We have all likely heard of a class action lawsuit of some kind, but do you know what they are and how you can benefit from them? When a group of people comes together, their voices are heard loud and clear. Contact our class action attorneys today to find out if your current legal issue could be part of a class action lawsuit.
When many people think of a personal injury lawsuit, they think of one person suing another person. For example, if you are injured in a car accident, you may sue the driver of the other vehicle. But some personal injury lawsuits can be much more complex and involve more than one plaintiff and more than one defendant. Such litigation is commonly called a class action lawsuit.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is a personal injury lawsuit in which several people come together to pursue damages against one or more wrongdoer. In most situations, Florida statutes require there be at least 40 people involved in the case for there to be a class action claim. There is typically one party that serves as a class representative, but sometimes the representative is more than one person. These representatives make decisions on behalf of the entire group.
The downside to class action lawsuits is that not all parties get to have a say in the litigation, but the suits are beneficial because they are typically much more cost effective and efficient. An experienced class action lawsuit can review your case and determine if a class action lawsuit is your best course of action.
Types of Class Action Claims
Although there can be many types of class action lawsuits, the four main types include the following:
- Product Liability Actions: If a company manufactures a product that is defective, it is likely that multiple parties will be injured. These claims are often the result of mass accidents such as toxic spills or prescription drugs with harmful side effects.
- Unfair Trade Practices: When a company makes a false claim about a product and it does not work the way they claim it will, multiple consumers are often affected by these false claims. These types of claims often involve false advertising, selling services or products that do not perform as advertised, or bait-n-switch representations.
- Employment Class Actions: If an employer fails to abide by labor laws, such as paying for overtime or giving adequate break time, a group of employees affected by the violation may bring a collective class action claim against the employer.
- Consumer Class Actions: If a company fails to comply with consumer protection laws, they may find themselves in the center of a class action claim. These claims most often result when a company places illegal charges on bills, failure to comply with consumer protection laws, and unlawful debt collections.
Requirements of a Class Action Lawsuit
In order to file a class action lawsuit in Florida, there are certain prerequisites that must be met. They include the following:
- The members of the class action must be so numerous that smaller lawsuits would be impractical.
- The claim must raise enough questions of fact or law common to all members of the class action.
- The representative’s claim must be similar to the claims of the class members.
- The representative of the class must be able to adequately and fairly represent the members of the class.
An attorney who is experienced in class action claims will be able to understand these requirements as well as other requirements that are specific to class action lawsuits.
How Much Does a Class Action Claim Cost and What are the Benefits?
Typically, when an attorney agrees to take on and file a class action claim, he or she will advance any of the costs involved in filing the case. If the lawsuit is successful, the attorney will then likely petition the court to award reimbursement of their fees and out-of-pocket expenses. If the case is unsuccessful, the attorney for the class absorbs the loss.
One of the reasons that class representatives want to take part in a class action claim is that they take pride in forcing someone to stop their wrongdoing and make it right. Other people like to be part of a class action lawsuit in order to recover money that was taken from them illegally. Without the class action claim, they could not afford to pay the legal fees to bring an individual lawsuit.
Another advantage of a class action lawsuit is that many courts will provide incentive awards to class representatives for the expenses and time associated with helping prosecute a case. Judges have a broad discretion when giving these awards, which can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Current Class Action Lawsuits
At any given time, there are multiple class action lawsuits taking place. Some of the most common include the following:
- Dangerous Drugs: Many drugs have dangerous side effects, but some are worse than others and can result in long-term injuries and even death. Some of the current class action lawsuits involving dangerous drugs include Xarelto, Fosamax, Lipitor, Invokana, and Benicar just to name a few.
- Defective Medical Devices: If a patient requires the assistance of a medical device, having that device be defective can be disastrous. Some of the current medical device class action lawsuits include Bard IVC filters, Biomet hip implants, Stryker implants, and Ethicon Physiomesh.
- Defective Products: Many class action claims result when a product is defective. This happens when manufacturers cut corners and create a product that does not do the job it was intended to do. Some of the defective products that are involved in class action claims right now include talcum powder, American Airline uniforms, and ReNu contact lens solution.
How to Choose a Class Action Attorney
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.
The attorneys at Brill & Rinaldi have decades of experience handling a variety of class action claims. They will provide you with the personal attention and service that you deserve while making sure that your rights are fully protected and represented to the highest extent of the law. Contact them today to schedule a consultation.