Wash rack technicians recently filed lawsuits against their employer, a bulk carrier company, as well as other employees and global chemical companies. They claim that they suffered severe injuries and illnesses due to allegedly being exposed to harmful substances on the job.
Among other accusations, the complaint accuses the employer of failing to provide personal protective equipment to workers, and also claims the chemical companies caused harm by selling dangerous products.
The plaintiffs in these cases must prove causation and damages. The law firm of Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum specializes in defending corporations in such cases.
Teaming Up and Forum Shopping
Often, plaintiffs will attempt to exert pressure on defendants in such cases by banding together, either in a class action, or by filing multiple lawsuits in a county or state where the corporation has minimal ties, but laws favorable to the plaintiffs. Adding multiple plaintiffs to such lawsuits is another way plaintiffs seek to increase compensation. Just because a case is brought by multiple plaintiffs in a forum favorable to them, does not make it meritorious. Each defendant has the right to defend themselves through recourse to the most favorable substantive and procedural rules.
Potential Jurisdictional Defenses
When defendants are named in such cases, it is important to consider whether the venue where the case is filed is the proper one. It is important that the case proceed in the location where the parties and witnesses reside. Otherwise, the expense of defending such cases rises dramatically. Because plaintiffs often file in the jurisdiction with laws that are more favorable to them, defendants need to seriously consider whether a motion to change venue is appropriate to protect their interests.
The Role of Discovery
The laws regarding negligence, liability, and even workers’ rights can vary from state to state. And when there are numerous parties involved, it can be even more difficult to understand where the case should be filed and tried. One thing is true in all forums, however, which is the requirement that documents be maintained and produced in the discovery process. This often involves locating, reviewing and organizing millions of documents. We can help our corporate clients develop comprehensive discovery plans using the latest and most effective technology assisted review (“TAR”) and producing documents that contribute to our clients’ defense. We also employ TAR to search our opponents’ documents to find weaknesses in their claims. Our law firm has been recognized for its cutting edge use of TAR and continues to use the fastest, most economic and effective tools to capture and deploy favorable documents.
In cases where multiple plaintiffs band together against a corporate client, a multi-state analysis will reveal the best forum in which to defend the case. Defendants should be aggressive about changing venue to the forum with the most favorable laws. Next, TAR should immediately be used as a tool to knock out critical elements of the plaintiffs’ case. Bassi Edlin Huie & Blum has extensive experience using these techniques to aggressively defend corporate clients in multi-plaintiff lawsuits.