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What is a class action lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is a civil claim filed on behalf of a large number of plaintiffs who have all suffered similar losses as a result of the defendant's negligent or fraudulent actions. One or more members of the group of injured plaintiffs will file the class action lawsuit and serve as representatives, seeking to recover damages that will compensate every member of the group.
What are the benefits of filing a class action lawsuit?
Filing a class action lawsuit has several advantages over filing an individual lawsuit against a company. A few of the major benefits are:
- Ability to recover money for a claim that might be too small to file on its own
- With more consumers involved, you will have greater leverage against the company
- You do not incur or owe any legal fees until the case is successfully resolved
Victims of consumer fraud or defective products can accomplish much more by joining together in a single class action case.
How do I join an existing class action lawsuit?
Generally speaking, if you qualify as a plaintiff for a particular class action case, you will be automatically included in the settlement. Having to "opt into" a class action lawsuit is rare. However, if you decide that you do not want to participate in any given lawsuit, you can opt out at your discretion. If you do not exercise this right, you may still be bound by the settlement terms.
If you are a qualifying plaintiff for a class action lawsuit, you should receive a notice informing you about the case. This notice will explain the specific actions you need to take (if any) in order to participate and potentially receive compensation.
What are the required elements of a class action lawsuit?
In order for a lawsuit to be considered a "class action" case, it must meet the following requirements:
- Numerosity - There should be a large enough number of similar claims to make a class action lawsuit more practical than pursuing individual cases.
- Typicality - The individuals who serve as representatives for the plaintiff class must have claims that are "typical" of the average plaintiff's claim.
- Adequacy - The class representatives should be capable of successfully representing the interests of the rest of the plaintiffs.
- Commonality - All of the claims involved in the lawsuit must share common issues and common legal questions.
If you have further questions about class action lawsuits, please contact The Chestnut Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced class action lawyers. We represent clients nationwide, with offices in Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Miami, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Charlotte, N.C.