We all have complaints to make at one time or another. Poor service or a faulty product may prompt a bad online review or a snarky letter to the firm in question, but if things go very badly awry you may even decide to take legal action against the offending company. But what happens if there are a lot of disgruntled people with plenty to complain about?
Class Action lawsuits are a type of lawsuit whereby one or several people sue a company or organization on behalf of a larger group. Class Action lawsuits can be started in a variety of different situations, but in almost all of the cases on Class Action News there is one common complaint and too many people affected to make it practical for them all to have their day in court. So what are the most famous class action lawsuits in history?
Pacific Gas and Electric
Julia Roberts brought the story of Erin Brockovich to the big screen and highlighted the case of Pacific Gas and Electric’s contamination of the water supply around the town of Hinkley in California. The town’s residents suffered all kinds of health problems as a result of the contamination, but Brockovich fought hard to bring the case to the attention of the authorities and the court ruled in favor of the residents. The $295 million payout by Pacific Gas and Electric was the largest in history (at that time).
Sexual Harassment Class Action Lawsuit
Sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable these days, but a couple of decades ago it was all too common, particularly in male dominated industries. The Eveleth Mines class action suit was the first sexual harassment lawsuit in U.S. history to achieve class action status and eventually became the subject of a movie starring Charlize Theron. For the women involved in the case, the court proceedings were as bad, if not worse, than anything they were subjected to in the mine. In the end the women accepted a $3.5 million dollar settlement. If you are dominated by men in your workplace, make time to plan your actions. You can report to the HR as your initial action. However, if worse comes to worst, make sure you have all evidences at hand and consult the best sexual harassment lawyer New York City to guide you with the next steps.
The class action suit in respect of PIP breast implants is still a work in progress. Tens of thousands of Australian women were left devastated when the original class action suit against the importers collapsed, but in Europe, some 1,700 women were awarded interim compensation payments. The class action suit came as a result of a global health scare after it was discovered that sub-standard silicone had been used in PIP breast implants, causing many of them to rupture.
Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
When the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig ruptured, spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, it was one of the worst environmental disasters in history. More than 100,000 claims were filed against the company in a series of criminal and civil proceedings, which resulted in a $46 billion payout, the biggest in history.
There are hundreds of class action suits going on at any given time, so if you have a serious complaint to make, check whether other people have started proceedings on your behalf.