One of the most efficient ways to hold a negligent party accountable for its action in America is by filing a Class Action Lawsuit against it. The justice system in America involves many people in class action lawsuits and may take time to resolve. Still, there are chances that such lawsuits invite negative myths among people at large mainly because the results of law actions are dependent on the participants of two or more parties. Let’s see everything you want to learn about class action lawsuits.
This may be true, but the actual reality should also be realized that a class action lawsuit can help you get compensation against any issue you are facing. It enables you to find a legal and secure help for joining two conflicting parties over an issue and getting an amicable result by abiding the law.
Still confused about class action law suits?
Whether you want to learn about class action lawsuits or class action lawsuit attorney, this article will help.
Definition of a Class Action Lawsuit
In legal terms, when a party or a group of participants file a lawsuit against another party or parties being accused of a similar issue, is a class action lawsuit. Such kind of lawsuit is lead to take legal action which would otherwise be very difficult to file in reality by the individual himself.
Take an example of a company which has produced a defective product of $50. Consequently, every customer who has purchased that faulty product would have a bad affect. Knowingly, if the company continues to produce that defective product, the customer would surely face trouble in filing a class action law against the company individually. The reason behind, the cost of filing a lawsuit would outweigh than the product worth of $50.
Even if a product is not exerting any negative impact on a customer enough, the company should not be permitted to keep producing the defective product. This is exactly where the class action lawsuit comes into action. This opens a powerful avenue for people to consolidate their rights and claims by practically taking their case to a court by increasing its collective value.
A class action suit might include:
- Securities fraud
- Insurance claims
- Deadly of toxic exposure
- Faulty or hazardous products
- Unfair or illegal employment practices
How does a class action lawsuit works?
A class action lawsuit provides a solution for an individual or a party who have faced and suffered loss from a similar source. It focuses on informing every potential individual of a party of his/their capacity to connect as one. Once informed, an individual has the choice to join or not in a claim of class action lawsuit. Once a party has joined a claim, it is improbable that they will have to take any further step until a final verdict of settlement has been achieved by the court.
How the potential claimants are notified of their eligibility?
The lawyers taking up your case will do efforts to find and reach the potential claimants in different ways. They will either mail you or take the help of advertisement to notify.
Costs involved in joining a class action lawsuit
For your surprise, it involves no cost in joining a class action lawsuit. The only point to consider for a person is that whether he has been informed about his eligibility to join a class action lawsuit or if he can file his claim on individual basis. If you have joined a claim in class action lawsuit, you would be unable to take any further legal step for the same problem before obtaining the final verdict from the court. Therefore, class action lawsuits aim to:
- Enable participants get a fair compensation for all participants of the claim
- Grip companies to hold them accountable for their small misdeeds that affect their customers at large
- Reduce the individual’s stress due to an issue
- Enhance the efficiency of court by combining many cases into one
How a class action lawsuit is launched?
A class action lawsuit starts when an individual calls an attorney. If the contacted attorney believed that the individual’s claim is valid for a class action lawsuit, his team will start working to find out others who are titled to join the lawsuit.
Can a small issue be filed for a class action lawsuit?
The class action lawsuits are intended to help individuals or groups combined together for taking the compensation for their damages as an individual or as members of a group.
How many persons are needed to launch a class action lawsuit?
Not a particular number of people are needed to launch a class action, rather various factors define whether an action lawsuit is possible or not. The magnitude of damages faced by each participant of a class action would determine of how many people are required to launch a class action lawsuit.
Opt-In and Opt-Out Class Actions
▪ When a potential member of a class action lawsuit is informed of his eligibility of joining a case, and he shows his willingness to join it, this act is termed as ‘Opt-In case’.
▪ When the court includes all potential individuals in a class action lawsuit, and a member who doesn’t want to include him in that class action lawsuit, is required to intimate the court in advance. This is called ‘Opt-out’ in class in case’.
▪ Any case would be termed as ‘putative class action’ before getting a class action case certification.
Distribution of money
In a class action lawsuit, money is divided according to terms obtained by the final verdict or the settlement as a result of a class action lawsuit. The money is distributed between:
- The lead plaintiffs
- The participants of the a group
- The team of lawyers who have worked on the class action lawsuit
Who is Lead plaintiff?
A person who is filing a lawsuit on behalf of a group or class is the ‘lead plaintiff’. The other members of the class are not required to do anything except for joining the case. The lead plaintiff has sole responsibility to look after the process because he publicly represents the interests of his class, group or members of a group who have joined him in class action lawsuit. A capable plaintiff should launch a class action who has suffered from losses to represent the similar losses of the participating individuals in the class action lawsuit. He is required to:
✔ Find out an attorney and contact for filing the lawsuit
✔ Remain available to get involved throughout the process of a class action lawsuit
✔ Have the capability to accept only those settlements which are best for the interests of members of class action
Amount of money lawyers make out of it!
The money lawyers earn out of such cases is called ‘contingency fee’ which includes legal fee, investigative expenses or other related expenses. Remember, the lawyers work to get contingency fee will so they will only be paid if they win good results. The court decides the amount of contingency fee if they consider a settlement is fair for its plaintiffs. During the case, no one can pay to the lawyer. They collect their payment by their legal team looking at the results they have secured.
Time required for class action lawsuits?
Time varies from case to case. Few take months, other lead to legal battles and few might take years to end. Defendant’s appeals also halt the process of class action lawsuits.
What does it mean by Fairness of Hearing?
A judge would conduct a fairness hearing if a class action lawsuit is settled before going to its trial. By giving a fairness hearing, a judge makes sure that the terms of verdict are fair for all members involved in the lawsuit.
What is the Class Action Fairness Act?
Class Action Fairness act allows jurisdiction to its federal courts for class action lawsuits which has caused damages above $5million.
When a member of class action lawsuit is paid?
After joining a class action, it is pretty hard to estimate time of receiving money. Sometime it may take weeks and sometimes months if your case is settled fairly before going to trial. It might take months or years if it goes to court for a trial.
What does it mean by Class action common fund?
Common fund is the amount of money which has been kept aside for paying to its class members. This common fund allows the members to join in a class action lawsuit and get paid. If the common fund is not utilized after a particular time, the left over money could be returned to the defendant or it could be donated for any good cause or divided into class members.
What if you lose a Class action lawsuit?
Well if you fail to succeed in a class action lawsuit, don’t simply pay your lawyer’s fees.
Are Civil lawsuits and class actions are alike?
True, a class action is definitely a civil lawsuit as it involves two parties over a dispute.
These are damages that describe money which a defendant is ordered by the court to pay to the plaintiff in account for damages which the defendant’s behavior has caused to plaintiff to sustain.
When a defendant is found harmful by a court, it orders punitive damages which he will pay to its class members. Punitive damages are aimed to punish a negligent or a reckless behavior of the defendant.
Where can we file Class action lawsuit?
It can be filed in any state court except for Virginia as it bans class action lawsuit hearings in its courts. A dispute worth $5million or above should be filed in their federal court.
Can I take the services of a personal attorney for filing a class action lawsuit?
Yes, you can hire an attorney if you are original or a lead plaintiff.
Should I join or file a class action lawsuit?
If you qualify for a class action or are aware of joining a class, better communicate it to your attorney. It is up to you which option you want to take on. Putting it together, class action lawsuits are an excellent way to join a class to claim justice when you as an individual wouldn’t be able to do so all at your own.