When a product is defective or advertising is misleading, causing a loss of money or other form of damages, you might think that you have no real recourse if the company doesn’t voluntarily make it right. The cost of taking them to court would simply far outweigh any potential reward in most of these cases.
The class action lawsuit was developed just for situations like this. It allows many individual plaintiffs who suffered from the same defective product or service to pool their claims together under one team of attorneys. Since a successful class action lawsuit usually means a considerable judgment or settlement sum, attorneys who specialize in these cases will take them on at no cost to the plaintiffs if they feel the case is solid.
How To Start A Class Action Lawsuit In California
If you feel that the product or service you had an issue with is likely to have had some negative impact on at least 20 or so other people, you are a good candidate for a class action lawsuit. The courts don’t set a minimum requirement, but it’s very unlikely they’ll certify the case with less than 20 people involved, and a “slam dunk” number would be about 50 or more.
Class action lawsuits are initiated by a lone claimant, known as the “lead plaintiff.” When a court certifies the lead plaintiff’s class claims, all the class members with those claims will be treated in the same way: if the lead plaintiff establishes the defendant is liable, the defendant is also liable to all the class members. If the defendant prevails against the lead plaintiff, all the class members’ claims will fail. Like most civil litigation in America these days, the parties commonly settle class actions. The settlement usually releases the class claims of the lead plaintiff and the other class members in exchange for compensation. Courts closely supervise class action settlements, to ensure the class members get a fair deal. Lead plaintiffs may have some extra responsibilities, such as testifying in court or being interviewed by the lawyers handling the case, but also generally get an incentive award approved by the court supervising the case.
The services of an experienced attorney are vital in initiating a class action lawsuit. If you feel you have a good case, the first step is to contact our law offices for a free, no-obligation review of your case. If we take on your case, you won’t pay anything unless there’s a judgment or settlement in your favor.