There are things that money can't buy, then for everything else you could always sue someone (preferably a big time corporation). Why? Because they're the ones who can afford settling for millions of dollars. All of us have rights, and when these rights get trampled by even the slightest of infractions, we might just be able to sue. Suing is a big business, where lawyers are looking for that one class action lawsuit that will get traction in the media, get their names up in lights and well, earn big through settlements.
Corporations for the most part become the targets of large class action suits just because they are seen as being able to take the hit and settle outside of court, instead of getting their reputation dragged in the mud. Because for some, it's really just that – mud slinging that's designed to extort money from corporations. But not all big lawsuit payouts are frivolous. There are some that have merit and when these claimants get awarded the big bucks, no one really can blame the court for siding with them or fault them for seeking money in the first place.
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1 Smoking Kills and then Gets Tobacco Companies to Payout Billions in Fines
When cigarettes were first marketed, they were seen as fashionable highlights to a wardrobe that's both feminine and masculine. Big name stars did it and doctors approved it. Even cartoon stars like Fred and Barney were endorsing one of the most popular brands. Slick ad campaigns like these were winning over their target market and there was no stopping the rise of the tobacco companies, until smoking related health ailments began manifesting after years of smoking. Of all the related illnesses, emphysema, lung cancer and throat cancer were the biggest killers. In 1998, the big tobacco brands settled in what was referred to as 'The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1998'. This settlement meant that they had to pay out in excess of $206 billion over the course of 25 years to 46 states that filed the lawsuit.
Sources: findlaw.com, latimes.com, theguardian.com, mandatory.com, nytimes.com, forbes.com
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