When a group of persons has the same issues against a defendant, they can come together and file a single lawsuit against the defendant. This lawsuit is known as Class Action Lawsuit.
A class action lawsuit also called mass tort litigation or multidistrict litigation occurs when a particular group of people have been offended by a defendant and file a single lawsuit to seek compensation on behalf of them all.
Here, in today’s article, we bring to you, everything you should know about class action lawsuit; how it works, their benefits, duration, costs, and procedures. Subscribe to our newsletter for more juicy content.
When should I file a class action lawsuit?
There are many reasons why groups of persons file this kind of lawsuit. Take a scenario where a big firm or corporation harms or cheats a group of individuals, a class action lawsuit saves time and money for these individuals to receive the compensation they deserve.
Examples of these scenarios include:
- False advertising
- Defective medication
- Breach of contract
- Illegal business practices
- Employee discrimination
How Do Class Action Lawsuits Work?
Class action lawsuits involve numerous plaintiffs coming together to file a single lawsuit against the defendant. There is a lead plaintiff who files the lawsuit on their behalf, works with the litigation attorney(s), and during the trial, acts as the representative of the plaintiffs.
Pros and Cons of a Class-Action Lawsuit
There are two sides to a class action lawsuit. Its benefits include:
- Strength in numbers: Because of the number of plaintiffs involved in this lawsuit, it’s safe to say that they won’t be many expenses compared to an individual lawsuit.
- There are more chances of victory owing to the number of claims and evidence of the plaintiffs
- Class action lawsuit needs a high-quality and experienced lawyer, hence, there’s more reason to win.
The Cons Of Class Action Lawsuit
As easy as it seems to win a class action lawsuit, the downside to it is this:
No victory, no compensation. If the class action case fails, no individual from the complainant side gets compensation.
What’s worse, after losing the case, you lose the right to file an individual lawsuit.
Also read: How to Have More Clients As a Criminal Defense Attorney
Before You File A Class Action Lawsuit
It is very important to take note of some criteria before you file a class action lawsuit. Speaking with an accomplished lawyer in this field is paramount. He or she will clarify some issues and guide you about your rights before you( and others) file a class action lawsuit against an individual or entity.
For a class action lawsuit to be valid and accepted by the judge, there should be more than one person who is aggrieved and filing the complaint. However, some courts mandated at least 25 plaintiffs to make a class action lawsuit possible.
Another thing to remember is that all the plaintiffs must have suffered the same or very similar injury or loss by the defendant in order to file a class action lawsuit.
Finally, get thorough guidance from an experienced lawyer before proceeding with the lawsuit.
Filing A Class Action Lawsuit
File a complaint
Filing a complainant is the first thing to do when filing a class action lawsuit. When your attorney has gone through the case thoroughly and found evidence to prove that you and many others were aggrieved, he proceeds to draft out and submits legal documentation. This contains the event that caused you and more persons harm or loss, the evidence, the names of all the aggrieved, and of course, the kind of compensation you all are demanding.
Meeting the requirements
It has been emphasized why you should seek the guidance of a lawyer before filing a complaint. This is because after filing a complaint, the judge gets to decide if the case is worthy enough to be a class action lawsuit.
Here are the following requirements needed for the case to be accepted
- Class action lawsuits involve at least a dozen aggrieved persons to be accepted.
- The lead plaintiff must also be aggrieved.
- Every person involved in the case must suffer the same or similar harm or losses from the defendant.
Cost Of A Class Action Lawsuit
The plaintiffs do not pay to file a class action lawsuit. Your lawyer takes on the financial risk and will get a certain percentage of the compensation if you win the case. Remember, no victory, no compensation and the lawyer gets nothing.
Duration of Class Action Lawsuit
Ranging from a few months to several years, there’s no particular duration for a class action lawsuit. However, a speedy trial depends on the experience and expertise of your lawyer, how many plaintiffs are involved and the kind of compensation demanded.
The judge, according to the facts stipulated in the complaints will determine the kind of compensation to be offered and to who it should go.
After filing a complaint and it gets approved (because it reached all the requirements), the class gets certified by the court in order for the lawsuit to proceed.
Now you have it all. Everything you should know about class action lawsuits. Subscribe to our newsletter for more juicy legal content.