If harmful acts of one or more businesses bring harm to a whole group of people, it may cause a mass tort, and this is generally known as a class action lawsuit. The goal of class action lawsuits is to organize many cases so they can be heard simultaneously.
A lead plaintiff and his or her attorney represent the best interests of the entire group within the class action.
A class-action lawsuit is designed to hold negligent parties responsible for acts that have widespread damage and numerous victims. Ultimately, class action lawsuits attempt to change irresponsible corporate behavior.
What Exactly are Class Action Lawsuits?
A class action lawsuit is brought when many people have been harmed by the same harmful or illegal acts of one person or group. If certain rules are satisfied, that group can establish a class of plaintiffs into one class action lawsuit.
The class action process is supposed to facilitate large-scale recovery in a timely and efficient manner.
A class action case is frequently brought after defective consumer goods malfunction or when companies deal unfairly with the public at large. In rarer instances, employment class actions are filed over widespread abuse like wage or age discrimination.
Why is a Class Action Lawsuit Better than a Regular Case?
In some circumstances, courts and plaintiffs prefer a class action as opposed to a multitude of cases over the same set of facts. Why do they prefer a class action? Let’s take them each in turn.
First, for the plaintiffs, it means that only a small group of people have to expend time and resources trying the case (i.e. depositions; attorney meetings; etc.). This saves everyone time and money.
Second, for the courts, it means they can consolidate many cases into a few and conserve judicial resources. It also means that similar claims will be adjudicated the same way which is a huge goal of every class action individually and representative action in general.
Various state laws might affect where a class may bring its consumer, securities fraud, or other class action. This section highlights why it might in the first place.
Search online or speak with our offices about how you may receive timely notice to necessarily secure your interests in a class action.
How Do Courts Consolidate Multiple Cases into Just One?
If you want to make a class action out of many individual complaints, you need to know how courts will allow such consolidation.
To get that, you must show how all the plaintiffs have similar gripes and injuries. Thus, it would be fair and a lot more effective to have just one case instead of many causes of action.
However, you must also demonstrate that the lead representatives and plaintiffs will fairly advance the causes of the whole group. If you can make all of these points, then a judge may certify a class of plaintiffs, and the trial can start.
Note, every state runs class cases differently so you should check local laws to guarantee success. Also, if you are bringing a class case in federal court, remember that those have specific rules of their own to abide by.
Contact us to leave pre-recorded messages and this constitutes acceptance of us returning your call. Every civil lawsuit brought may help the victim in some way, and find out how it could help your family as well.
How do Class Members Certify a Class Action Lawsuit?
Class certification and class action law are complicated per federal rules on civil procedure in federal court. The law firm representing you must have a good grasp of class action law, civil procedure, and related federal rules on class actions and class action litigation strategy. Many law firms
have bumbled class actions because they don’t understand this breed of action lawsuit.
In class action lawsuits, the class representative or lead plaintiff must get the entire group (the representative plaintiff and other class members) certified. Otherwise, the class action complaint will fail and the entire class will miss out on a class action settlement.
So how do you get certified? A class action lawsuit must establish four points to obtain certification status:
- It must be impracticable to join all members of the proposed class and other parties involved into one case because there are so many.
- The class action lawsuit must have common “questions of law or fact” running through the varied individual cases so that they stem from the same misconduct.
- Those identified as the class representative or lead plaintiff in class actions must have the same claims and defenses for the class action lawsuit to proceed.
- The lead plaintiff must give adequate and fair protection to the whole class.
Now, when people ask, “What is a class action lawsuit?” You’ll have a better idea about class actions lawsuits and how to obtain certification. A class action lawsuit and all consumer and securities class actions have different substantive varieties. Yet, they must all satisfy these four elements to succeed.
If illegal business practices or other wrongful acts harmed you and others, call our offices to review class action lawsuit topics like if you can be the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit.
What is noticed in a Class Action Case?
Once a class has been certified and formed, plaintiffs’ counsel must make reasonable efforts and attempts to
1) identify all members of the said class and
2) notify them of the ongoing case.
State and federal courts differ on what exactly must be in the notice. They also disagree on the methods of distribution so you should conduct research to ensure compliance.
With respect to the federal rule on notice, FRCP 23 requires that plaintiffs “Clearly and concisely state in plain, easily understood language,” key case facts such as the dynamics of the case, opt-out rights, binding nature of a settlement, and more.
If you did not reasonably receive notice, you may be able to contest the binding nature of the settlement or resolution. Although, that is difficult so it is best to pay attention and join or opt out accordingly.
