Cedar Rapids Flood Class Action Blog
Type the search “Was Hurricane Katrina a Man-Made Disaster” into any search engine and you will find that Hurricane Katrina was an unremarkable, garden variety hurricane which would have caused very little damage had it not been for a series of human errors and bad decisions which transformed that minor storm into a catastrophic disaster of epic proportions.
Simply stated, the world now knows Hurricane Katrina was a man-made and not a natural disaster.
Similarly, a Class Action lawsuit was filed by Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the Sacramento, California law firm of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff LLP against certain railroads and others which Plaintiffs believe caused and/or exacerbated the 2008 flooding in Cedar Rapids.
Simply stated, scientific evidence at trial will prove a minor, run of the mill flood was turned into a catastrophic disaster as a result of, among other things, actions taken by railroads and others to protect their property at the expense of property owners in the Cedar Rapids area.
Because of the large number of people affected by these floods, we have created this web page to answer common questions.
Please realize we will update our C.R. Flood Blog from time to time with new information as it becomes available, so feel free to check back from time to time for the latest news we can share. If we do not update our C.R. Flood Blog, please realize there is nothing new we can share with you at that time.
Click this following link to see updates to this case: UPDATES to C.R. Flood Blog.
Accordingly, please do not try to call our office or stop by as we will merely direct you to this UPDATES to C.R. Flood Blog page on our website for any updates. That way, we are able to do our work on this case uninterrupted, enabling us to do our best job possible while making sure everyone gets the same information as everyone else.
If you feel you have special information you would like us to know related to this case, you will only be able to share that information with us by using the email link here. We will then be able to contact you if we need more information.
Similarly, if you think you would make a good class representative for this case should we need additional class representatives in the future, please fill out the form here and email it to us pursuant to the terms and conditions noted therein.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is this case about?
Answer: Plaintiffs filed this class action case on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated against a number of Defendants who own railroads and/or railroad bridges. Plaintiffs contend in their class action, among other things, that when Defendants filled their railcars up with heavy rock and placed them over their bridges, the Defendants were engaging in activity under the circumstances which could cause grave harm to others in the Cedar Rapids area if the bridges fell and/or the railcars diverted or prevented water from going down the river.
- How does a class action work?
Answer: While there are many class action variations, a fairly typical class action involves a lawsuit where one or more Plaintiffs (those damaged) file a claim on behalf of themselves and on behalf of others similarly situated against Defendants who did something—or failed to do something—typically in violation of some duty or obligation owed to Plaintiffs and those similarly situated.Class actions were created so that Courts can efficiently handle a large amount of claims by people who were similarly damaged by the same defendants. This provides great efficiency for the Courts and it also allows potential class members who have no money to pay for the expensive litigation to still nonetheless potentially share in a settlement award or trial verdict.Down the road, our firms will ask the Court to “certify” a class. If the Court “certifies” a class, the five Plaintiffs in this case become “class representatives” which means they not only represent themselves, but they also represent all others who are unnamed but who suffered similar damages to the extent approved by the Court.If this case settles before going to trial, the Court will have to determine whether the proposed settlement is fair before funds can be disbursed.If the case does not settle and assuming the class is certified, the five or so Plaintiffs (who after certification would then be called “class representatives”) will go to trial on behalf of themselves and all others who have been similarly situated.Of course, there are never guarantees in any type of case. This is not meant to be an exhaustive description of this case or of class actions in general, but rather, it is designed to be a general description of a case which will change and evolve over time.
- Am I included in this class action?
Answer: This class action is filed on behalf of people in the Cedar Rapids area who suffered the following types of damages:
- Residential real estate/real property owners (e.g. residential home/dwelling owners, etc.) who suffered partial loss and/or complete loss and/or the diminished value of each such parcel of real estate/real property as well as any partial loss and/or complete loss and/or diminished value of any personal property/items as well as other damages as a result of the Flood of 2008; as used in this action, “personal property” shall mean all property which is not real property/real estate;
- Commercial and/or Business real estate/real property owners (e.g. owners of land and/or buildings and/or other improvements, etc. used for commercial/business and/or industrial and/or agricultural use, etc.) who suffered partial loss and/or complete loss and/or the diminished value of each such parcel of real estate/real property as well as any partial loss and/or complete loss and/or diminished value of any personal property/items as well as any other damages as a result of the Flood of 2008; as used in this action, “personal property” shall mean all property which is not real property/real estate;
- Owners of personal property/items who suffered partial loss and/or complete loss and/or the diminished value of personal property/items as well as other damages as a result of the Flood of 2008 whether such persons’ property/items were owned by individuals, businesses, or any other person or entity; as used in this action, “personal property” shall mean all property which is not real property/real estate; AND
- Other damages.
