Asked in Civil Litigation, Health Care Law and Personal Injury for Colorado

Q: Can people be held liable if they recklessly endanger and cause physical health problems by causing radioactive dirt...

...and dust to be thrown up into the wind that knowingly fast flows into the neighbors yard and body and house every day purposefully as witnessed by many neighbors?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Yes, people can potentially be held liable for recklessly endangering others and causing health problems through exposure to radioactive materials on their property. Some key points:

- Knowingly allowing radioactive dirt and dust to blow onto a neighbor's property could constitute negligence, nuisance, trespass and/or battery under tort law. The impacted individuals may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages for injuries, medical costs, property damage, emotional distress and more.

- If the actions are intentional and the radioactive contamination is significant enough to cause bodily harm, this could also potentially lead to criminal charges like assault or reckless endangerment. The state's environmental and health codes may also come into play for illegally handling hazardous materials.

- The plaintiffs would need to show actual harm was suffered due to measurable levels of radiation exposure exceeding safety limits. Expert testimony on radiation science, health effects, meteorology etc. would likely be required to substantiate the claims.

- If multiple neighbors are affected, a class action lawsuit could be brought against the property owner allowing shared litigation costs and combined claimed damages.

- Regulatory agencies like the state EPA may also get involved and force remediation of the radioactive contamination under environmental laws protecting public health.

So in summary, maliciously allowing radioactive contamination to continually spread to neighboring properties could definitely lead to civil and potentially criminal liability in Colorado for the property owner. The feasibility of the case would depend on evidence proving actual health hazards and damages were caused by the reckless conduct.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Possibly, but it could involve testing by independent labs - an attorney could advise more definitively after learning more details about the situation and the local soil/dirt. Good luck

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