Tom’s of Maine, one of the nation’s oldest and largest pizza chains, was recently sued by an individual who claimed to have been injured while on the job. The suit, which was filed in January, claimed Tom’s of Maine was liable for injuries he suffered while taking a spill on the job. The Naples News-Miner reports that after an accident during a snow storm, the man was reportedly pushed down a flight of stairs by another employee. According to court documents, he began to bleed profusely as he fell and eventually broke both his wrists. Tom’s of Maine is being sued by David T. Cole, an insurance adjuster who claims to have administered CPR to the injured man.
Does this story sound familiar?
Chances are you know someone who has been injured on the job. If you are thinking about filing a class-action lawsuit against your employer, it’s important to remember that most employers are ultimately responsible for their own safety practices. When an employee is injured on the job, however, that person may not be able to file a lawsuit on his own. That’s why it’s important to work with a qualified personal injury attorney who specializes in such lawsuits.
A class action lawsuit is simply a lawsuit that is filed on behalf of multiple plaintiffs.
The goal of such a lawsuit is to force an employer to pay damages for injuries that were caused in the workplace. For example, let’s say two coworkers tripped over a frozen pipe. One of them suffered a broken leg while the other suffered a concussion. Both can pursue a class-action lawsuit on their own. However, they would likely be unable to pursue such a suit individually if they don’t have a competent personal injury attorney on their side.
The point of a class action lawsuit is to allow multiple plaintiffs to gain fair representation under one lawyer.
Personal injury attorneys have seen a spike in personal injury cases in recent years. That’s because these suits are easy to prove and typically result in large settlements. For instance, when a group of teenagers slip and fall on a dirty, cracked sidewalk, the city must compensate for the medical bills of the individuals. If Tom’s of Maine employees didn’t participate in a properly run Class Action lawsuit, though, they could be liable for the entire bill.
There are plenty of examples of Class Action lawsuits being awarded in the past.
In one case, an employee was killed in a car crash. Her husband, who was driving the car, wasn’t charged with any wrongdoing. The company eventually settled the case for a substantial amount of money.
If your Maine home business has employees, you may want to seek legal counsel from a personal injury attorney. He or she can help you determine whether you have a case against your employer. In fact, many personal injury attorneys actually take the case themselves, if they believe the employee has a case. (This is a good strategy, as you can often settle for a settlement that’s less than what you’re owed.)
When interviewing attorneys, make sure you ask about their experience.
Find out how many Class Action lawsuits his or her office has settled. Get copies of any such settlements and ask them to provide details on each one. Ask them to explain in detail what steps the firm took in each case, and how they chose the appropriate lawsuit plaintiff. And don’t be afraid to ask for references-you can use them to evaluate an attorney’s performance.
You need to feel comfortable with your lawyer, so it’s a good idea to meet with him or her. Get to know your lawyer, so you can learn more about his or her philosophies about your case and the law. Ask for a detailed list of hours he or she spent on your case and the results. You may even want to consider a trial date at this point, especially if you’ve had a long wait.