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International and Catastrophic Litigation


When a natural disaster or international crisis strikes without warning, many people can be affected with seemingly no legal options to protect their future interests. Catastrophic events, such as oil spills, train derailments, terrorist attacks, or airline crashes, can cause severe injuries for the victims, often without a responsible party to be held liable. Additionally, it can be very difficult to establish liability for injuries stemming from events that occur outside of the United States.

However, in many cases, legal remedies have been established to assist those who have been injured in such events through international and catastrophic litigation. Depending on the nature of the event or accident, statutes may be in place to protect victims' rights and provide an avenue of recourse. Our national network of attorneys has helped many unfortunate victims rebuild their lives following tragedy.

International and catastrophic events can lead to lawsuits.
Lawsuits can arise from many different catastrophic events, ranging from terrorist attacks to environmental disasters.

Anti-Terrorism Lawsuits

Litigation surrounding terrorist attacks has become more prevalent in recent years. Following the September 11, 2001, attacks on this country, there have been several lawsuits filed on behalf of victims and their families. These cases have pursued compensation from aviation and security companies for their roles in the attacks.

Depending on the nature of the event or accident, statutes may be in place to protect victims' rights and provide an avenue of recourse. 

More recently, lawsuits have been filed against banks and other financial institutions who made loans to customers in countries who were under international sanctions. Many U.S. military personnel and civilian contractors have been injured or killed while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. New litigation is underway which seeks compensation from banks that have already admitted to violating international laws by financing terrorist organizations. 

Oil Spills

Environmental disasters, such as the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion or the Exxon Valdez oil spill, commonly involve many different plaintiffs and can span a range of legal specialties, including workers' compensation, personal injury, maritime, and environmental regulation.

Oil spills can affect a huge number of people. In addition to the workers who are immediately involved, the toxic pollutant can also contaminate drinking water wells and disrupt commercial fishing and tourism businesses. Disasters that occur in or near more densely populated areas will typically affect even more people and involve additional legal claims.

Becuase of the implications for the environment, oil spill litigation can expose regulatory agencies that may not be meeting their legal and ethical standards. For example, many environmental groups have filed lawsuits against the Federal Government for its oversight in the BP spill and regulation regarding offshore drilling in general.

Train Derailments

Due to the large size of the vehicles and the speeds at which they commonly operate, train derailments can result in very severe injuries or even death. In 2015, an Amtrak train bound for New York derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight passengers and injuring over 200 more. In 2016, Amtrak agreed to pay over $265 million to settle the claims involved in this fatal accident.

Airline Disasters

When a commercial or privately owned airplane crashes, the tragic consequences are immediately felt around the world. The nature of these types of tragedies means that airline disasters commonly involve loss of life and disabling injuries for the survivors. In recent past, there have also been flights that have seemingly disappeared over the ocean, with little evidence ever being recovered.

Natural Disasters

Earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, and other naturally occurring events can result in horrendous injuries for victims. Occasionally, liability for these injuries can be attributed to a corporation, government entity, or private party, provided that certain safety precautions were not taken or a negligent act contributed to the severity of the accident.

Speak With an Attorney

If you have been involved in an international or catastrophic disaster and would like to speak with an attorney about your legal rights, please contact Impact Law today to arrange a complimentary case evaluation.

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