Class action lawsuits are often used where the amounts each person is claiming are relatively small, where an illness has not yet occurred but the claimants want to be compensated for continued medical monitoring.
These types of claims may need to be aggregated together to make the lawsuit financially viable against the asbestos industry.
Class action lawsuits are filed on behalf of a plaintiff group, and the settlement is often split evenly between them or apportioned in a manner deemed appropriate.
Many asbestos exposure victims including those who develop conditions like mesothelioma decline to file a class action lawsuit because of the limitations of the procedure and the nature of any binding decisions that result.
Cases involving the diagnosis of mesothelioma are valuable and individual to the victim and it is not typically necessary to form a class action lawsuit for a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Participating in a Class Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits are often filed in response to an individual injury and then extrapolated to include a much larger plaintiff group.
For example, a series of injuries, deaths and property damage incidents from 1991 to 2001 stemming from faulty tire designs caused many individuals to file a lawsuit against the Firestone parent company.
Many of these lawsuits were rolled into one class action suit with an estimated 15 million eligible plaintiff parties.
Anyone who received a request to “opt-in” and did so before the trial completed were eligible to split the $149 million settlement. Those who did not opt in could still have decided to file a separate suit as long as they did so before the statute of limitations expired.
Class action lawsuits for other injuries like asbestos exposure could follow a similar path, where one case enables many other plaintiffs to become involved through a voluntary opt-in scheme.
Why Class Action Lawsuits for Asbestos Exposure Are Not Always Preferable
A mesothelioma case requires individual care to make sure all of your legal rights are maximized. There are complex details involving your work history and the sources of your asbestos exposure that may be individual to your case.
Class action lawsuits often involve situations or injuries that are similar and the nature of the harm may be small. A class action lawsuit may be required if you have not been diagnosed with an illness like mesothelioma or lung cancer and may want to seek compensation for medical monitoring.
When Are Class Action Lawsuits Preferable?
Class action lawsuits are typically preferable in consumer type claims where a product manufacturer exposes a large population to a health or safety risk by distributing their product to many people.
Victims of asbestos exposure from products like talcum powder or by way of occupying a building made with asbestos-containing products may be more appropriate for class action lawsuits than a strict employer/employee or contractor/contract-purchaser relationship.
If you or a close family member have been diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma or lung cancer, filing an individual lawsuit can be your best hope of obtaining maximum compensation.
Contact Mesowatch today to be put in touch with the Nation’s best asbestos exposure lawyers.
They will pursue maximum compensation from all liable parties using their resources and expertise. Contact us now for immediate assistance and free, confidential case evaluation.