California Class Action Attorneys
A class action lawsuit is a type of civil lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are combined and decided in a single case. Typically, specific plaintiffs are named in the class action lawsuit to represent the claims of other class members so that everyone with the same complaint or injury does not have to file individual lawsuits. In a class-action suit, all these complaints are consolidated into one case.
Why file a class action lawsuit? There are usually several benefits to filing a class action lawsuit as opposed to an individual civil complaint or claim. First, individuals who have been injured or wronged have the ability to file a claim that may be too small to file individually. Secondly, when there are more class members involved, there is more leverage. And in these types of cases, no legal fees are incurred or owed until the case has been successfully resolved.
Types of Class Action Lawsuits
Consumer Class Actions: These types of actions are generally brought when a group of consumers complains about being harmed by a corporation's systematic and illegal practices. For example, when a credit card company slaps illegal penalties or illicit charges or fails to comply with consumer protection laws, a group of consumers who have been harmed by these types of wrongful practices can band together to file a class action lawsuit. One individual may not have the power, the will or the finances to fight against a large corporation. But, a larger group of individuals can put up such a fight often successfully.
Product Liability Class Actions: These types of actions can be brought about when a defective product such as a car or a drug causes harmful side effects. For example, Toyota Motor Corp. paid out $1 billion to settle a class action lawsuit brought by car owners whose vehicles diminished in value significantly because of mass recalls spurred by sudden acceleration issues. The Japanese automaker recalled more than 10 million vehicles over three years to fix problems involving stuck accelerator pedals and faulty floor mats.
Employment Class Actions:Employment class action lawsuits are typically filed on behalf of many employees of a company for claims ranging from class action lawsuits against workplace discrimination or sexual harassment to unpaid wages or overtime pay. Our law firm recently secured a $650,000 settlement in a class action lawsuit on behalf of two plaintiffs. This case involved more than 100 class members who claimed that their employer failed to pay overtime wages and to provide mandated meal and rest periods.
Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
Here is a list of some of the elements and actions that must be taken as part of the process of filing a class action lawsuit.
- The Complaint: In order to file a class action lawsuit, the same type of harm must have been done to a group of people. The size of the complaint will not affect whether or not you have a class action lawsuit. What's important is that a group of people suffered some type of loss.
- Significant number of victims: There must be so many claimants that it is not reasonable for each to file an individual claim.
- Class action attorney: Make sure you speak with a knowledgeable attorney who has recent experience handling cases similar to yours.
- Representative: One or more persons must be named to represent all of the claimants in the lawsuit.
- Demands: You will have to decide what type of compensation you want. In most cases, a class action lawsuit will result in financial compensation.
Damages Covered in Class Action Lawsuits
The compensation sought by consumers through class action litigation varies with each lawsuit. The potential value of your class action suit will depend on the severity of the losses suffered by the victims. Types of losses that will be considered in a class action lawsuit include damages for personal injury, litigation costs and compensation for economic losses. The compensatory damages from a class action lawsuit will often be distributed among the class members based on the damages each member suffered. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.
The Important Role of Class Action Lawsuits David v. Goliath
Class action lawsuits are necessary and beneficial to the public good. Often, states, with their budget woes and depletion of resources, do not have the ability to police illegal activities perpetrated by large corporations. However, class action lawsuits empower ordinary citizens who have been wronged to enforce the law and seek justice. Another important goal of these lawsuits is to encourage corporations to comply with the law.
Class action has been the "whipping boy" of business for a long time. That is because corporations detest the idea that consumers have the collective power to hold them accountable through class action lawsuits. Also, without class action lawsuits, consumers do not have a realistic way to fight back against large corporations. Class action lawsuits are powerful tools for consumers because the economics of these cases make sense only if a large group of people joined together to bring these claims.
Bisnar | Chase Class Action Attorneys
The experienced California class action lawyers at Bisnar | Chase will be able to help individuals determine if they are eligible for either joining an existing class action lawsuit or filing a new class action lawsuit. If you have questions about class action lawsuits or personal injury claims, please contact us at 1-800-561-4887. We can help you evaluate your options and help you seek compensation for your significant losses.