Perhaps you’ve noticed a slew of class-action lawsuit commercials on daytime TV recently. There are actually thousands of heartbreaking stories behind these clumsily deployed ads.

A class action lawsuit can only be pursued when numerous people have nearly similar complaints. Often, drugs and medical devices are at the heart of these consolidated legal actions, but there are also numerous other types of complaints that can best be tackled in court when they’ve been consolidated.

How do you know when something like a personal injury claim might actually be better suited to a class-action lawsuit?

You might be surprised by the kinds of suits that are currently in litigation. Many of them are still accepting new members. In some cases, the regular two-year statute of limitations may not apply, because that requires people to be aware of the risk.

For example, a current mesothelioma class-action lawsuit includes people who were exposed decades ago, but only recently became aware of their employer-caused exposure. Below are a few of the other current class actions in process; some of the details may shock you.

Commonly prescribed drugs

Zithromax is one of the most popular antibiotics on the market because it’s necessary to take it for only five days instead of the usual nine. This is very appealing to people who are forgetful, and for children who have a tough time taking pills.

However, Zithromax is linked to Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), which is a deadly allergic skin reaction that causes the skin to peel off like an onion. There’s no cure for SJS, and survivors are often left with what looks like third-degree burns and blindness.

Acetaminophen, a common painkiller found in everything from Tylenol to Ibuprofen, is also linked to SJS. A person can take any of these SJS-related drugs for years without suffering any problems, and suddenly develop SJS out of the blue.

Even worse, most people have taken a painkiller or antibiotic at some point in their lives, so everyone’s at risk. There are cases of children as young as two dying of SJS from medications.

Trading one ailment for another

Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering medication, is often prescribed to prevent cardiovascular disease, even when a person isn’t at high risk. However, this drug has been linked with permanent Type-2 diabetes in women over 50.

When Lipitor causes diabetes, there’s no chance for reversal, and patients face an increased risk for a number of illnesses. Instead of preventing a disease, they were given one.

Unum is the biggest long-term disability insurance provider in the country, but thousands of people have claimed that the company refuses to pay out. CBS has exposed the inner workings of the company, and showcased how employees who closed or denied the biggest claims were awarded financial bonuses.

A class-action lawsuit against Unum alleges that the company preyed on its customers during their most vulnerable time: when they were newly disabled. Former Unum employees have confirmed claims that they were financially rewarded for denying claims at any cost.

These are just a smattering of the class-action lawsuits currently being assembled across the country. Joining one in lieu of an individual claim can lead to a faster resolution, but there’s typically a cap on the available compensation.


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