How Class Actions Work
In order for a class-action suit to be filed, there are certain steps to follow. These steps include, but are not limited to:
- Determining how many people have been similarly affected
- Determining if there is already legal action taking place making the same claims
- Making sure the action will fall within the applicable statutes of limitations
- Having the lawsuit officially certified as a class action by the presiding judge
- Notifying all potential class members and giving them the option to participate or opt-out
In many cases, class-action lawsuits are settled prior to trial. If a settlement is reached, it must be approved by the judge presiding over the case before it becomes official. If the case is not settled and proceeds to trial, the individual representative(s) for the class may be called to testify, along with other witnesses.
Types of Class Action Lawsuits
There is a wide range of cases that can reach the level of a class action. Some of the more common examples include:
- Prescription drugs causing widespread injury due to allergic reaction or side-effects
- Stockholders suffering financial loss due to the illegal or negligent actions of a corporate executive or stock trading organization
- Individuals injured or whose homes or places of business were damaged due to environmental disasters (oil spills, pipeline leaks, gas releases, etc.)
- Victims of discrimination based on their gender, race, age, or other factors
- Consumers who have been subjected to false advertising, price-gouging, or defective merchandise
There are laws in place to protect individuals from civil rights and consumer rights perspectives at both the state and federal levels. When a company or entity produces a harmful product or shows a pattern of mistreatment toward employees or customers, a class-action lawsuit becomes a possibility.
Work with a Team of Skilled Attorneys
When you have suffered harm — physical, financial, or otherwise — through the negligence or actions of another party, it is your right to take legal action to seek compensation. This is true on an individual basis in personal injury cases, and it is also true when you are one of a large group of people who have been affected.
If you believe you have grounds for a potential class-action lawsuit, your best option is to work with a law firm that has experience in the complexities of class actions. As your legal representation, we will lead you through each step of the process as you pursue the most favorable outcome available to you.