In the movie Erin Brockovich, based on a true story, people living in Hinkley, CA (the plaintiffs) joined together in a lawsuit against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (the defendant). For many years, the company had been illegally dumping a hazardous, cancer-causing chemical which contaminated the water and made people sick. PG&E eventually settled for $333 million, a landmark victory.
Class action and mass tort lawsuits, such as the Erin Brockovich case, allow people who have all been injured by the same defendant, usually a corporation, to file one lawsuit as a group, rather than filing hundreds or thousands of individual lawsuits. Courts would rather hear one case than many. The people who were injured save a lot of time and money by banding together and filing one lawsuit against the company they claim is responsible for their injuries.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations is very important in a class action lawsuit. Each state sets a limit on how much time an injured person has to file a lawsuit after being injured. After the Statute of Limitations has expired, unless the court grants a very rare exemption, you will have lost your right to file a lawsuit.
More than one Statute of Limitations can apply in complex class action cases. It's important to consult an experienced Class Action Attorney to determine which Statute(s) of Limitations would apply in your case.
Arizona law lists many different Statutes of Limitations including:
• Product Liability: 2 years
• Personal Injury: 2 years
• Wrongful Death: 2 years
• Contracts: 3 years for oral contracts and 6 years for written contracts
• Injury to Personal Property: 2 years
• Professional Malpractice or Negligence, included Medical Malpractice: 2 years
• Fraud: 3 years
Today, when people are injured by a product or corporation, they demand justice. Although no amount of money can make up for pain and suffering, victims have a legal right to pursue compensation for their injuries. Lives have been changed forever. People are left unable to work. Families struggle to survive on reduced incomes while facing staggering medical expenses. Some experience unending grief and loss after the death of a loved one.
Corporations have ramped up their legal departments to fight class action suits, hoping to settle for nothing or as little as possible. A survey found that in 2018, corporations expect to spend about $2.39 billion fighting class action lawsuits, the highest amount in 10 years.
In 2017, the breakdown by type of class action/mass tort cases was as follows:
• Labor and employment: 24.7%
• Consumer fraud: 18.2%
• Product liability: 14.9%
• Antitrust: 12.6%
• Securities: 7.1%
• Intellectual property: 6.9%
• Other: 15.6%
Even though many people may be involved in a class action/mass tort lawsuit, it's important to remember that each individual has been injured. Joining with others in similar circumstances is a practical solution to the problem of fighting a corporation or other entity with far greater resources.
Consult an attorney who regularly handles these complex and difficult cases. It's impossible to guarantee the result in any particular case, but you need an experienced lawyer who knows how to fight for the best possible outcome.
Zanes Law focuses on class action/mass tort cases. Results matter. Doug Zanes has been inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The lawyers who belong to this prestigious group have all won settlements and verdicts of $1 million or more. Fewer than 1% of all U.S. lawyers are members.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Class Action Attorney who will fight for your rights, call (844) 926-3752 today.
For more information on our Mass Tort & Class Action Attorneys, please visit our site.