There are situations where the action, as well as inaction of a specific entity, can result in a pattern of people experiencing injuries. These injuries can impact dozens or even thousands of individuals.
An example would be a company that illegally dumps waste into a local water source, and this contaminates an entire town’s drinking water. It could result in a significant increase in cancer rates among the town’s residents who use the drinking water.
The victims can individually file a claim or a class-action lawsuit. The benefit of a class-action lawsuit is how it provides the collective strength of the victims to address the issue with a common defendant.
It is a way large groups of plaintiffs can all benefit by taking a single action. Getting a class-action lawsuit started can be a challenge, but a class-action lawyer can help during the entire process.
The initial phase of filing a class action suit is the complaint. Since it will be subject to class certification by a judge, it may start with listing only one or two plaintiffs. The certification will be done before the lawsuit is publicly announced to make other possible class members aware of it.
The initial plaintiffs will be known as the representative plaintiff. The complaint will list other individuals, as well as legal entities, who have experienced injuries from the identical cause of action from the defendant. This is known as the class.
In the complaint, it will explain how the class has a sufficient number of individuals to make it a class action. It could also explain how individual members of the class are too many to pursue individual claims.
The complaint will also contain a section requesting the court to provide certification so the legal action being taken by the plaintiffs is a class-action.
Obtaining Class Certification
There are certain requirements a lawsuit must meet for class certification. This means it has been approved by a judge as a class action.
These requirements can be different from state to state. There are general requirements.
● A judge will certify the class action if a convincing argument is made that a class action is the most efficient methods to resolve such a volume of claims.
● The alleged injuries of the representative plaintiff are just like the once suffered by other class members.
● The class is easily identifiable. The identification of possible class members is practical and possible.
● There are sufficient members of the class that it would be impractical to go forth with a lawsuit that was not a class action.
● The injuries of all possible members of the class were caused by a common set of legal facts and theories. They are so much like those of the representative plaintiff; a class action is the best way to proceed. It would not be a problem.
An attorney will try and determine a common factor among a person’s claim to other people who could become involved. If the lawsuit is simply because someone doesn’t like a particular business, it is not a good reason to start a class action lawsuit.
An attorney will know how to determine what is the common thread among all potential individuals who may be involved with the lawsuit.
Type Of Law
There are several different areas of the law that could apply to a class-action lawsuit. Securities law applies to bad investments as well as the failure to provide legally required information to shareholders and more.
Employees who want to file a class-action lawsuit against the company where whey work would be covered by employment law. Consumer protection law would cover false advertising as well as accusations by consumers concerning a company’s unfair or deceptive practices.
An attorney will know what area of the law would apply to a specific class-action lawsuit.
A single person can start a class-action lawsuit. One person can be a plaintiff who is used to represent an entire class of individuals in a lawsuit.
All these individuals will have circumstances that are similar to the focus of the lawsuit. A single person does not need to identify all the people who were harmed.
The reason for a class action suit is its efficiency. This type of lawsuit makes it possible for one individual to represent many other people.
Once a class action lawsuit has been certified by a judge, potential class members will be sent public notices.
The public notice will make it possible for individuals to be part of the lawsuit or state those who meet the qualifications of the lawsuit deemed to be part of the class. The settlement negotiation process will start once the class action lawsuit has been certified.
Anyone who believes they have a situation that could be a potential class-action lawsuit should speak with an attorney.
Most law firms that handle class action lawsuits provide consultations for free. This can be done online, over the phone, or in person.
During the consultation, the attorney will want to know the details of the possible case. If they believe a class action lawsuit can be filed, they will ask for supporting documentation.
When someone organizes a class action lawsuit, they will discover others with similar cases. Since this is a lawsuit based on existing laws and legal principles, it is best to work with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.
When someone joins with many other plaintiffs, it provides a situation where they have a good chance at having the best possible outcome for their class action lawsuit.