Class actions typically involve a significant number of injured parties forming a group to seek redress. Potential parties to an action must have suffered injuries from an act that has issues of fact and of law in common. A representative of the class must be appointed to act as the plaintiff in court proceedings to protect not only their individual interest but the interests of the entire class.
In terms of economics, a class action is best suited to protect a large number of parties injured by a single act. In many cases, individual damages may not be significant, but if all injured parties collectively initiate a class action by filing a single lawsuit, the protection of individuals having minor interests can be greatly enhanced. In addition, there are time and cost savings benefits.
The plaintiff attorney prepares and maintains a roster of the affected individuals and contacts them individually to determine the potential size of the class.
The principles involved in a class action proceeding include
- Commonality - the issues of fact and of law must be shared among the individuals in the class action.
- Notice – the court's judgment should be binding on individual class action members not directly involved in the proceedings if they are given sufficient notice on the developments in the case and the entitlement of each member of the class.
- Opting out - each potential class member has the right to express their intention to opt out of the class action and exclude themselves from being bound by the judgment without prejudicing their right to bring an individual action.
- Qualifications of the plaintiff and plaintiff attorney - a plaintiff and plaintiff attorney must be selected with due care and diligence by the court. Qualifications must be respected in order to adequately protect the collective interests of the class.
There can be a number of benefits to bringing a class action
- Lower costs of litigation per individual in the class
- More efficiency in ensuring justice for a larger segment of the population
- Consistent judgments in proceedings on identical issues
- Protection of the interests of the less privileged and those suffering from minor damages through group action
Juslaws & Consult attorneys have in-depth experience in representing businesses from many industrial sectors, in various types of commercial class actions. We have litigated matters involving consumer protection, fraud, wage and hour, healthcare, finance and banking, copyright, product liability, internet transactions and payment processing, privacy, antitrust, mass torts and statutory violations.
Our professionals are qualified to handle class certification procedures, the negotiation and creative structuring of class action settlements and trials of these class actions. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to obtain favorable resolutions as efficiently and effectively as possible.