A "class action" lawsuit is one in which a group of people with
the same or similar injuries caused by the same product or action sue
the defendant as a group. People seek justice in class action lawsuits
when their injuries have been caused by, among other things, defective
products, including pharmaceutical drugs, motor vehicles and other consumer
products, and medical devices. Other types of conduct over which people
have sued as a class include consumer fraud, corporate misconduct, securities
fraud, and employment practices.
If you have been harmed by a product or corporation and you think there
are others in your situation, consult the lawyers at
GRESHAM pc for a free case evaluation.
The class action vehicle is used generally when a number of people have
suffered the same or similar injuries. Often many of the individuals'
injuries were relatively minor, such that they might not pursue legal
redress on their own. Together, however, the value of the claims of the
class add up, and suing as a class means consolidating the attorneys,
defendant, evidence, witnesses, and most other aspects of the litigation.
If the number of people affected by the product or conduct is high, it
becomes impractical or even impossible for them to file individual lawsuits.
When a class action is permitted, the group files the lawsuit with a representative
plaintiff, called a "named plaintiff" or "lead plaintiff,"
at the forefront.
There are many examples of class action lawsuits. A class may consist of
a group of employees who were subjected to race discrimination, a number
of patients who were prescribed a drug with injurious side effects, a
neighborhood of residents whose homes or families were injured by a toxic
spill, all the consumers who purchased a defective product that caused
them injuries, or corporate investors who suffered fraud in the purchase
or sale of stocks and other securities.
Notice to Potential Class Members
Every person who would be affected by the court's decision in the class
action is entitled to notice that the action has started. Although it
usually is not possible to give every such individual personal notice,
all persons who might be affected are entitled to the best notice possible.
The court will order that the class representative, through his or her
attorneys, make reasonable attempts to notify any unknown class members
by general media such as television, an advertisement in a magazine or
newspaper, or a posted flyer. The court will tailor the type of notice
required to the particular facts of the case. Those people who are notified
then have the opportunity to join in the action-called "opting in"-or
to decide not participate as a member of the class-that is, to "opt
out." In some cases, individuals don't have the opportunity to
opt out. For example, if a class action has been filed over particular
injuries caused by a particular defendant, all people who are similarly
situated are automatically in the class and must live with the outcome.
Why Class Actions?
A benefit of the class action format is its efficiency. The class action
lawsuit brings together and disposes of thousands of claims at one time
that are impractical to litigate individually. The judge decides the basic
question of who wins with regard to the entire group. If the defendant
wins, the class lawsuit is dismissed and the individuals in the group
are prohibited from filing new or individual lawsuits over the same issue
against the same defendant. If the class of plaintiffs wins, the court
finds the defendant liable for the plaintiffs' injuries, and the amount
of recovery is later divided among the plaintiffs.
Because it aggregates small claims, the class action format lowers the
high cost of litigation. Also, class actions are usually brought by attorneys
who are particularly trained and experienced in litigating and managing
Another benefit of the class action is that it seeks to ensure that all
injured plaintiffs receive something. It may be the case that the defendant
is bankrupt or for some other reason cannot afford to pay each individual
the full amount necessary to cover his or her losses. When the class wins
the lawsuit, each participant receives some payment, even if it is not
an amount to fully cover damages. Absent a class action, payment by the
defendant would be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Class Action Judgments
In a class action, the court's decision applies to every participant
who has opted into the class. All individuals who fit within the court's
original definition of a class member are bound by the final court decision,
even if they never actually go to court or otherwise participate in the lawsuit.
Payment to the participants in the class action usually follows a "plan
of distribution." With the help of the parties and their attorneys,
the judge develops the plan to distribute the amount that the plaintiff
class won in the lawsuit minus the attorneys' fees and litigation
costs. Each member of the class may receive certain percentage of the
total amount fund, or may receive a certain dollar figure. In some cases,
the attorneys seek and obtain permission for an individualized, in depth
review of each participant's claim, so as to tailor the amount awarded
to each class member to the "value" of his or her claim. This
method is relatively rare, however, especially in large class actions.
When the parties in a class action lawsuit decide to settle, the presiding
judge must approve the settlement, making sure it is fair to all parties.
Class actions are a highly effective and efficient form of civil litigation.
If you have been injured by a product's side effects or an environmental
spill in your neighborhood, the best means of redress is a class action.
Accordingly, you should not hesitate to contact the firm of classaction.com
in Los Angeles, California, to have one of its experienced attorneys evaluate
the potential of your case as a class action.
So, why is a class action preferable?
Filing and fighting a lawsuit can cost a great deal of money. For the average
person, that can place justice out of their reach. But if that person
becomes a part of a class (a group of similarly situated people), if the
class can find a lawyer willing to finance and litigate a lawsuit, then
all members of the class have a chance to right a wrong.
That is a
class action lawsuit - a lawsuit brought on behalf of many similarly situated people who have
been harmed in the same way by the same entity.
class action litigation will have very few named plaintiffs (one or two is common), but those
plaintiffs represent many other people - hundreds, thousands, sometimes
millions of people.
Do you have a case that might be a class action? If so,
contact the attorneys at
GRESHAM pc for a free case evaluation.
Class action lawsuits: Small claims multiplied by many people
The harm done to one person may amount to a relatively small amount of
money - an extra $10 fee when you buy a product or service, for example.
But if that $10 is multiplied by all the people who had to pay it, the
amount could be a profit of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars
to the company that charged the bogus fee. A successful class action lawsuit
can force the company to pay back all the members of the class plus pay
ClassAction.com: A resource for righting the wrongs of others.
You may have a case that just isn't worth fighting on its own - an
employer who doesn't pay the right amount of overtime, manufacturers
who fix prices on products, a household product that fails in normal usage
or is different than marketed. By joining with others in a class action,
you will be helping yourself and others, and you will be sending a message
that wrongdoing has a price.
ClassAction.com: Finding lawyers who fight for justice
Not many law firms have the resources to invest in class action lawsuits.
Many firms that do have the resources do not want to use those resources
to fight difficult cases. The lawyers at
GRESHAM pc are ready to take on the difficult cases against some of the world's
largest corporations, like
contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Class action lawsuits: Lawyers seeking justice for many people
Not every law firm or attorney has the resources to file a class action
lawsuit. It takes a significant financial investment to investigate the
wrongdoing, use the legal discovery process to obtain evidence, consult
with expert witnesses, obtain class action certification, and fight the
case in court - all against the formidable resources of a large corporation.
Dean Gresham served as co-lead class counsel in classactions against Google and other
search engines, which resulted in a reform of the internet pay-per-click
advertising industry; an electric blanket manufacturer, which resulted
in getting some 20 million defective blankets out of the homes of unsuspecting
consumers; and the gas piping industry for defectively designing and marketing
a type of gas conduit installed in many new construction homes across
GRESHAM pc, you can share your experiences and determination in the fight for justice.
Fill out the form on this page or on the
Contact Us page.
There is no cost or obligation for us to evaluate the case. This is one of the few opportunities to hold businesses accountable for
Contact GRESHAM pc today to discuss a potential class action case.