Individuals and consumers often find themselves facing similar issues caused by a single entity’s actions. When numerous people experience harm or losses due to the actions of an organization or company in a very similar way, it would be costly and difficult to seek justice individually. This is where class action lawsuits come into play, allowing a group of plaintiffs to collectively pursue their claims against a common defendant.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is a legal mechanism that allows a large group of individuals (known as the “class,”) who have suffered similar harm or damages caused by the same defendant or company, to collectively bring a lawsuit.
The Lawsuit Process
Contact an Attorney
Class action claims are very complicated. So the best first step is consulting with an attorney experienced in these types of claims. Your attorney will evaluate the potential claim, find out how many other people have been injured in a similar way, and determine whether a class action can be filed.
The attorneys at the Margarian Law Firm can help you fight back against big and powerful companies, citizens, or local governments. The firm’s team of skilled attorneys is committed to seeking justice for individuals harmed by corporate negligence, defective products, data breaches, consumer fraud, and other issues affecting large groups of people.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the attorney determines that a class action can be filed, he or she will draft a complaint, which is a legal document filed in court describing the facts of the case and the damages being sought.
The complaint will also describe the proposed “class” of individuals who may be covered by the lawsuit.
Certifying the Class
Although a lawsuit may be filed as a proposed class action, it does not officially become a class action. Once the complaint is filed, the class representative and the attorneys representing the class members must satisfy several requirements, including proving that the number of people who could be covered by the class action is large enough that it would be impractical and inefficient to file numerous individual lawsuits.
If the court determines that the requirements for a class action are met, the court can certify the class action.
Notification and Opt-Out Period
Once the class is certified, notice is sent to all potential class members, informing them of the lawsuit and their right to opt-out. Class members can opt out and choose to pursue their own individual lawsuit.
Settlement or Trial
In most class action lawsuits, the parties reach a settlement agreement before going to trial. If a settlement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial, where the court will determine liability and damages.
Distribution of Settlement or Judgment
If the class action lawsuit is successful, the settlement or judgment is distributed among the class members according to a predetermined plan, considering the extent of their damages or losses.
What Are the Advantages of a Class Action Lawsuit?
In a class action, members stand stronger together and maximize their chances to win the case rather than if just one consumer sued a particular company on his or her own.
Lower Litigation Costs
As a class member, you will spend less money and be able to hire an experienced and highly competent attorney. That is because the legal costs will be divided between a large number of people, making the case more affordable.
Greater Judicial Efficiency
Class actions may involve hundreds or thousands of people and it’s even hard to imagine what would happen if all consumers harmed in a similar way decided to file claims on their own. Obviously, one case in one court is more efficient as it requires less time in the courtroom and fewer judges.
The Opportunity for All Plaintiffs to Receive Damages
When the class of plaintiffs wins the lawsuit, each participant receives some payment. A class action lawsuit assures that everyone involved in the class receives something, even if it is not an amount that fully covers damages.
In conclusion, class action lawsuits serve as a powerful tool for seeking justice and compensation when a large group of individuals is affected by a common harm.
The Margarian Law Firm’s expertise in handling such cases can provide the guidance and advocacy needed to fight for the rights of those who have suffered at the hands of corporations and other entities.