Top 5 Class Action Lawsuits and Their Payouts: Justice Served

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Did you know that winning lawsuits against large American enterprises are rare? Increased false advertising, shady practices, and malfunctioning products hurt customers. 

Even if we take legal action, companies do not offer millions of dollars as financial compensation for their incautious corporate behavior. But we have the American justice system to build a pathway for that. 

As a plaintiff, consumers can find solace in class action lawsuits. These are legal actions taken by a larger group of people represented against the concerned company.

Did you know that such lawsuits have produced billion-dollar payouts in the past? In this blog, we’ll walk through some of the most significant lawsuits in the history of American federal law. 

  1. Tobacco Master Lawsuit 

Payout: USD 206 billion

Back in 1998, two tobacco companies got sued for various smoking-related illnesses. The enterprises, RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris, agreed to pay USD 206 billion to cover medical bills. 

It was one of the biggest in America’s history, called the “Big Tobacco Settlement.” Moreover, this was not a traditional class suit because public prosecutors were involved. It will surprise you that attorney generals from 46 states participated. 

The settlement included providing annual financial aid over 25 years. Besides, this agreement also resolved a liability regarding class action litigation for the industry. 

  1. Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Payout: USD 667 billion (est.)

Even though the Camp Lejeune lawsuits have not been settled, it is set to break records. Residents and their family members living there between 1950-1980 were exposed to harmful industrial solvents. 

These toxic chemicals contaminated the drinking water supply, which caused military veterans to develop kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and several other chronic diseases. Moreover, the payout for Camp Lejeune lawsuit is set to exceed USD 600 billion.  

Backed by scientific and medical evidence, the lawyers at firms like TorHoerman Law have helped victims who were affected by water contamination in this Marine Corps base. They have secured settlements and verdicts worth USD 4 billion and fights with corporate misconduct.

With the assistance of lawyers and attorneys from such firms, we can balance out the scale of justice. Through such efforts, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was passed, which allows victims to file claims. 

  1. Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Lawsuit 

Payout: USD 20 billion 

Thirteen years ago, a Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Back then, it was operated by an oil company named BP. Due to this explosion near the Louisiana coast, 11 workers died, and 17 were injured. 

Besides, it also caused a massive oil leak causing a lot of environmental damage. Hence, thousands of gallons of oil spilled into the ocean and land, over 57,000 square miles. 

Then, in 2016, a New Orleans federal judge granted USD 20 million as a settlement for resolving civil claims. Such a decision was backed by the enormous natural damage to flora and fauna while fisheries were shut down. 

  1. Breast Implants Lawsuit 

Payout: USD 3.2 billion

During the mid-1990s, plastic surgery gained momentum, especially breast implants. However, these modifications were made from low-quality silicone gel, which exposed women to toxic chemicals. 

Therefore, they developed various connective tissue and autoimmune disorders. The victims suffered implant ruptures, arthritis, and various surgery complications. 

Hence, the family members sued the manufacturers, owned by Dow Corning Corporation. In 1998, they paid USD 4.75 billion to 170,00 women, but this settlement collapsed. Well, this happened because the claims ended up exceeding expectations. Therefore, the other manufacturers, like Bristol-Myers Squibb, paid USD 3.2 billion while Dow Corning claimed bankruptcy. 

  1. The Volkswagen Scandal Lawsuit 

Payout: USD 14.7 billion 

If you are a car enthusiast, then you have heard of the Volkswagen scandal, known as the “diesel dupe.” The German company installed devices to cheat the American emission tests on 500,000 vehicles. 

These devices allowed their diesel engines to detect the conditions and change the behavior during an emissions test. Hence, they were able to deceive regulators. 

The Environmental Protection Agency filed the lawsuit, which resulted in the USD 14.7 billion settlement after 3 years. In this settlement, owners of this faulty car can have funds for buybacks that align with the market values before the scandal. Along with that, they also got payments of USD 475,000 cash and free emission fixes.

To Conclude 

Due to class action lawsuits, plaintiffs can get settlement amounts worth billions of dollars. Ideally, the average settlement will depend on the extent of financial or medical evidence. 

It also depends on the number of victims affected by the company’s carelessness. For example, the breast implant lawsuit settled for USD 3.2 billion, whereas the BP oil spill was USD 20 billion. Besides, the Camp Lejeune victims and military veterans are set to receive a whopping USD 667 billion in total as water contamination settlement amounts. 

Indeed, settlements in class action lawsuits are only possible because lawyers and firms agree to “fight the good fight!” 

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