How Do I Join a Class Action and How Does it Work for Me? Blanchard & Walker PLLC

The judge will then determine if the plaintiffs can receive any financial compensation. If the plaintiffs receive a favorable judgement, the funds will be submitted to the lead plaintiff. The lead plaintiff or class representative is often paid on a contingency basis. They won’t receive any payment until there is a sufficient settlement or judgment. The court will approve and award the compensation to the lead plaintiff and order the distribution of the remainder to class members. If a prospective defendant has hurt you, you can sue them seeking compensation for their actions. Whether the suit will become a class action is determined once you have filed the lawsuit.

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However, money divided in a class action lawsuit needs to go to a number of individuals, including the lead plaintiff and their attorneys. In addition, the settlement agreement may be crafted in such a way that funds end up in other places, like charities. How long your class action lawsuit takes depends on a number of factors. Reaching out to other plaintiffs, known as the class members, can take a long period of time.

Getting a Website Visitor to Engage Your Firm

A potential client comes to your door with a copy of an application for health insurance and a copy of the actual policy. The potential client explains that upon her filing claims with the insurance company, the company rescinded her policy, resulting in her personal payment of $1250 in medical bills that would have been covered by the policy. She then shows you a letter she received from the company that stated her policy was rescinded due to misrepresentations she had made on the application. Further, after denying that misrepresentations were made, the potential client points out that the application is not referred to in the policy or a part of the actual policy. Since the potential client’s policy looked like a standard form, there may be similar problems faced by a group of people who have received the same policy. The traditional “Opt-Out” Class Action Settlements that get media attention are brought under Federal Civil Procedure Rule 23. That means under Rule 23 Class Settlements, all class members are covered and the court will approve the settlement except if Class member s “Opt-Out” and actually send back a form that says they do not want to participate.

There are plenty of attorneys in the U.S. who claim to be class action attorneys. However, class action law is a specialized area of law and a class action lawsuit should only be filed by attorneys who have significant class action claim experience. It is also important that you seek an attorney who has experience in handling the type of class action case that you are wanting to file.

If there are too few cases or the facts of the cases are too different, the judge will not approve a class action. In addition, the judge will certainly dismiss any claims he finds to have little basis — known as a frivolous lawsuit.

Characteristics and Criteria of Class Action Lawsuits

Though it deals with legal issues, it should not be taken as legal advice for any specific case or situation. The law changes rapidly, and we make no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy or reliability of the content or links on this site. As mentioned above, the Notice of Class Action Lawsuit must typically inform you of your right to ask the court for exclusion from the class (this is called the right to “opt out”). Read more about Class action lawsuit here. If you need the advice and counsel of a knowledgeable employment law attorney who can best protect your rights and help you pursue your legal interests. Some settlement agreements require the unclaimed funds to be distributed among existing Class Members, who sometimes see a second award. Others provide for distribution to a charity or non-profit, called a cy pres recipient.

Should a court determine that a class meets the requirements for certification, a notice will be sent to all class members informing them of the class action and their rights. While there is no obligation at this point to do anything, this juncture presents another good opportunity to confirm your participation in the class action with a lawyer.

How Will I Know If I’m Covered by a Class Action?

Contact our class action attorneys today to find out if your current legal issue could be part of a class action lawsuit. Most plaintiffs faced with a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit will amend the complaint to address the defendants’ concerns and file a new, amended complaint.

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 regulates the distribution of funds in class action lawsuits to ensure fairness to all parties involved. If a class action lawsuit is successful, any financial award or settlement is divided among the members of the class. The lead plaintiff is the individual or group of individuals who act as the representative of the class in a class action lawsuit. There have been many consumer class action lawsuits filed by large numbers of people that are notable for one reason or another. A class action lawsuit is a legal action taken by a group of people who have suffered similar harm from a company or organization. Technically, filing a class action is often accomplished by checking the appropriate box in the simple complaint filing sheet provided by your state’s civil court (the complaint is the document that starts the lawsuit).

The named plaintiffs must be able to adequately represent the interests of all members listed in the class action lawsuit. This means they have a legal obligation to ensure everyone receives justice throughout the proceedings. In every class action lawsuit, there is a lead plaintiff or lead plaintiffs who serve as the face and voice of the group and represent the interest of the whole group. Due to their active participation, the rest of the members play a passive role and simply await judgment. When someone contacts a law firm about a potential class action, an attorney will evaluate the facts of the situation to determine whether a lawsuit can be filed. Even if both the plaintiffs and defendants agree to the terms of a settlement, it must typically be confirmed in a final approval hearing. “If it does, it’s usually because something unforeseen happened.” The date of the hearing for final approval is usually well after claims have started to be submitted, so any hiccups can be addressed.

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