Pros and Cons of Asbestosis Class Action Lawsuits
Asbestosis class action lawsuits are sometimes filed for plaintiffs who have been exposed to asbestos when there are a number of individuals who are suffering illness from the same source. In these cases, law firms will sometimes file one lawsuit naming a long list of plaintiffs if they feel this will be more powerful and efficient than filing many individual claims.
There are pros and cons to asbestosis class action lawsuits, as with any kind of class action legal proceeding. In the case of asbestosis and mesothelioma, these suits are frequently filed in order to gain collective power against the major corporations who are the defendants.
Pros of Class Action Lawsuits
An asbestosis or mesothelioma class action lawsuit can present a much stronger case than an individual one based on the number of plaintiffs. With a long list of individuals suffering from the same asbestos related illnesses tied to the same defendants, it presents a compelling case.
Asbestosis class action lawsuits can also provide broader remedies because of the power of such a large claim. In many cases not only are there monetary damages awarded, but the companies are forced to provide assistance such as medical monitoring, funding of research and a comprehensive clearing house of information to be provided to the claimants (often on a website).
Cons of Class Action Lawsuits
If you are considering becoming a plaintiff or claimant in an asbestosis related class action lawsuit, be sure you also consider the down side. With multiple claims bound up in one lawsuit, the damages can become diluted. An award may not go as far is it would in an individual case because even if the award is larger, it has to be divided between many individuals.
This same division of proceeds in class action lawsuits can also lead to an unfair division of proceeds. If your asbestosis or mesothelioma symptoms are extremely advanced and you require extensive medical procedures, you should theoretically get more compensation than an individual with only minor signs of asbestosis. However, in many class action lawsuits the proceeds are divided equally among all plaintiffs regardless of the merit of their individual claims.
Your Attorney Can Advise You
It is best to consult with an attorney who has handled both individual claims and asbestosis class action lawsuits. Your attorney is familiar with asbestos litigation so he or she can suggest the best possible option for your individual situation.
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