We can bring a civil lawsuit to get a whole class of victims adequate compensation if large corporations or other defendants harmed them. Talk to us today about the mechanics of class action lawsuits and the theory behind an individual class action lawsuit.
How Do I Opt-Out of a Class Action Case?
Both state and federal courts have specific provisions for how class members can opt out of class action lawsuits. Ordinarily, you must explicitly petition a court to be released from the class case.
If you do that, you will not be allowed to take part in the case. For instance, you cannot testify, offer evidence, or be deposed.
This means also that you are not required to abide by the outcome of the case. You will not get any part of the settlement but you can also still sue the defendants yourself if the class loses.
There are pros and cons to staying in or leaving a purported class action group and case. You should review these points carefully with your trusted and experienced counsel.
The procedural rules allow for an opt-out period for a class member who wants to seek justice individually. In that case, they would just one lawsuit for the defendant’s actions.
What Compensation is Possible in Class Actions?
Like every case, the nature of your compensation will be derived from the nature of your harms and injuries. The only thing that a class case does is apply them to a number of other similarly-aggrieved people.
Normally, compensation in this area of law relates to bodily injury, medical bills, future pain, and reduced quality of life. Talk to an attorney today about what you could obtain.
Class Action Lawsuit Case Summaries
To give a lead plaintiff or class representative insight into why a class action lawsuit might be preferred to just one lawsuit, we have organized this section on past class action lawsuits.
They give you more context to the power of class action lawsuits generally, and the scope of relief available within just one class action lawsuit.
Elmiron Settlement Amounts
The US Elmiron class-action suit was filed by Canadian plaintiffs Patric Guillet and Lynne Osmonda. The company has agreed to establish a settlement fund of $11 million to resolve claims in the 1,500 Elmiron lawsuits. The settlement also includes a one-time payment of $2,000 for each claimant.
Child Sexual Abuse Settlement Amounts.
This Illinois child sexual abuse claim was filed against a boys club. The lawsuit alleged that the kid was assaulted and abused in the mid-1980s by one of the group’s leaders. Without admitting to the allegations, the organization reached a settlement of $7.4 million to resolve the litigation.
California Comes Down Hard on Healthcare Company
A California jury recently ordered this company to pay $417 million in damages after it was found that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential risks associated with its talc powder products. ‘Talc is a mineral that has just been awful for women, and we are really trying to get the word out,’ according to a lawyer for the women suing Johnson & Johnson.
Stryker Hip Implant Company under Fire
Stryker Orthopaedics has been accused of making multiple metal-on-metal implants that do not function as designed or expected. As a result, the company has faced many Stryker hip lawsuits from injured patients who have had device replacements through revision surgeries.
The two hip stems manufactured by the company that has been recalled are Rejuvenate and ABG II. The active ingredients in Stryker’s hip plants are titanium, cobalt, and chromium.
In 2014, Stryker Orthopaedics agreed to pay $1.43 billion to resolve Stryker hip lawsuits regarding its ABG II and Rejuvenate metal-on-metal hop stems.
As per this settlement, each plaintiff would get around $600,000 in compensation.
The company is now in hot water again as its anatomic Lfit V40 femoral heads are causing side effects, such as pain, dislocation, inflammation, and loss of mobility. Only time will tell if a group forms to bring a class-action lawsuit.
Injured parties and individual claimants can call for a free evaluation to take legal action on a legal matter in an attorney-client arrangement. Our law firm has worked with the lead plaintiff and class representative on many class actions.
You may use our form or other automated technology to help set up a confidential relationship. Note, attorney advertising, don’t send sensitive or confidential information over the web, message and data rates apply for text messages.
Talk to Our Attorneys about Class Action Lawsuits Today.
Contact us now for more information and to set up a free consultation with an attorney from our law firm to discuss your rights in a particular class action lawsuit.
We are more than happy to investigate your claim and assist you in making every critical step that is necessary toward collecting the compensation that you are entitled to by law.
If we are unable to collect compensation on your behalf, you will not be required to pay us for our advice or services. You may be able to join a class action case. Set up an attorney-client relationship with a personal injury lawyer to find out.
Further Reading and Resources
- Talcum Powder Lawsuit
- Valsartan Lawsuit
- Zantac Lawsuit
- Firefighter Foam Cancer Lawsuit
- Hernia Mesh Lawsuit
- Allergan Breast Implant Lymphoma Lawyer
- Elmiron Vision Loss Lawsuits
- Paraquat Lawsuit