Class Action Lawsuit List

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 What Are the Different Types of Class Action Lawsuits?

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit that is brought by one or more people on behalf of a group of others who are in a similar legal situation. Everyone that is part of a class action is required to share similar legal issues. There must also be enough individuals involved that it would not make sense for all of them to bring separate lawsuits.

Next, the class must be certified by the court in order to bring a class action lawsuit. The court will typically consider the following before allowing for a class to be certified:

  • All of the plaintiffs (i.e., the individuals that were allegedly harmed) must adequately represent the interests of the whole class;
  • There must be no conflicts of interest;
  • The plaintiffs must be competent;
  • The claims of the representatives must be similar and represent the entire class; and
  • The question of fact must come from one act or a pattern of conduct by the defendant.

Initially, a person or group of people will bring a putative class action lawsuit against a defendant that has done them harm. Then the court will then decide whether or not to certify the lawsuit as a class action. If the court does so, the original group will represent the entire class action group, and the case will move forward as a class action lawsuit.

Class actions are large lawsuits that involve numerous people that have been allegedly harmed. Because of this, there are numerous personal injury matters that may form the basis for a class action lawsuit, such as a defective product, toxic exposure, or unsafe drugs.

Defective Products

A products liability claim based on a defective product involves a manufacturer or seller of a product being held accountable for placing a defective product into the stream of commerce. As such, any party responsible for any part of the manufacture of the product could be held liable, just as any seller may be held liable.

For example, during the production of a vehicle, dozens of parties may be involved. If the vehicle ends up defective in some way, the following parties may all be held liable for any of the injuries caused by the defect:

  • The assembling manufacturer;
  • The wholesaler;
  • The dealer;
  • The manufacturer of the piece that was found to be defective.

There are three ways in which to categorize defects that may result in liability to one or all of the previously mentioned parties:

  • Design Defects: Design defects are defects in the design of the product. No matter how well the product is manufactured, or how thoroughly a consumer is warned about the product, a defective design renders it as inherently flawed. Because of this, it could lead to potential liability;
  • Manufacturing Defects: A manufacturing defect occurs when the manufacturer puts the product together in such a way that makes the product unsafe; and
  • Defective Warnings: Some products may lead to a products liability suit if there is an inadequate warning regarding the product and how it is to be used and maintained.

Common examples of defective product class action lawsuits include, but are not limited to:

Toxic Exposure

A toxic substance is something that is considered to be harmful to the human body. As such, toxic exposure occurs when the human body comes into contact with a toxic substance. Because there are many different types of toxic exposure, it can occur in many different environments.

Examples of the most common forms of toxic exposure include:

  • Exposure to chemicals found in the workplace;
  • Exposure to different types of mold, such as dangerous types of black mold;
  • Exposure to Asbestos;
  • Exposure to lead paint;
  • Exposure to toxic fumes from various activities such as welding;
  • Dangerous chemicals found in medications or drugs that are considered to be defective;
  • Environmental contamination related to the release of certain gasses or toxins; and
  • Soil or groundwater contamination related to the dumping of wastes and chemicals.

Examples of common toxic exposure class action lawsuits involve:

Unsafe Drugs

An unsafe drug may be considered as such not only because of the contents of the drug, but also because of the way that it has been packaged. Unsafe drugs are often associated with drug labeling lawsuits. A high-alert drug or medication (“HAM”) is a medication that has an increased risk of causing significant harm when used in a way other than exactly as prescribed.

Such medications are dangerous largely because small changes in the dose given or in levels of the drug in a person’s blood can lead to critical events.

Additionally, the adverse events caused by errors in the administration of HAMs are persistent, life-threatening, or sometimes permanent. They can lead to disability, hospitalization, or death.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has detailed three categories of high-risk medications. These are determined according to the settings in which they are used. The categories are as follows:

  • Medications that are high-alert medications in community and/or ambulatory care settings;
  • Medications that are high-alert medications in acute care settings; and
  • Medications that are high-alert medications in long-term care settings.

Some common examples of HAMs include:

  • Anticoagulants: Blood thinners, such as warfarin and heparin, are used to treat blood clots. As too much of an anticoagulant can be life-threatening, it is important to take only as much as is prescribed and on a strictly regular dosing schedule;
  • Insulin: A prescribed treatment for diabetes;
  • Opiates and Narcotics: OxyContin, hydrocodone, and methadone are opioids that carry a high risk of addiction. When taken in excess, they can result in death by overdose;
  • Injectable Potassium Chloride or Phosphate Concentrate: For treatment of electrolyte imbalance, and require monitoring and careful supervision for administration;
  • Potassium and Other Electrolytes: Used to regulate electrolytes.

All of these medications have life-saving potential when prescribed correctly and administered strictly as directed by a physician’s prescription. However, if used incorrectly and not as directed, their effects could be life-threatening.

Examples of common unsafe drugs that may form the basis for a class action lawsuit based on unsafe drugs include:

Seeking Legal Advice

As can be seen, there is a wide range of tortious conduct that may form the basis of a class action personal injury lawsuit. As such, consulting with a class action lawyer is your best course of action if you are trying to determine if your personal injury may be the basis for a class action lawsuit.

An experienced lawyer will be able to represent your best interests in court. Further, an experienced personal injury attorney can also help you understand your legal rights and options according to your state’s specific laws on class action lawsuits and can inform you of any existing class action lawsuits you can join.

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