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What Are Class Actions Claims?

A law book with a gavel - Class action

A class action is a case where similarly situated claimants bring one case against a common defendant. For a claim to qualify as a class action, the claimants must have a similar defendant and they must have similar damages. Medical devices, drugs, and defective products are often the center of class action cases involving personal injury.

The product Round Up is one example of a product where users of the product banded together to form a class and sue the manufacturer. The medical conditions caused by the use of Round Up were common to almost all the users. In this case, it was Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Asbestos claims are an example of a claim that would appear to lend itself to a class action, but in reality have historically been litigated as other types of claims. The reason is due to the many various diseases caused by asbestos exposure (such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and more) and the large number of companies that produced, manufactured, and otherwise exposed people to asbestos-containing products. Only a very few claimants have the same exposure to the same products and have the same disease. Recently it was alleged in Court documents that asbestos continued to be used in certain products up into the early 1990's. Joint compounds used by Carpenters and Spacklers, for example, were among the products found to contain asbestos long after the manufacturers made representations that the products were asbestos free.

There are many other similar types of claims that are currently working their way through various Court systems, including several notable ones involving toxic exposure and various deleterious effects suffered by victims. Some examples include:

  • Exposure to asbestos-containing Talcum powder, which has been linked to ovarian cancer.
  • Benzene exposure, which has been linked to several blood diseases including leukemia. Benzene is a chemical that is often used as a cleaning agent by medical device sterilization companies, as well as in Refineries, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical plants.
  • Camp Lejeune lawsuits to compensate Military personnel who worked at the North Carolina Military base and developed conditions that have been linked to the chemical poisoned wells and contaminated drinking water.
  • Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a chemical used by firefighters that contained carcinogens and other poisonous chemicals. These cases have two components for NJ Firefighters because the exposure occurred at work and because the product contained harmful chemicals. Under the Canzanella Act, there is a presumption that certain diseases are caused by the nature of the first responders’ work, in this case firefighting. Two claims are available and can often be pursued.

Here at Levinson Axelrod, P.A. we have been handling toxic exposure cases for over 80 years. Whether the exposure occurred at work or in some other capacity, we have the experience, knowledge, and resources to handle your claim on a contingency basis.

If you have questions about a potential claim involving toxic exposure or injuries caused by other acts of negligence, we want to help. We serve victims and families across New Jersey from 10 office locations and offer FREE and confidential consultations. Call (732) 440-3089 or contact us online to request yours.

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