Class Action Lawsuit

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

When several people suffer from the same type of harm or losses, they can band together to file a class action lawsuit against the negligent party.

When several persons have been wronged by one party, class action lawsuits are used. Common instances include substandard goods, risky medications, and careless business choices that eventually cause harm to a large number of people. 

Injured parties, or plaintiffs, can save money on legal fees and, in many situations, increase the likelihood that each person will receive a favorable judgment or settlement by banding together in a class action lawsuit.

The majority of class action lawsuits are brought against companies that manufacture widely used items that harm or injure numerous people. However, they could also be opposed to the government or, very rarely, to private citizens.

In a class action lawsuit, dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of plaintiffs might participate. Class action lawsuits acquire their name from the fact that the plaintiffs are collectively referred to as a “class” of persons.

How to Start a Class Action Lawsuit

When it becomes clear that numerous people suffered the same or comparable damages, class action lawsuits are initiated. This may occur when a government investigation, such as the FDA, issues a product recall, or it may occur when an investigative journalist uncovers a scandal that makes national news. Sometimes it’s not as clear, and it begins when certain injured persons begin looking into their legal possibilities.

At first, there may be no “hard” evidence that the plaintiffs have a legitimate claim. Attorneys may need to do months’ worth of research and investigation. During this time, there may already be individual lawsuits brought against the responsible party.

If enough plaintiffs file claims, the plaintiffs’ lawyers can determine if it’s appropriate to combine all of their cases into one large class action.

What Is the Process of a Class Action Lawsuit?

Attorneys handling numerous separate cases will submit the required paperwork to the courts. Typically, they must choose a single jurisdiction, even if not all of the plaintiffs reside there, whose courts will hear the action on behalf of all parties.

If a case is significant enough, it may also be transferred from state courts to federal courts under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005.

Then, a choice to “opt in” must be available. In other words, as word spreads about the class action, more people will come forward with legitimate claims. They must be able to “opt in” and participate in the class action as well.

Finally, the case will be heard in court and decided as usual. However, all of the claimants will get damages in whatever verdict or agreement. This could imply that each person receives a fixed amount or a certain percentage. In less frequent instances, the sum may vary depending on the damages suffered by each person.

Contact a Lawyer if You Have a Class-Action Lawsuit

You must speak with a class action lawsuit lawyer right away. Not all lawyers have experience with class action cases, but those that do can assist you in determining whether your claim is legitimate and, if necessary, in locating others who might have comparable claims.

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