Please note: this class action does not include damages for pain and suffering as those types of damages tend to be too individualized and vary from person to person and could therefore potentially jeopardize our ability to get the class action certified. Similarly, this case will not involve damages that the attorneys believe are too unique or too individualized so as to cause a class not to be certified since Courts usually require the class representatives’ damages to be typical of potential class members.
It is hoped that this case will eventually be certified by the Court as a class action so that the named class representatives will be able to represent similarly injured class members as noted at Question #2 above.
- Does this class action include both persons and businesses that suffered damages?
Answer: Yes, businesses and persons are included in this potential class action to the extent noted in the answer to Question #3 above.
- Does this class action include damages for pain and suffering?
Answer: No, this class action does not include damages for pain and suffering as those types of damages tend to be too individualized and vary from person to person and could therefore potentially jeopardize our ability to get the class action certified. Similarly, this case will not involve damages that the attorneys believe are too unique or too individualized so as to cause a class not to be certified since Courts usually require the class representatives’ damages to be typical of potential class members.
- What if I have important information to share about the flood?
Answer: If you feel you have truly unique information which you believe may not be known generally by most people and if you believe such information might be helpful to us, please submit it to us by clicking here as we will not be able to take your phone call or visit with you given the sheer amount of people and businesses damaged by the flood and given the large amount of work which our law firms must do in this case. We will follow up with you if we need additional information.
- Can I call you or stop by your office?
Answer: Because of the large number of people affected by the floods of 2008, please put yourself in our place and realize that the only way we can process information from the public is by having them submit information to us on our website by clicking here. Accordingly, please do not call our office or stop by our office as we will merely direct you to go to our website to click here to send any such information to us. We can than contact you should we need further information.As a reminder, updates will be posted on our C.R. Flood Blog on our website, so check our website frequently. If there are no updates posted on our C.R. Flood Blog on our website, please realize there is nothing we can report at that time. This helps assure that everyone is getting the same information as everyone else.
- Is a successful outcome guaranteed ?
Answer: As with all litigation, there are no guarantees.
You further acknowledge and agree: All information provided on this website does not constitute legal advice; the information provided on this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between you and Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C.; you are not a client of Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. unless you enter into a fee agreement signed by both you and Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C.; you will not rely upon or attempt to utilize or use any of the information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney as you further recognize and agree that the information contained in this website can damage your particular case if you attempt to apply this information to your own situation without the guidance and direction of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
You further agree that your sole remedy in the event of any deficiency or error in this website (or the information contained or referenced herein) shall be to discontinue the use of the website at your option.
You further acknowledge, agree, and understand that hypertext links or any other links to any other websites/information are not under the control of Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. as these links are provided solely as a convenience to you as Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. has not tested, analyzed, or otherwise studied the veracity or suitability of the information contained at any other such links while Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. does not endorse or otherwise support the information contained at such links.
You further agree to accept sole responsibility for any use of the information contained on this website or any related internet information or other information referenced or linked in this website.
You further understand and agree that any communication with our firm — whether by calling, emailing, writing, in-person, facsimile, or through any other means — does not constitute an attorney-client relationship unless a written fee agreement is entered into and signed by both you and Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C.. You further acknowledge, understand, and agree that you should never communicate sensitive or confidential information through email or facsimile as the security of these forms of communication cannot be guaranteed, and that if you do nevertheless elect to communicate through email or facsimile, you agree you will be solely liable for any injuries or damages which may result.
You agree that the entire intellectual property and content in this website — including but not limited to all information contained or referenced herein — are protected by copyright, trademark, and other laws of the United States and by the copyright, trademark, laws, and treaties of international conventions and other countries.
By using or accessing this website, you agree you will not without the prior written permission of Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. do any of the following with the information, design and content of this website: download, copy, reproduce, license, publish, re-transmit, enter in a database, display, modify, scrape, create derivative works from, transmit, distribute, post, re-render by any means, method, or process , reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, alter, modify, or render changed, transfer, or sell in whole or in part any of the information contained in this website.
You further understand and agree that any case or other results communicated by or in this website may not be typical and that past success/results does not guarantee future success/results.
© 2013 Sam Sheronick Law Firm, P.C. (SSLFPC); All Rights Reserved.