsequently exposed to these substances, leading to COPD, the property owner may be liable.

Determining liability in cases involving occupational exposure and COPD can be complex. They require a detailed investigation, expert testimony, and a thorough understanding of relevant laws and regulations. Our mass tort lawyer regularly handles COPD cases and can help navigate the legal complexities and identify the parties that may be liable in your specific situation.

How Our Firm Can Help

If you have developed COPD after exposure to an occupational hazard, turn to Wool Trial Law. By conducting a comprehensive investigation, including gathering evidence of hazardous exposure and its connection to your COPD, we will work to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Our legal team will handle all aspects of your case, including negotiations and, if necessary, litigation. Through our vast network of medical experts, we can access specialized knowledge and evidence to strengthen your case. These experts can provide insights into the causal relationship between your COPD and the environmental factors involved. 

Our primary goal is to help you recover compensation, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to your COPD. Above all, we will leverage our skills and resources to win you the maximum compensation you deserve. 

Contact Our Attorneys at Wool Trial Law Today

If you or a loved one suffers from COPD caused by an occupational hazard, our experienced mass tort lawyers are here to fight for your rights. You can trust us to provide guidance and emotional support and stand by you every step of the way. Call our office today to discuss your case in confidence.