What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit, by definition, is a lawsuit that is brought by one party on behalf of a group of individual people all having the same issue. What this means is the lawsuit is brought forth by a group of people who are claiming similar injuries or damages all from the same company or organization. A class action lawsuit is a civil claim in court. A class action attorney (or team of them) will represent the group in court.
When a class action lawsuit is brought to the court, only one person’s name is listed on the case. This person is called the lead plaintiff. You can contact your class action attorney for more information, but in short, the court appoints the lead plaintiff. That person then communicates with the class action lawyers about the case and may be required to offer testimony about how he or she was harmed by the defendant’s actions. The lead plaintiff may also be required to make decisions that affect the end result of the case. If you want to be named lead plaintiff, you must apply within the proper timeframe. Application must take place within the first 60 days of publication of the notice for the suit.
What Types of Legal Cases are Eligible?
There are four main factors used to determine if a class action lawsuit is appropriate:
- There must be so many similar claims that it’s more practical for the claims to be resolved in one lawsuit instead of many. This is referred to as numerosity.
- The claims must also be similar to one another. They must share common disputes so that they can all be resolved in the same lawsuit. This is referred to as commonality.
- The people named as class action lawsuit plaintiffs must have claims that are typical of the class. This is referred to as typicality.
- The people named as plaintiffs must be capable of adequately representing the class. This is referred to as adequacy.
- Why Would a Group Join Together for a Lawsuit?
There are a wide range of reasons a group may want to get together to form a class action lawsuit. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Defective products
- Prescription drug side effects
- Environmental disasters
- Consumer class actions where companies have harmed consumers through unethical or unfair billing practices
- Securities class actions brought on by investors who have been wronged
- Employment claims from employees against the company they work for.
A class action lawyer will be essential. This attorney will ensure that all plaintiffs understand the process and know their rights and limitations. Should a member of the class action lawsuit decide to opt out, the class action lawyer can help with this process as well and answer questions.
The class action attorney will be at the central role in achieving the desired outcome for the group represented. A class action attorney has the experience you will need to ensure the group’s voice is heard.
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