What is a class action lawsuit?
In a class action lawsuit, a plaintiff brings a claim before the court on behalf not only of themselves but also a group of people (the class) who all have similar claims. While only one plaintiff is needed to initiate a case, there can be several plaintiffs named in the complaint. These are called the lead plaintiffs in a class action.
Once the case has been initiated in court, if it is determined that a large group of people has likely been impacted, the judge can certify the case as a class action. This means that through the class action lawsuit, the lead plaintiffs bring a claim on behalf of the much larger group of unnamed individuals.
The benefits of class action lawsuits include not only financial payouts, but they have also been instrumental in challenging laws that were discriminatory and have encouraged regulation of products or industries. When plaintiffs join a class action, they give up their right to sue the companies individually, but doing so puts more pressure on companies to settle than an individual lawsuit.
How do you get paid through a class action lawsuit?
Often, the company or companies being sued in a class action lawsuit will choose to settle the case before the trial date. In the event of a settlement or final judgment by the court, plaintiffs and class members would receive their allocation of proceeds from the settlement or judgment after accounting for attorney’s fees and other expenses. The lead plaintiffs will sometimes receive more than unnamed class members subject to court approval. The amounts of the payout to plaintiffs and class members can vary depending on the type and size of the case and it can take time to process all of the payments.
What kinds of claims qualify for a class action investigation or lawsuit?
- Injuries suffered as a result of faulty medical devices
- Defective products that do not work as advertised
- Side effects from prescribed medications (pharmaceuticals)
- Employment or wage violations suffered by a group of employees
- Invasions of privacy, including biometric information
- Unauthorized use of your personal information
- Data breaches that occur when a company does not safeguard customer information
- Violations of consumer protection acts by companies
- Discrimination claims that affect a large group of people
- Unauthorized billing charges or fees
- Harmful chemicals in a product or food that affect consumers’ health
- Contaminated water that affects residents of a certain area
- Purchases made as a result of false advertising claims
- And many more!
How do I get involved?
If you have an issue that you think has affected yourself and others, let us know! Our team of experienced investigators at Siri & Glimstad are waiting to evaluate your issue and check the applicable law to see if you have a case. Note that there will generally be some minimal document or information collection required on your part in order to join a class action lawsuit. Every class action lawsuit starts with one or more persons who have been wronged and seek to make things right. Could you be the one who initiates the next big class action lawsuit?
Let us know if you have an injury or loss that you would like us to look into! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.