Written by: Shepard Law Firm Staff

One of the most common questions that I receive from my clients who have filed lawsuits for injuries resulting from asbestos exposure is whether their claims are a part of a class action lawsuit. We file individual lawsuits on behalf of our clients; your claims are not part of a class action.

Class actions are a very unique type of lawsuit. They consist of a large class of plaintiffs who have all suffered similar injuries that were caused by a common defendant or defendants. If a settlement is reached in a class action, those settlement proceeds are then divided among the entire universe of plaintiffs that are in the class.

The asbestos lawsuits that we file on behalf of our clients are separate, individual cases that are not connected to any other cases. They are not class actions. Each case has its own complaint and its own civil action number. The injured party and his/or her spouse will be the only plaintiffs named in the case. This ensures that each one of our clients’ cases receives the individual attention that it deserves.

Another common question regarding asbestos lawsuits has been asked over the years is: “Are we going to sue my employer?” The answer here is that the Massachusetts statute that governs workers’ compensation bars any third party tort claims against the claimants’ employers. This means that if you suffer a work-related injury, and you want to recover damages for that injury from your employer, your only remedy is through workers’ compensation. You typically cannot sue your employer in a tort case for a work-related injury; you must go through workers’ compensation.

So who are the defendants in an asbestos case? Asbestos lawsuits typically name as defendants the companies that manufactured and sold the asbestos-containing products to which the injured person was exposed. These companies are required to design safe products and to warn about the dangers associated with the products they manufacture and sell. That did not happen with asbestos. Other potential defendants include companies that sold or distributed asbestos-containing products, as well as those who used asbestos-containing products at their premises. Each asbestos case is unique and the facts of your case will determine who the defendants in your case will be.

At Shepard Law, we take an individual approach with each client and with each case. With our extensive experience litigating asbestos-related personal injury claims, we put our clients in the best situations for them to maximize their recovery. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer and would like to know more about your rights, please call us for a free, confidential consultation at (617) 451-9191.