What to Know Before Filing a Class-Action Lawsuit

Have you been harmed by a company’s defective product? Do you think there are others like you with the same or similar issues affected by the same company? Well, even though hundreds, thousands, and even millions of consumers purchase defective products that cause them serious injuries, many of them don’t know that people with the same or similar injuries caused by the same product or action can file a class action lawsuit as a group and get compensation!

Below are answers to the most common questions people ask about class action lawsuits.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit filed against a defendant on behalf of a big group of plaintiffs who have similarly been harmed by the same defendant or company. It’s an effective way to combine the efforts of many people and seek justice for all affected parties.

What are Common Examples of Class Action Lawsuits?

Common examples of class action cases include claims by:

  • employees subjected to racial, age, or gender discrimination by their corporate employer;
  • consumers who have purchased the same defective product or who were deceived by the same false advertising or manipulative business practices;
  • patients prescribed a prescription drug with dangerous side effects;
  • investors who lost their savings due to securities fraud committed by senior executives of a publicly traded company.

How is a Class Action Lawsuit Certified?

A class action lawsuit is only possible if a judge has agreed that the following requirements have been met.

Numerosity: This means there must be multiple people who have all allegedly suffered from the same legal wrongdoing. Most judges will certify a class action lawsuit if there are 40 or more plaintiffs involved. If there are 20 or fewer plaintiffs, the class action will likely not meet the numerosity rule for certifying a class-action lawsuit.

Commonality: There must be common questions involved in the legal dispute that the court can come up with an answer to.

Typicality: The named plaintiffs must be typical of all of the unnamed plaintiffs whose claims can potentially be resolved by the class action.

Adequacy of Representation: Named class members must not have any conflicts of interest with other potential members of the class and the lawyers representing all of the class members must have appropriate experience with similar large-scale legal claims.

If the judge finds all these conditions are met, they will certify the class action.

What is a Lead Plaintiff in a Class Action?

The lead plaintiff represents everyone in a class-action lawsuit. The lead plaintiff has the following important duties:

  • They hire a class-action attorney
  • They file the lawsuit against the defendant with the help of the attorney
  • They consult with the attorney on the case
  • They provide the attorney with evidence and give testimony in court
  • If there is a settlement, they must agree to the terms

What are the Advantages of a Class-Action Lawsuit?

Here are some benefits of class action lawsuits:

  • Class members stand stronger together and increase their chances to win the case.
  • The legal costs are divided between all of the plaintiffs making the case more affordable.
  • The case is determined by one judge in one court, meaning litigation will take up less time and involve fewer judges.
  • In a class action, the court’s decision applies to every participant who has opted into the class. That is, if the class of plaintiffs wins, everyone involved in the class receives something, even if it is not an amount that fully covers damages.

How is Money Divided in a Class Action Lawsuit?

If the class wins, the court will develop a plan to distribute the amount between the class members. Generally, the results of a class action are divided between the lead plaintiffs, participants, and lawyers who worked on the case. Lead plaintiffs normally receive a higher share than the other members of the class since they devote more time and effort to a class action.

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Class Action Lawsuit?

Class action claims are very complicated. So, if you are wondering how to start a class action lawsuit, you should consult with an attorney experienced in these types of claims.

The attorneys at the Margarian Law Firm can help you fight back against big companies. 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.

Call us at (818) 553-1000 to discuss your case with a class action attorney.

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