Many people have heard of class action lawsuits. Class action suits and class action litigation are in the news a lot because the accidents that precipitate them are normally in the news: securities fraud involving large corporations, individual claims or related claims of price-fixing against airlines, product liability complaints for auto makers, and other big newsworthy events affecting many people.
Our law firm understands how class action lawsuits work including securities class actions including issues related to the large-scale legal action, class action law principles, class certification, and the procedural rules and federal rules of federal court and state courts.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer from our law firm today to hear how we represent class members, the lead plaintiff, and class representatives in a class action lawsuit or class action settlements through an attorney client relationship. We can give you a free evaluation of class actions and an individual free case evaluation with legal advice.
The following sections review class action law in more details as well as the mechanics of a class action lawsuit, opting in to a case, and opt out privileges.
The Mechanics of Class Action Lawsuits
You may have suffered injury or loss because of corporate negligence or error. However, your damages may be very small and the effort need to obtain relief or compensation may be very great so you will probably never consider redress.
However, if others have experienced similar loss and injury, then you could all band together and file one class lawsuit or similar class action lawsuits against that company. Once you form a proper class and appoint a lead plaintiff or class representative, then you may properly initiate a class action lawsuit per state and federal law in the appropriate court (i.e. state court; federal court; supreme court; etc.).
Class action lawsuits need to be “class certified” in order for them to proceed successfully. In order for a class action to be certified and successful, it must have the following case elements:
- The number of potential plaintiffs must be so great that it is impractical for them all to bring their own traditional cases.
- Across all claims, there must be “common questions of law or fact.” Generally, the same error or harm will trigger this.
- The proposed class, and every class member, need to have similar claims and all of the defendant’s potential objections or arguments must be similar as well.
- The lead plaintiff must give adequate and fair protection to all individual claimants in the class.
This subject matter outline provides a brief overview of how a class may seek justice through class action lawsuits. These rules of class actions are based on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) which you can read more about here:
Contact a trusted law firm representing the lead plaintiff, class representative, entire group, or other class members under the Class Action Fairness Act in a class action suit in federal court or federal courts per civil procedure standards. You can provide consent for us to answer your few questions and see if you may have one lawsuit or separate lawsuits and if we can necessarily secure compensation for you in a confidential relationship before the opt out period.
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How Do You Join a Class Action Lawsuit?
Generally, there is nothing you need to do to join an ongoing class action lawsuit. If you are covered by the litigation, then most times class members will enjoy the benefits of the eventually culmination of the case without doing anything unless you opt-out of it. You do not have to affirmatively “join” the legal controversy.
The small set of class action disputes that may be opt-in typically include employment disputes and hours or wage issues. Here you will need proactively join the matter and information about this should be contained in the class notice.
Normally, though, you only need to get involved once the matter settles. Then, you should file a claim before the timely notice expires to get your portion of the settlement. Again, you may review the instructions on how to do this in the class notice.
How do you know if you are covered in the class action and final settlement? You should have gotten a mail or email notice stating your eligibility early in the process. Note, sometimes your eligibility will be limited by your state of residence or type of injury.
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What Can You Obtain in a Settlement?
Your compensation and recovery in this type of lawsuit, like any other based in state or federal court, is based entirely on the kind and amount of harm or loss you suffered due to the defendant’s misconduct. Part of why class cases are filed is because every individual claimant, like you, did not suffer a lot of damage.
Yet, that does not destroy your right to recovery so it is important to understand how you can collect in the event of a successful settlement or award. Commonly, the details of what and how you can enjoy your part of the recovery will be posted on the law firm’s website that handled the cases, mailed to you directly, or published in large media outlets.
Of course, you can always go to the court that handled the matter in order to determine the specific outcome of the litigation and the class members’ rights to settlement monies.
Common Examples of Class Action Lawsuits
Class actions may come about from a number of different accidents, controversies, or circumstances harming lots of people in a myriad of ways, like these:
- Defective products or dangerous goods sold in ordinary course of business (including consumer household items, automobiles, medications, etc.)
- Fraudulent business dealing practices especially involving services as compared to goods (i.e. cell phones, banks, credit cards, cable or internet providers, etc.)
- Investor claims (including securities fraud actions brought in state or federal court but not in FINRA), and
- Labor-related claims and grievances (including employment discrimination and wage or hour legal disputes).
What Should You Do if You are Considering a Class Action Lawsuit?
The basics of starting class action lawsuits are very similar to traditional causes of action. There should be a spot in the filing form that allows you to indicate that this is a class case.
You need to include this form with the complaint (Setting forth the basis upon you which you are bring the lawsuit: allegations of injury, error, damages, etc.). Then, you need to serve the defendant with the complaint and summons within a certain amount of time.
The real test of class actions lies in their ability to get certified by the court which as we mentioned above contains four critical subject matter tests: 1) are there too many plaintiffs for practice purposes? 2) are there common questions of law or fact? 3) do the plaintiffs have similar claims? and 4) can fair and adequate protection be given to the whole class?
Hiring an experienced class action law firm can expedite this process and set you up for future success. Here are some critical steps they can take to protect the claims of the whole class:
- Investigate the factual circumstances of the alleged harm and loss.
- Research the responsible and negligent parties as well as their subsidiaries, partners, or third party accomplices.
- Identify all possible claimants and plaintiffs.
- Draft and file a class action case and prepare to adequately represent the identified class.
Talk to our Law Firm About a Class Action Lawsuit Today
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can work with injured parties in a class action case to recover after the defendant’s actions harmed them. We can help you determine what compensation you may be entitled to under the law and what claim type may best obtain that in a free case consultation.
Also, we work on contingency so that you don’t owe us anything until we win for you and your family. Get started today by giving us a call and talking to us about your case.
Our law firm is actively investigating the following the following types of litigation that may be considered class actions.