What Is A Class Action Lawsuit?
Class actions have long been an essential mechanism in our legal system for allowing persons who’ve been victims of the same unlawful acts or practices to bring similar claims in one case in one court. Usually, there are a large number of victims, making the class action a practical way of dealing with a huge number of lawsuits and claims, involving lots of victims who have sustained a high amount of monetary damages in many different locations and states.
The person or persons who bring the class action are often called “Class Representatives” or “Named Plaintiffs.” The people making up the pool of victims are called the “Class” or “Class Members.”
Class Actions Have Named Plaintiffs Who Act as Representatives of All Plaintiffs
Named Plaintiffs bring class actions in a representative capacity. In other words, one or a few Named Plaintiffs are actually named in the suit and bring the lawsuit as representatives of other persons who have been subject to the same unlawful act or practice by some company or companies for which the law provides some form of remedy. Class actions can provide Class Members money damages; various types of court orders to stop the unlawful practice; or court orders declaring a practice unlawful.
Class actions may be brought in state or federal courts, and may involve Class Members in one state, several states or throughout the country.
What Are Class Action Representative Duties?
Class Action Representative Duties can be explained by one of our Class Action Lawyers during any consultation. General, the duties include, but may not limited to the following:
- Representing the interests of all class members to recover for the class;
- Considering the interests of the class;
- Participates actively in the lawsuit, which includes testifying at deposition or Trial, and througout the legal discovery process;
- Recognizing that any potential resolution of the class action is subject to court approval and must be in the interests of the class as a whole; and
- Provides relevant facts to class counsel while also remaining active and interested in the class action lawsuit.
Some important aspects of class actions include:
Class Actions are Efficient: Because Class Representatives bring and pursue the case, each Class Member doesn’t have to shoulder the burden of litigating the case. Class actions ease the burden on the legal system by reducing the amount of time and money required to resolve consumer or competitor complaints concerning the same practice of the same defendant(s). Defendant companies benefit because similar legal claims are resolved in one court, rather than on a piecemeal basis in numerous states or federal courts. Litigating the same claims in one court also lessens the likelihood that a defendant would have to follow inconsistent standards and rulings on the same issue.
Class Actions Level the Playing Field: Individuals or small businesses often don’t have the resources to take on large companies. By uniting many people in one case, class action cases level the legal playing field. Class actions permit consumers to pool their legal claims which would be uneconomical and unrealistic to litigate individually because their claims are too small, Class Members are of advanced aged, or for other reasons. Attorneys for the Class usually advance the costs of litigating the case.
Class Actions Deter: Class actions deter misconduct of companies because they can lead to significant recoveries in one suit, and widespread public exposure of a company’s misconduct.
Class Actions Benefit the Public: Historically, class actions have:
Led to enforcement of civil rights, employment, privacy, securities and consumer protection laws.
Provided financial recoveries to persons who’ve victimized by fraud, corrupt, or unscrupulous practices.
Brought about the elimination of defective products and dangerous practices from the marketplace.
Changed wrongful business practices in various industries.
Free Class Action Consultation
We're ready to put our knowledge and skill to work for you. Our consultations with potential clients are free. If we take your case, we are only paid fees and costs of suit if we succeed in winning a recovery for you. We advance the costs of your case, too, so there's no cost to you of bringing your case.