Class action lawsuits are designed to give individuals the ability to sue large corporations or private entities for compensation over wrongdoings perpetrated against them. Class action lawsuits bind together a group of individuals with a common legal interest to pursue a common goal. Often, attorneys will develop a class action lawsuit by seeking by mail a number of people victimized by the same corporation in order to build a larger case. Once class has been organized and a complaint has been filed, the court must grant permission for the class to proceed with a class action suit. If the suit is approved, the victims have the right to participate in the class action suit or opt-out of pursuing the matter legally.
A class action is a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group, or several groups, of people who have been affected by the actions alleged in the suit. This allows most of the people affected to not be present during the activities connected to the suit, including the depositions and, if the case gets that far, the trial. With the possibility of thousands of people being involved over a long period of time, a class action attorney will need patience and at least a basic understanding of the issues involved, including such things as medicine and interstate commerce.
During a class action lawsuit, every person involved gets to have a say in the case against the corporation, and all parties in the suit are granted equal input and rights to damages gained from the defendant.
Class action lawsuits are often beneficial to the plaintiffs because they allow individuals who may not have been injured or wronged significantly enough to merit an individual lawsuit to join forces with others in a similar situation in order to receive compensatory damages.
Many recent class action lawsuits have been filed against pharmaceutical companies, which produce drugs without warning customers about their dangerous – and sometimes deadly- complications. Makers of drugs like OxyContin, Fen-Phen, and Prempro, as well as numerous manufacturers of dietary supplements containing ephedra, have seen recent legal action taken against them in class action lawsuits.
Class action lawsuits can also be filed in discrimination cases and fraud cases. Typical class actions are filed for monetary compensation. In other cases, class actions may be requested to resolve disputes over limited funds where the available compensatory money is not enough to fully compensate the entire class of plaintiffs. The outcome of a class action may also result in a court order for the defendants to discontinue an unconstitutional practice.
Numerous class action lawsuits are currently underway throughout the United States. If you have received notice about participation in a class action lawsuit and are unsure how to proceed, or if you feel you have been victimized by a large corporation and need advisement, seek out a civil action lawyer in your area who will determine whether a complaint should be filed and a class sought.
WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION Attorney?
A class action lawyer is an attorney that deals with a group of people that have been injured in the same way. A class action lawyer should have a full understanding of Rule 23 of the federal rules of civil procedure. A class action attorney can also be hired by a single person who has been harmed and be represented on behalf of everyone that was harmed in any way. A common case that class action lawyers see is that others that have been injured by the offending party, will get involved in the case as class members. A class action lawyer, if successful, can obtain compensation from the wrongdoers either through a settlement or by trial.
FACTS ABOUT CLASS ACTION LAW
A class action lawyer should be hired to sort through the legal aspects of a class action lawsuit. If you are ever involved in a class-action lawsuit, it is a good idea to have a class action attorney on your side representing you.
Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit combines numerous suits where the plaintiffs have similar damages and complaints. By filing a class action lawsuit, plaintiffs have the combined power to confront wealthy corporations in a court of law. Class action lawsuits can address any issue covered by “typical” lawsuits: product liability, toxic exposure, and fraud.
A class action lawsuit must be authorized by a judge. Generally, there are specific reasons for authorizing a class action lawsuit:
- number of plaintiffs,
- similarity of grievances,
- ability of one lawsuit to settle all cases, etc.
Class action lawsuits, once declared, can prevent plaintiffs from filing individually without a formal declaration of intent. Generally, class action lawsuits save time and money by dealing with several cases in front of one judge. Class action lawsuits decided in favor of the plaintiffs sometimes return lower amounts than a non-class action lawsuit would have done. However, sharing information between plaintiffs can drastically increase chances for settlement in class action lawsuits, while some plaintiffs would receive nothing if they filed an independent suit.
Class action lawsuits allow any qualifying individual to become party to a class action lawsuit, where a “class representative” speaks for the entire group. Generally speaking, participants in class action lawsuits need not appear in court, although they are occasionally requested to submit written testimony. The class action lawsuit may require that participants submit paperwork, like medical records, to substantiate claims made by the class action lawsuit against the defendant.
If you have been the victim of corporate negligence, a class action lawsuit may be your best option for redressing your grievances and recovering damages. Class action lawsuits have formed against any number of manufacturers, retailers or other corporations. Most class action lawsuits include deadlines in order for you to participate. An attorney familiar with the intricacies of class action lawsuits may be able to help you determine your best course of action.
Class Action Litigation
A class action refers to a legal complaint brought upon a corporation or private entity by a group of individuals with a common legal purpose. In order for a suit to be certified as a class action, a district court judge must listen to the complaints and decide if there is enough evidence to support a class action.
In determining the classification of a class action, several factors are taken into consideration. First, there must be enough people with the same complaint. Second, the same question of law must apply to all members of the class. Third, all damages and requirements must be the same for all named plaintiffs. Finally, the people representing the class must be representative of all members. Once the determination is made to qualify the complainants as a class, the suit may be settled in or out of court, with a settlement or through class action litigation.
If the complaint goes forth into litigation, members of the class have the choice to participate in the class action litigation or to “opt out” of the litigation. Those who opt out relinquish their rights to any compensation at the outcome of the class action litigation. They also give up their voice in the class action hearing.
Class members who choose to participate should have equal say and equal rights during the class action litigation. In the end, all members should also receive equal compensation for the class action settlement.
Once the class action litigation is concluded and both parties agree on a settlement, the attorney fees for class action litigation are usually taken out of the money recovered during the settlement. A typical rate of 25 percent of the reward is usually charged, but it may be higher depending on the court.
The law prefers that class action suits be settled out of court – prior to entering litigation. The fees accumulated during class action litigations are often great, while the compensatory reward for the plaintiffs is less than significant, due to the large number of individuals that may make up a class.
Class Action Settlements
Class action refers to a legal situation that allows a group of individuals with a common legal complaint to pursue a case against a defendant or group of defendants. Often class actions are brought against large corporations by a group of non-acquainted plaintiffs who have suffered the same wrongdoing at the hands of the defendant.
After a person or group of persons makes a legal complaint against a corporation, it is up to the district court to determine whether there are enough people with the same complaint to certify the case as a class action. Class action attorneys work to gather a large enough group of plaintiffs to encourage a class action settlement or litigation resulting from the judge’s certification of the case as a class action.
Although class actions can go to litigation, class action settlements are the preferred legal outcome. The law favors class action settlements because they allow for the conservation of judicial resources that would be spent during litigation.
Settlements in class action suits are usually agreed upon by both parties prior to the court’s ruling on a motion to certify a class. However, they can also occur after the class action has already gone to litigation.
There are, however, times when class action settlements are unfair to the participants. Examples of such cases include situations when a proposed settlement fails to create a substantial return for the class, a class action that was filed as an action for compensatory damages is settled without compensation at all yet the attorney fees are astronomical, the settlement seems more beneficial as a marketing tool for the defendant than it does for the plaintiffs, or the attorney fails to notify the class of the fees that will be sought out of the settlement.