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Margate mercury spill highlights personal injury and premise liability hazards at home

Three 2-ounce bottles of mercury found in a homeowner’s garage and opened could see clean-up costs reach $250,000 after decontamination effort in a suburban neighborhood spread to several homes along Northwest Third Place in Margate, the Sun Sentinel reports.

After a resident found the three small bottles of the liquid metal in his garage, he poured some on his driveway and shared a bottle with neighborhood kids. The kids played with the material and carried the toxic material to at least four homes. The Florida Department of Health indicates that mercury can be harmful to humans depending upon how much of the liquid the victim handles and for how long. In short, under the right circumstances – namely eating it, breathing it or touching it – mercury exposure could lead to a Fort Lauderdale personal injury claim.

With that said, because the presence of mercury is so common in the environment, almost everyone carries at least trace amounts of the element in their bodies. In places like Florida, where commercial and recreational fishing and seafood consumption are major industries, most consumers identify mercury consumption concerns with eating fish and shellfish.

It is common knowledge that most all seafood is known to carry a conversion of mercury – methylmercury – which is absorbed via small intestines. The larger and older the fish, the higher levels of methylmercury they carry. Edible predatory fish like sharks, swordfish and king mackerel accumulate even more of the toxic element because they almost exclusively feed on smaller fellow mercury-carrying sea life.

But being exposed to mercury due to a homeowner’s negligence is a different matter. What the homeowner was doing with the mercury will certainly be investigated. But the gross negligence with which it was handled has put neighborhood children, and possibly their families, at risk.

The Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys with Freeman & Mallard, LLC know that any type of personal injury can be a life-changing, traumatic event. If you or a loved one has been injured and are uncertain whether your situation warrants the filing of a lawsuit, we would be happy to speak with you and help you understand your legal rights. Our team will fight for the compensation necessary to ensure the financial well-being of you and your family. Contact Freeman & Mallard, LLC at 1-800-LAW-CENTERS (1-800-529-2368) today to schedule a free consultation and review of your potential claim.

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