Class action lawsuits are generally thought to be one of the most effective ways of prosecuting those cases that have a substantial number of people whose cases all stem from the same set of events or conditions. Instead of having each plaintiff arguing his or her individual case, the whole group of plaintiffs file a single lawsuit as a collective group. This group of plaintiffs is referred to as a “class.” Prosecuting cases in this manner is much more efficient and can hold a defendant accountable to a whole group of plaintiffs in one trial or settlement.
In the State of New York, there are quite a few requirements that must be met before you are able to initiate a class action lawsuit. These requirements are:
- The expected class is so big that separate, individual cases from each class member is unreasonable
- There are issues of law and fact held by everyone in the entire class which dominate over certain issues that only impact individual members
- The allegations of the individual representative plaintiffs are similar to those of the class
- The individual representative plaintiffs will appropriately defend the interests of the entire class
- A class action lawsuit is the most practical means of handling the case
Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC has prosecuted class action employment lawsuits for unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, wrongful deductions, unpaid off-the-clock work, failure to pay the 10-hour spread, and other New York and federal labor law violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Mass Tort Litigation
Mass tort litigation involves a substantial number filing individual lawsuits against a common defendant where the liability, or fault, issues are similar but damages suffered, such as pain and suffering from an injury, are different. The cases can be brought in state or federal court, but are often consolidated in one court for all the pre-trial litigation work. Often after the pre-trial work, a small number of cases are selected for trial, referred to as “bellwether cases” to learn how juries respond to the cases tried before them. This practice is referred to as Multi-District Litigation.
Common Mass Tort Lawsuits in Central New York
Commonly known examples of mass tort litigation include cases against tobacco companies, asbestos manufactures, a defective or dangerous pharmaceutical companies. If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective or dangerous product in New York it is important that you contact an attorney to help protect your legal rights. Our defective product attorneys at Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC in Fayetteville are happy to offer you a free legal consultation in order to ascertain whether or not you have a meritorious case and whether or not you are qualified to participate in a class action lawsuit.
Hernia Mesh Mass Tort Lawsuit
Some hernia mesh products used during surgery have been proven to have overwhelming failure rates. Hernia mesh, which is used to correct a ventral hernia (soft places in the intestinal wall), has been shown to produce substantial adverse effects, painful injuries, and a recurrence of the hernia in many of the patients. Now, any resident of New York who was injured by this defective product can file an injury lawsuit in mass tort litigation in order to obtain money damages for the pain, suffering, and other various losses that resulted from hernia mesh injuries.
There is also litigation regarding transvaginal mesh (TVM). TVMs are a different manufactured mesh product that have shown unbelievably high failure rates. To date, more than 30,000 TVM claims have been filed throughout the United States. With a yearly sales figure that surpasses $70 billion, the tens of millions of dollars paid in settlements and fines are a mere slap on the wrist to this industry. Filing a case for hernia mesh failure is the only way for the injured parties and their families to hold the multinational pharmaceutical corporation accountable for the suffering and the harm that has been caused by their negligence.
3M Earplugs Class Action Lawsuit
People who serve our country by serving in the military oftentimes wear earplugs in order to protect their hearing from exceedingly high decibel levels during gunfire, explosions, the use of aircraft, or other extremely loud events. Following their reliance on the CAEv2 earplugs to preserve their hearing, thousands of military men and women are now stating that they have suffered irreversible hearing damage, such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hearing loss that were a result of the earplug’s faulty design.
The earplugs were made with a two-sided feature designed to make them appropriate for noise-sensitive military purposes. When used in the “open” position, the earplugs were said to obstruct loud noises while still enabling quieter sounds, such as spoken words and enemy actions, to get through. When the earplugs were used in the “closed” position, they were said to prevent all ambient sound up to 20 decibels.
A whistleblower statement by rival company Moldex-Metric, Inc. announced that scientists from Aearo Technologies, Inc., which had been purchased by 3M in 2008, had manipulated all of their testing statistics in order to misrepresent the effectiveness of the CAEv2. Only when the earplugs were worn in a particular manner, with the third rim of the earplug curled upward, could the earplugs then be used to block out sounds up to 20 decibels. When placed customarily inside the ear, Moldex-Metric proved that the CAEv2 earplugs could only obstruct sounds up to 10.9 decibels.
Additionally, the stem of the CAEv2 is much too short to completely fit in a person’s ear, which results in it becoming ever-so-slightly displaced, so that loud noises are still able to cause injury to the wearer’s delicate ear canal. These vital facts were never incorporated into the earplug’s warning label or in the instruction guide, resulting in military men and women being unknowingly exposed to damaging noise levels.
Defective Drugs and Devices
Faulty over-the-counter drugs or prescription medicines can sometimes cause injury to those who take them, yielding disastrous outcomes and years of difficulties as a result. Faulty pharmaceuticals can make it onto store shelves for a variety of reasons, nearly always because of the manufacturer’s carelessness. If you or someone you love has endured an illness or an injury due to a defective medicine, reach out to our accomplished New York defective drug attorneys here at Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC today.
Environmental Toxic Exposure
Gas stations, as an example, are responsible for some of the more notorious chemical pollutants in American waterways. Scientific studies have proven that the common fuel additive methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) will produce very dangerous side effects in your liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and nervous system if ingested. Other hazardous, fuel-related chemicals include toluene, benzene, xylene, and ethylbenzene. In addition to that, the fossil fuel industry contaminates our environment with strong solvents, like trichloroethylene (TCE), that have all been linked to cancer and that all poison groundwater, which then evaporates into homes and any other nearby buildings.
Air pollution will destroy your health as well. The destruction of the World Trade Center, for instance, generated a gigantic cloud of dust that contained pulverized cement dust, asbestos, lead, glass fibers, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The thousands of people that were subjected to these lethal toxins are now discovering that that exposure came with some very critical repercussions to their health, a few of which might be a part of 9/11’s Zadroga Act.
Air pollution could be found in your own home as well. Toxic mold can multiply and run unchecked for years, negatively impacting your health and your property in the process. Some types of imported drywall have also been proven to produce adverse effects on your health, cause lasting damage to copper pipes, and give off a horribly noxious aroma.
If you or someone you love have endured any of these dangerous side effects that are linked to being exposed to environmental pollutants, then call our Fayetteville offices right away to speak with our attorneys at Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC. When environmental toxins infect, injure or otherwise make ill vast numbers of people, our New York law firm will be able to advise you individually regarding your rights.
Gattuso & Ciotoli, PLLC has helped numerous class action plaintiffs in Central New York. Each victim is someone whose life has been forever affected by a company’s negligent actions or a product not working in the correct manner. If you decide to hold the manufacturer, distributor, and any other liable parties accountable for their behavior, then our Central New York class action attorneys will be able to help you recover your losses and move on with your life.