Major explosion accidents can occur at a moment’s notice. These blasts can impact the lives of victims and their family members, resulting in serious and long-lasting injuries. In the worst-case scenario, the explosion can claim multiple lives. Most explosions in the United States occur in factories and workplaces. These blasts can impact workers, causing personal injury and property damage. Additionally, explosions can cause lasting damage to the environment when dangerous chemicals make their way into the water and local drinking water supply.
Explosion accident litigation is complex and complicated, requiring an attorney who has experience handling these tough cases. While most of these cases are confined to a single court and one claim, others may involve many plaintiffs and are handled across multiple courts. In these instances, the claims of multiple plaintiffs may end up as a class action lawsuit. Class action explosion lawsuits have special rules and deadlines that must be met in order for victims to obtain a successful recovery.
If you or a loved one were affected by a large-scale explosion, you could have certain valuable legal rights. Speaking with an attorney about your claim is the best course of action in order to ensure that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation that you deserve.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is one lawsuit involving multiple victims who have suffered the same or similar type of harm arising from the actions of a negligent defendant. Some class action lawsuits involve victims and plaintiffs across different states and others involve just a single state. Class action lawsuits are filed in the names of representative plaintiffs and typically take place in the federal court district where the named plaintiff resides.
A class action lawsuit might be preferred for many reasons. Instead of having multiple cases across several districts, there is a single case in one district. Plaintiffs across many districts run the risk of receiving inconsistent verdicts. Some cases may be smaller and would not justify the cost of bringing a single action. With a class action lawsuit, there is one recovery that gets distributed among the class members in a fair and equitable manner.
Explosion Class Action Lawsuits
Explosion accidents can turn into class action lawsuits when the explosion ends up affecting numerous victims. When an explosion happens at a processing plant or manufacturing facility, the victims inside may not be the only ones affected. Many explosions impact innocent victims in their homes or customers inside nearby businesses. When an explosion occurs, it can release dangerous chemicals into the environment. Thousands of residents may be forced to vacate their homes for many weeks or months due to unsafe living conditions.
A recent explosion at a fertilizer plant in Winston-Salem, North Carolina demonstrates the damages that can be suffered by innocent victims. In January 2022, an explosion at the Weaver Fertilizer plant in the city resulted in 6,500 people being displaced from their homes for multiple days. Many victims complained of illnesses and testing was required before they could safely return home. In addition, businesses were closed, leading to thousands of dollars in lost revenue. A class action lawsuit was filed against the plant owner following the blast as affected plaintiffs sought compensation for their damages.
Choosing a Class Action
Class action lawsuits have special rules. In order to start a class action, a plaintiff’s attorney must apply to the court for certification. A class action certification request is filed and the court will then determine whether to approve or deny the request. When ruling on a request for class certification, the court must consider the following:
- Number of plaintiffs: A class must be sufficiently numerous or have enough potential plaintiffs to be certified. Typically, this means 40 or more individuals
- Common Questions: A proposed class action should present common questions of fact and law. In other words, victims must all have claims arising from the same or similar set of facts with the law applying to each of their cases.
- Class Representative and members have similar claims: The class representative should have claims that are the same or similar to other members of the class.
In addition to the considerations above, the court will look at other factors in ruling on certification, such as:
- Whether separate actions would risk inconsistent verdicts
- If the adjudication of individual class member cases would threaten the rights of other members
- That common questions of law and fact override any individual questions in cases
The decision whether to certify a class action is in the discretion of the court. In many cases, class action certification would benefit individual explosion victims by allowing a pool of resources into their claims. Class action explosion litigation also allows all plaintiffs to deflect the cost of litigation into a single case.
Nationwide Explosion Accident Attorneys
Here at Burg Simpson, we have a team of nationwide explosion accident attorneys who can help when you or a loved one have been hurt due to an explosion accident. These cases are complex and may involve federal or state courts within your local jurisdiction. An attorney handling an explosion case must be familiar with all of the various laws and procedures that may apply and, ideally, should be able to use these to your benefit. We have successfully recovered more than 2 billion dollars for injured victims, and you can count on us to help you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Our firm strongly believes that all negligent actors should be held fully accountable for their actions. When you need an attorney that you can trust, you can count on us to deliver the best results. We always provide free consultations and case evaluations for all potential and prospective clients.
We operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay until we obtain a recovery on your behalf. To schedule your time to speak with a United States explosion accident attorney, please reach out to us using the link on our website or give us a call at (888) 895-2080.