Class Action Lawsuits: What They Are and What is its Purpose?
In a class action lawsuit, a group of people with the same or similar cases sue the defendant for the damages caused by the same product or action. A class action lawsuit is brought by a person or a few people on behalf of a larger group of people with similar claims. Typical types of conduct over which people sue a class include defective products, medical devices, motor vehicles and so on. Consumer fraud, securities fraud, employment practices, corporate misconduct can also be grounds for a class action lawsuit.
These lawsuits are effective ways of getting compensation for relatively minor injuries, that might be impractical to file for separately. However, once similar minor claims are joined in a lawsuit, the value of the class adds up. Suing as a class action means consolidating the attorneys, defendant, evidence, witnesses, and most other aspects of the litigation.
A lawsuit must meet several criteria to be certified as a class action by the court. For example, the lead plaintiffs and attorneys are to show that there is a significantly large group of people who have been injured in a similar way. Once the lawsuit is certified as a class action, the people affected will be notified and given an opportunity to opt out.
The Way Class Action Settlements Are Divided
Generally, these lawsuits settle before going to court. Settlement negotiations usually take months, and once the deal is reached, it must still be approved by the court. The court approves the settlement if it is “fair, reasonable and adequate”. The judge can order modifications to the settlement based on various factors.
When the court approves the settlement offer, it puts a plan determining how the recovery is to be divided between the class members. Settlement details are specified in the settlement agreement. If you are a part of the class, you are eligible to get a percentage of the settlement amount. The court together with the lead plaintiff and class action attorney decides how the recovery is to be divided at the end of a class action suit. As attorneys work on contingency fees, they will receive their percentage of the entire recovery to cover legal fees and costs. Then, the lead plaintiffs are given an amount that is determined by their participation in the class action lawsuit. Finally, the rest of the settlement amount is divided among other class members.
The highly skilled attorneys at the Margarian Law firm are dedicated to representing those who suffered similar damages from the products or actions of the same company. Due to our extensive experience, passion to succeed and profound legal knowledge, we can help you recover any damage.