When a large corporate entity causes harm to many people, it should be held accountable. However, hiring a lawyer to pursue the matter in court may not be economically feasible for a single individual. The class action lawsuit provides a legal solution for many people to come together under one claim and pursue the matter in court.
Big results come with big numbers, and powerful organizations know that it’s nearly impossible to prove a multitude of consumers wrong. A class action lawsuit can get the company and the legal system to take notice of the harm being done.
People benefit in many ways from a class action lawsuit. And in some cases, the general public can benefit too.
How does a Class Action Lawsuit Work?
Class action lawsuits come together when many lawsuits are filed for the same complaint, or when many people are experiencing the same problem and come together as one. A lead plaintiff will be chosen and will represent them with the attorney and a lawsuit will be filed on their behalf.
This lead plaintiff must prove to the court that there is a valid claim and that they can adequately represent the group. The attorney will work with the class representative, or lead the plaintiff, freeing the rest of the group to maintain a passive role. The case will either settle in negotiation or be heard in front of the judge.
The class will share any compensation that is awarded, with the lead plaintiff generally accepting a larger portion because of the considerable commitment of time involved in that position.
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Benefits of Class Action Lawsuits
It’s easier to understand why people begin or join a class action lawsuit when the pros and cons are made clear. Some of the benefits of class actions include:
Increased Odds of a Positive Outcome
When dozens or thousands of people have the same issue and they all file separate, individual lawsuits, the results of each suit will vary. The conflicting judgments can make it difficult to hold the liable party accountable.
Class actions also have improved odds of success because of the sheer number of people participating. It’s hard for a court to rule against a party of 100 people who all have evidence of the same problem caused by the same issue caused by the same company.
Big regulatory and procedural changes that affect the practices of entire industries have been implemented because of class action litigation. This type of legal action raises public awareness of a problem quickly, often resulting in changes that will prevent others from being harmed.
The court system is already clogged with a backlog of cases. The legal process takes a long time, and when a problem of this magnitude surfaces, it can take even longer. Class action suits protect the dockets from being jammed up with hundreds of claims against the same party for the same exact problem.
Further, a class action will take precedence over other cases and should reach the courtroom faster than an individual claim. These cases can take years to settle, but they do resolve the issue faster than numerous individual suits.
A class action lawsuit filing gets attention. You will have the attention of the public, the leadership of the offending organization, the stakeholders of the organization, and the legal team in particular. When you bring this type of attention to the matter at hand, changes can take place faster than you think.
Legal Cost Containment
As you can imagine, attorney involvement in litigation of this scale can be costly. Class action lawyers will take on the financial responsibility for all the costs involved up front, but the bill will eventually come due.
The court fees, administrative fees, the attorney’s fee, and the legal support staff will all be shouldered by the law firm you hire until the case is settled or won. Those costs can add up, and spreading the costs out among the class makes the financial burden much lighter.
The fees are usually handled on a contingency basis, and the percentage the attorney will be entitled to can vary depending on how complex the case is. These fees should be agreed upon in advance, and in a written contract so that there are no surprises or misunderstandings.
The fact of the matter is, that when one suit is filed on behalf of all the people, there’s a greater likelihood that the guilty party will be held responsible. Some form of compensation may be awarded to the people who were harmed, and the issue that is causing the problem should stop.
Reasons to File a Class Action Lawsuit
There are several scenarios in which a class action filing would make practical sense. The causes for filing a class action can vary, and may involve anything from defective products to employment issues, and can even include civil rights violations.
Whether a few dozen people are affected or a few hundred thousand, class action litigation can bring results that matter in the lives of people inside and outside of the immediate issue.
Some common reasons people choose class action litigation include:
- Systematic fraud
- Antitrust cases
- Monopolistic schemes
- Defective or dangerous products
- Defective drugs
- Employment issues affecting large numbers of people
- Discriminatory practices
- Defective medical devices
- Market allocation agreements
- False advertising claims
- Breach of contract
- Illegal business schemes or practices
Some of the most common class action lawsuits that may be familiar to you could involve:
- Products that failed to warn of known health risks, such as tobacco
- Defective medical devices that resulted in other injuries
- Contamination of water supplies by corporate or government entities.
The harm caused by these companies is vast, and the people who were injured deserve to see that justice is done. The reason you have heard of these dangers is in part because one person gathered a group of victims together and called a lawyer to file a class action lawsuit.
Contact Us Today to Discuss Whether a Class Action Lawsuit Is Right for You
Our civil litigation practice has been serving the innocent people who big corporations have hurt for years. We’ve helped countless people to obtain the justice they deserved and the compensation they needed through the benefits of class action lawsuits.
The Buzbee Law Firm attorneys do not fear the courtroom. They live for it. If you believe you have grounds for a class action lawsuit or mass tort claim, contact us today to learn how we can work for you.