We hear about class action lawsuits being filed against companies all the time for what might seem like a wide range of reasons, but it's less often the case that we hear about a successful class action resulting in a settlement or large verdict. Furthermore, it can be confusing to a person injured by the the actions of a large defendant to understand when a class action is the proper method by which to sue a defendant and when bringing a more traditional lawsuit is the better route. Below we discuss when bringing a class action makes sense, when one can be brought, and how to initiate a class action lawsuit.
Knowing When to Bring a Class Action
A class action is lawsuit in which one plaintiff (or a small group of plaintiffs) represents a whole class of other plaintiffs that have been injured by the defendant or defendants in situations involving common facts. We see this often when a large defendant releases a defective drug or product that injures many consumers or takes some kind of action or course of actions that affect numerous people, such as when Ticketmaster failed to notify customers of applicable fees or when GM manufactured cars with faulty ignition switches.
The reason a case would be brought as a class action is because it would be difficult for every plaintiff affected by the defendant's actions to each file their own lawsuit with their own attorneys and conduct their own trial. In a class action, the lead plaintiffs and their attorneys will fight on behalf of the entire class such that every member of the class will benefit from the action without having to actively participate in the suit. In general, if there are at least 20 plaintiffs who have been injured by a defendant based on similar facts, you might have a good candidate for a class action.
What Defines a Class?
Prior to filing your class action, it is important to work with an attorney to get a sense of whether you will be able to prove to the court that you meet the requirements for a class under the applicable procedural rules. Generally this means showing the following four factors: 1) numerous class members (that there at least 20-40 class members); 2) common questions of law or fact among the various class members' claims; 3) a lead plaintiff who has claims typical of those among the class; and 4) adequate representation by the named plaintiffs and their lawyers.
Bringing Your Class Action
As a potential lead plaintiff in a class action, your most important task is seek out experienced class action attorneys who have the proven skills to bring your case. So long as you suspect there might be other potential class members who have suffered injuries due to a defendant's actions in a manner similar to yours, it is your class action lawyer's responsibility to undertake the work of finding other class members, analyzing their situations for commonality, and drafting and filing the legal documents necessary to initiate your class action.
Proven Leaders in Class Action Litigation
Herrington Law in Jackson, Mississippi has become a class action leader because of its constant focus on what matters most: obtaining justice for individual plaintiffs who have been wronged by defendants. We have built strong relationships over the decades with co-counsel across the country, all in pursuit of providing outstanding outcomes for the people who matter most: our clients. Contact us to set up a free consultation today.