Frequently Asked Questions About Environmental Class Action Lawsuits

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Property damage. Massive injuries. Death. Few people doubt the existence of climate change, and we have evidence that fossil fuel companies have caused plenty of damage to the earth and its people. 

The mass poisoning of rivers, soil, and air. We’ve seen plenty of corporations engage in illegal dumping or cause accidents that cause people to become sick or impaired.

When a company causes environmental damage and that environmental damage hurts people, people often turn to environmental lawsuits. These lawsuits can hold bad actors accountable for the damage they’ve done. These lawsuits may be brought as individual injury or class action lawsuits. Most are class action suits. 

Here are the most common questions RLF receives about these types of lawsuits. 

What types of environmental issues can lead to class actions?

Environmental lawsuits can arise from a range of issues, including:

  • Air and water pollution
  • Hazardous waste disposal
  • Chemical spills
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Climate change
  • Greenwashing

For example, a lawsuit against Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and other fossil fuel companies seeks to hold them accountable for climate damage done in Puerto Rico. Several cities and states are also suing Big Oil over climate change. Youths in Montana recently successfully sued the state for violating their constitutional rights by permitting fossil fuel development without considering its impact on the climate. 

Who can join an environmental class action lawsuit?

Typically, a person can join an environmental class action lawsuit if the environmental harm at the heart of the suit has directly impacted them.

To certify the class, a lawyer must show that a group of individuals shares common legal issues and that a class action lawsuit is the best way to handle their claims. 

What damages are available in an environmental lawsuit?

An environmental lawsuit is just like any personal injury or class action lawsuit. You may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. 

If it is a class action suit, the settlement money gets divided up among all the members of the class. While the individual amounts are usually smaller than those you’d receive from a personal injury suit, the bulk amount charged to the defendant is usually much larger. 

Get Help Today

Any environmental lawsuit will be a complex legal matter requiring help from an experienced attorney with the specialized knowledge such cases require. If you are part of a group of people who have been injured by environmental negligence, contact RLF to schedule a consultation today.

See also:

Who Can Collect Damages in a Class Action Case?

What Are The Most Common Types of Personal Injury Cases in NYC?

Myths and Truths About Personal Injury Cases in New York

 

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    SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.

    Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines. ​

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