A class-action lawsuit, also known as a collective lawsuit, is a lawsuit brought forward by a group of individuals (sometimes called “plaintiffs”) who feel that a business or person has engaged in deceptive or unfair practices and that the current laws governing that business should be changed so as to prevent future occurrences of similar conduct. In most cases, plaintiffs must file a lawsuit in a civil court before a judge can issue a judgment against the defendant. Plaintiffs generally elect to bring a class-action lawsuit rather than individually because the costs of litigation are much higher when a class action is pursued. However, if the case proceeds to trial then the costs of both parties can be divided.
Class action lawsuits can be either private or government-based. Private action lawsuits are brought forward by either a corporation or by an individual harmed through the activities of a corporation. In a government-based action lawsuit, the plaintiff must first show that the defendant has engaged in wrongdoing. The plaintiff must then prove that at least a part of the wrongdoing was done by an officer or agent of the government. After this proof, the plaintiff will need to convince the court that he or she has been injured through the conduct of the defendant.
The U.S. House recently passed a landmark class action lawsuit fairness act. This act, which is named the Class Action Fairness Act, was written to discourage class action lawsuits and to promote a much stronger form of justice. Proponents of the act argue that it gives victims of wrong doing an opportunity to seek damages in a court of law rather than having to file lawsuits against thousands of companies or individuals. They also claim that such lawsuits give the public a voice and a chance to be heard.
Opponents of the class action lawsuit believe that plaintiffs who come together in large numbers do not typically come forward with similar injuries. It is for this reason that many states have laws on injured workers coming together in large groups. Usually these laws allow for a maximum of three other similarly injured workers to file suits against the same defendant, if they can prove that they all came together at the same time and suffered injuries from the same event. These laws were implemented in an effort to prevent companies from engaging in the unlawful behavior of signing collusive agreements with other businesses.
If you decide that joining a lawsuit together is in your best interests, you should look for a qualified attorney. You should also keep in mind that your attorney should not be associated with any other business that is represented in the lawsuit. In addition, your attorney should receive regular updates about how the case is going and whether or not there are steps that can be taken to improve the case. Attorneys should also be made aware of any developments regarding the case so that they may advise you of new developments as well.
Class action lawsuits provide a unique opportunity for injured workers to gain financial relief without having to go through the lengthy process of going through a long court proceeding. The class-action lawsuit process does not require the filing of court papers. Instead, a simple agreement is written up that all class members will sign and agree to, stating that they understand that they will share the settlement money among the individual plaintiffs. If one of the class members dies, there should be a provision in the agreement stating that the surviving members of the class will receive the money. It is important that you take the time to research your potential attorney thoroughly before signing on the dotted line.