Class Action Lawsuit: When legal action is filed by a group or more than one individual against a single defendant then this lawsuit is termed as a class action. This kind of lawsuit is specially designed for such cases or circumstances in which more than one individual or a group of people have suffered injuries due to the actions of the same defendant.
Also, take note that the Class action lawsuit is even suitable when the damages claimed by each plaintiff or complainants are too minor for individual claims to be worthwhile. These plaintiffs/complainants have the resources for hiring an attorney as well as to get compensation once they file any legal action against the defendant as a group. This helps in saving a lot of time and burden from the court in spite of hearing hundreds of small claims cases, it can be summarized through Class action lawsuit.
Class Action Lawsuit: Key Highlights
- Class action lawsuits are the legal actions that are taken against a defendant by a number of individuals as a group.
- These kinds of lawsuits can be based on claims or accusations of defective products, fabricated advertising, discrimination, unauthorized employment practices, among many other reasons.
- A lot of class action lawsuit can take place in state courts, but due to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, the defendants can move their cases to the federal courts as well.
- These kinds of lawsuits are helpful in eliminating the need for many small claims that are being filed against any single defendant.
- The Class action lawsuit can also be frequently filed against government entities, manufacturers, financial institutions, retailers, among many who have caused any kind of harm or damage to a number of individuals.
Class Action Lawsuit: How Many Plaintiffs Are Mandatory to Start a Case?
The best thing about Class Action Lawsuit is that it doesn’t require any mandatory number of Plaintiffs. The case may get started by one single individual or more than one or else by a dozen of plaintiffs. The thing which is necessary for a Class Action Lawsuit is that all the potential plaintiffs must have the identical cause of action or specific complaint against the defendant.
Initially, the individual who files the class action usually known as the lead plaintiff, and is going to have a number of extra responsibilities as well. However, at the same time, that same person or lead plaintiff also gets an additional share when the settlement will be done.
Why Lead Plaintiff gets Extra to Share or Compensation?
The lead plaintiff attends all the court proceedings of the Class Action Lawsuit that they have filed and usually represents other class members before the judge while the case proceedings in the court.
As the lead plaintiff is the one who works closely with the attorney(s) since the beginning and performs maximum responsibilities as compared to any other individual in the group or class of plaintiffs, therefore he/she is entitled to extra compensation or share of the settlement.
Class Action Lawsuits: How It Works? What Happens After a Lawsuit has been Filed?
A group or class of plaintiffs/complainants has been represented by one or more than one “lead” plaintiffs. The damages and the allegations that have alleged by the lead plaintiffs should match other class member’s accusations. As soon as the papers are filed in the court, the judge is going to go through the case and is going to review the complaint and then the judge will decide whether all class members have similar claims or not. If the judge comes to the conclusion that the case is worthy and there are adequate qualified petitioners, the judge will then let the case move forward.
The plaintiffs or the complainants are going to be notified regarding the same through mail or other means once the class has been certified and move forward. Automatically, all are counted in the lawsuit except if anyone chose to move out of the case. However, the plaintiffs who choose to opt-out of the class-action lawsuit are asked to follow certain specified guidelines or processes. Meanwhile, many of the class action suits are usually settled outside court. Every single-plaintiff gets a share or some percentage of the settlement that includes cash, a refund, among several other benefits.
Class Action Lawsuits: What are its Types?
Usually, before 2005 there was no other type of Class action lawsuit but after the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) was passed by Congress in 2005, these lawsuits can now either state or federal actions. The Class Action Lawsuits can now be filed or heard in a state court or else at a federal court, on the basis of the circumstances of the lawsuit.
The Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) was passed as unlawful act reform for protecting the businesses from abusive or fake misdeed action lawsuits. However, it became easier for the defendants to move their cases to federal courts by revising the necessity for diversity jurisdiction. Meanwhile, the defendants are not allowed to move their lawsuits to federal court if the damages claimed by plaintiffs are more than $5 million. The group or class must include at least 100 plaintiffs.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Class Action Lawsuit?
Normally, for starting a class action lawsuit there are no up-front costs. If your case is strong enough, the lawyers will represent the group or class of plaintiffs on a likelihood basis, which means they front all preliminary costs of filing along with moving the case forward to the proceedings.
So, when the case concludes in a settlement or ruled out in the favor of plaintiffs, the lawyer(s) are going to take a share or percentage of the settlement which is usually one-third of the judgment. However, it involves great risk for both as well, because if the judge rules out in the favor of the defendant then the lead plaintiff(s), as well as the lawyer(s), are not going to get anything. Also, these kinds of cases can be resolved within few months while many of the lawsuits can go on for more than one or two years.