America has always been a nation of lawsuits. From the country’s earliest days, people have been fighting tooth and nail to win their cases in court. While some of these suits have resulted in positive change for our nation, others have brought about negative consequences that have left us worse off than before.
Here are some of the most infamous tort lawsuits in American history:
Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit
The Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit is one of the most famous tort lawsuits in the US. The victims of this toxic water filed a class action suit against the government after discovering that their water had been contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.
The Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit was filed by over 500 plaintiffs exposed to toxic chemicals while living on base between 1957 and 1987 when they consumed contaminated water or drank from wells on base. During this period, those who served as Marines were also exposed to harmful substances through drinking fountains and showers within their facilities.
Law firms like TorHoerman Law are battling the legal fight on behalf of plaintiffs to get the maximum settlement. Thanks to their expertise in this case, they can help veterans and their families get the compensation they deserve.
Volkswagen Emissions Lawsuit
The Volkswagen Emissions Lawsuit is an example of a class action lawsuit brought against the German automaker by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2015, Volkswagen was found to have cheated on emissions tests by installing software in its diesel vehicles that allowed them to pass tests but emit up to 40 times more pollutants when driving usually.
The company agreed to pay $14.7 billion in settlement costs, the largest auto industry settlement in history, and plead guilty in federal court to conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges related to their actions.
Texas City Explosion Lawsuit
One of the most infamous tort lawsuits in United States history is a Texas City, Texas case. In 2005, an explosion at a BP refinery killed 15 people and injured 180 others. The following year, BP was fined $50 million for violating federal safety regulations.
The company also paid $4 billion to settle the lawsuit brought forth by victims’ families and survivors of the blast. The settlement included compensation for lost wages and medical bills incurred after the explosion.
In addition to paying out money through settlements with individuals affected by this incident, BP also paid out billions more dollars in criminal penalties due to its negligence in maintaining proper safety measures at its facilities across America’s Gulf Coast region.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Lawsuit
In 1989, the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground, and the resulting oil spill lasted 11 days and spilled over 10 million gallons of crude oil into the surrounding waters. The affected area included over 1,000 miles of coastline and caused the deaths of thousands of birds and marine animals.
The resulting legal battle was one of the most protracted and expensive in US history and still hasn’t ended. In 1991, Exxon agreed to pay $900 million as compensation for damages caused by their negligence, a criminal plea agreement of $25 million, and criminal restitution of $100 million.
However, many victims continue to seek additional compensation from ExxonMobil and other companies involved with cleanup efforts following this disaster.
Toyota Unintended Acceleration Lawsuit
The Toyota Unintended Acceleration Lawsuit is a class action suit filed in 2010 by an Alabama woman who experienced unintended acceleration in her Toyota Camry. The lawsuit alleged that Toyota’s electronic throttle control system was susceptible to sudden acceleration and could lead to accidents, injuries, and even death.
The case gained national attention when it was revealed that at least eight deaths were linked to sudden acceleration incidents involving Toyotas between 2009 and 2011. In 2014, Toyota agreed to pay $1 billion for its settlement with plaintiffs in this class action lawsuit. However, they did not admit liability or fault for these incidents during their vehicles’ operation.
BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Lawsuit
The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010. The resulting large oil spill and environmental impact are considered one of the worst environmental disasters in American history.
The lawsuit against BP went to trial in 2013. It ended with a settlement worth $20 billion paid out over 18 years by BP to cover damages caused by their negligence during drilling operations.
These lawsuits have made a significant impact on the country. They’re not only essential cases in themselves, but they also represent more significant trends in American society.
For example, the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Lawsuit represents how environmental concerns are becoming more critical than ever and influencing our legal system through class action suits like this one or others brought by states against oil companies ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco Corp.