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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    4

    Default When Can You Sue Over Naphtha Exposure

    My question involves an injury that occurred in the state of: Oregon, Multnomah County, Portland

    An outside concrete sealant with with printed NAPHTHA WARNINGS and HEALTH WARNINGS was used indoors in the basement of a large commercial building. It was inappropriately applied and the excess liquid pooled over an inch deep above the floor, covering an entire room.

    People on the first floor came out of their studios into the hallway concerned, some got sick, I got sick, we were told not to worry about it and not to leave the building. They were sent photos of the product with the Naphtha warnings and Health Risks, before they would even come to the building. The Building employees came and identified the product and removed it from the premises, but did not clean the pools of chemicals, instead they put a fan on it and exasperated the toxicity levels in the building over the next 2 days. They did not evacuate the building. When asked if we should leave, they lied and told us that it wasn’t toxic. The chemical smell was almost unbearable, we were told it was orange scented paint.

    Is this enough exposure to make a claim?
    Does this short time frame of exposure warrant a claim?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    23,605

    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    How long ago did this happen? What long-lasting or permanent damage have you suffered that can be tied to this event?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    6,784

    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    Quote Quoting Anderbri
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    Is this enough exposure to make a claim?
    You may well have a claim for personal injury. But whether it is worth suing the building owner and/or contractors over it depends a great deal on exactly what damages you suffered from this. What money did you have to pay out of your pocket for treatment for this? Do you have any long lasting effects from it that will require ongoing treatment or that has disabled you in some way?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    4

    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    How long ago did this happen? What long-lasting or permanent damage have you suffered that can be tied to this event?
    Happened about 14 months ago. Statute of limitations for personal injury is 2 years in Oregon. Had nausea, headaches and blurry vision for a few days after don't know how to prove chemical inhalation. I was wondering if I can sue for the cover up and lies, misrepresentation about the product being nontoxic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    37,727

    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    The biggest question is; what actual damages do you have? A temporary discomfort does not allow for a suit worth pursuing generslly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    4

    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    Quote Quoting jk
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    The biggest question is; what actual damages do you have? A temporary discomfort does not allow for a suit worth pursuing generslly.
    If someone knowingly poisons you with chemical exposure, can you file assault charges or similar since it was intentional?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    37,727

    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    Quote Quoting Anderbri
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    If someone knowingly poisons you with chemical exposure, can you file assault charges or similar since it was intentional?
    First, you would have to prove the chemical was placed in the basement with the intent of harming you. Not that is accidentally spilled or some idiot didn’t understand the issues of having a puddle of the stuff there but they did it with intent to actually harm you. Can you prove that? Since I seriously doubt that is true, I doubt it


    but if you believe there was an intent to harm you, call the police and report the crime. That is what you do with claims of assault.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    6,784

    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    Quote Quoting Anderbri
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    If someone knowingly poisons you with chemical exposure, can you file assault charges or similar since it was intentional?
    You cannot file criminal charges; that is the job of the district attorney. What you can do is make a criminal complaint to the police department that covers where the building is located. The police will determine if they think there is enough to go to the prosecutor and seek charges. But proving assault beyond a reasonable doubt based on the facts you provided above would likely be difficult for the state to do. The lowest level assault crime in Oregon is assault in the 4th degree:

    163.160 Assault in the fourth degree. (1) A person commits the crime of assault in the fourth degree if the person:
    (a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another;
    (b) With criminal negligence causes physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon; or
    (c) With criminal negligence causes serious physical injury to another who is a vulnerable user of a public way, as defined in ORS 801.608, by means of a motor vehicle.

    What you described in the facts strikes me more as negligence rather than assault.

    Note that even if the state prosecutes for assault, you are still left with the issue of suing the people responsible if you want to win any money damages, and for that you still have to prove damages.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
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    Default Re: Naphtha Exposure for 3 Days, is This Enough Exposure for a Claim

    SO, if you knew it was bad and you didn't leave, it's on you. It was bad enough that you asked if you should evacuate the building and, when you received a negative answer stayed in the building of your own volition.

    I cannot believe your story as it's written. do you know the quantities that you'd have to be dealing with to have any liquid standing an inch deep on a basement floor? More than you'd be using to seal a floor, that's for sure.

    If the product wasn't used according to the labeling then you could have a case for damages sustained to your person and/or possessions bit not just because it inconvenienced you. You'd have to have been injured in some way. You cannot sue someone because they inconvenienced you.

    And because it bears repeating, you chose to stay in the building of your own accord despite the reportedly noxious fumes from the product. If you want to be mad at anyone for not taking your health and safety seriously you should look in the mirror.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

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