Legal ServicesClass Action Lawsuits

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a case filed against a defendant by a group of people with similar injuries caused by the same product, action, or practice.

The basis of a class action is typically one of the following:

  • Defective product
  • Illegal corporate practice
  • Illegal pay practice

In a class action, one or more class representatives bring their claims on behalf of the entire group of similarly injured people. Other members of the class are informed of the lawsuit and given the chance to participate or opt-out.

How Do You Benefit from Participating In a Class Action Lawsuit?

  • Smaller Injuries: If a group of people suffer (relatively) minor injuries or financial harm, it might be too expensive to pursue an individual lawsuit. However, when combined with other individuals who suffered similar injuries or harm, the value of the claims adds up and allows for effective prosecution.
  • Impractical Litigation: Because a class action lawsuit brings together multiple claims at once, the process is much more efficient. The costs of bringing the case are shared amongst the many class members instead of just one claimant.
  • Cost-Savings: Because the litigation is combined, the cost of litigation is greatly reduced in a class action. The same experts, witnesses, and documents can be used once, rather than hundreds or even thousands of times.

What Does It Mean to Opt-Out of a Class Action Lawsuit?

To opt-out means to choose not to participate in the lawsuit. When someone opts out they do not receive any share of the settlement if class representatives win or the defendant decides to settle.

A person who decides to opt-out can file an individual lawsuit at a future date.

Current Class Action Cases We Are Investigating

TYPICAL CLASS ACTION CLAIMS

There are many issues that are well-suited to class action lawsuits. Some of the most common class action claims include:

Product Injuries

Dangerous or defective products cause thousands of injuries annually. Some of the most common injuries are caused by products we use daily such as:

In many cases, the responsibility for a product defect that causes injury lies with the sellers, manufacturers, or distributors of the product. If you’ve been injured by a product, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Wage & Overtime Claims

If an employer attempts to break the law or circumvent regulations in an effort to cut costs, employees often suffer the most. In many instances, employers will misclassify employees as exempt from overtime, or violate lunch break or minimum wage regulations.

Employees who have been impacted by these types of practices may be eligible to file an individual or class action lawsuit for lost wages, overtime, and penalty damages.

Consumer Claims

In addition to defective products, consumers often suffer when corporations engage in fraudulent practices so that a product or service does not perform as advertised. For example, when banks overcharge customers for late fees, or debt collectors harass or intimidate debtors.

In these instances, an individual or class action lawsuit may help victims receive the compensation they deserve.

How Do You Start a Class Action Lawsuit?

If you believe you’ve been involved in a situation that warrants a class action lawsuit, the first thing you should do is document any injuries or financial harm as a result of it. For example, if a product has injured you or a family member, be sure to get photos of the products as well as medical records documenting the injury.

If you believe you belong to a class that is involved in a lawsuit, but you have not been notified, there are ways to find the information you need to be a class member:

  • Local newspapers carry legal notices with information on class actions.
  • You can also find this information online.

Typically, information is available regarding the law firm/attorneys involved. You can use this information to contact the firm and express interest in being involved.

Lastly, you need an experienced class action attorney by your side who can help you organize your claim.

HOW CAN HABUSH HELP?

If you have been involved in a situation that may warrant a class action lawsuit, we can help. Contact our class action lawyers Jason Knutson or Breanne Snapp today at 608-255-6663 to gain a deeper understanding of your rights and learn about how we can fight for you.

Class Action FAQs

No. If you are a claimant in a class action lawsuit your name will remain private. Typically, the only person publicly named in a class action lawsuit is the representative plaintiff or class representative. Simply submitting a claim does not make you the plaintiff.

Ultimately, it depends on your situation.

Class action lawsuits can absolutely be worth it for the individual who is part of a large class and has a relatively small claim. If you file a lawsuit individually the cost can outweigh the benefit since the process of suing for damages can cost a great deal of time and money.

If you are part of a class you will certainly be represented by a class action attorney who is experienced and highly skilled. You will likely have representation that would be normally unaffordable.

Keep in mind, if you feel that you have a more substantial claim than the rest of the class it may be wise to opt-out of a class action lawsuit. If you are part of a class action suit you can not sue individually at a later date. This is why it is wise to consult with an experienced class action attorney before making a decision.

Although the individual claim may seem small, the cumulative damage to a large group of people might make it worth it.

The court must approve of how payment is distributed. Payment distribution is always outlined in the settlement agreement. The judge can order modifications to a settlement agreement if it is unfair, unreasonable or inadequate.

If the defendant loses or decides to pay a settlement to end the litigation, the money is put into a settlement fund, the attorneys are paid for their services, and the rest of the settlement disbursed to the claimants. If you are part of the class you are eligible to receive payment.

Depending on the type of class action, the settlement can be distributed in different ways. Generally, a Settlement Claims Administrator is appointed to by the court. A Settlement Administrator is a neutral third-party who is in charge of identifying class members and disbursing payment.

The Settlement Administrator will make efforts to notify eligible people through publication, mail, email, or over the phone.

Depending on the nature of the lawsuit payment in different forms.

If you are a member of the class in a class action suit and you lose, you do not receive any compensation. Additionally, you forfeit your right to sue individually in the future.

With that in mind, if you feel that you suffered more damages than other people involved in the class action, it might be worth it to opt-out and file an individual claim.

A class must be certified by the court in order to proceed with a class action.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, Rule 23 provides that an action requires four conditions to qualify for class treatment: (1) the class must be so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (2) there must be questions or law or fact common to the class, (3) the claims of the representative parties must be typical of the claims of the class, and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.