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How Class-Action Lawsuits Work

Class-action lawsuits happen when a large group of people experiences similar grievances due to the actions of a person, group, or corporation. These lawsuits essentially highlight the inherent and obvious strength in numbers and allow the group of plaintiffs to come together as one entity to sue the defendant. A single case represents every individual in the class, and all members of the class receive compensation.

What Are the Benefits of a Class-Action Lawsuit?

Class-action lawsuits provide large groups of consumers or employees many important benefits that traditional plaintiff lawsuits fail to offer. Depending on the case, a class action lawsuit may be your best option for legal recourse.

The advantages of class action lawsuits are widespread. A class action is brought forward by a class representative, and this can be just one individual. If the court certifies multiple claims as a class action, this means that the claims may proceed on behalf of a larger group of people affected by the same wrongdoing.

Because class members are united in their pursuit of justice and settlement, they are more likely to force companies to pay attention and react to their demands, preventing future harm from the wrongdoer’s illegal practices. Finally, a class-action offers a group of plaintiffs to collectively fight a big corporation when the litigation costs of individual suits against the same corporation are cost-preventative versus the damages one individual may receive.


Examples of Class Action Lawsuits:

Much of the law on class-actions are specific to consumer lawsuits.

It is important to be able to know each type and recognize what consumer class-action your case might fall into. Some common types include:

  1. Consumer fraud / negligent misrepresentation
    This occurs when a company or corporation intentionally misleads the consumer about their product or service either verbally or through writing.
  2. Consumer form contract cases
    This type of consumer class action might occur because the company in some way broke a contract with the consumer.
  3. Over-detention by jails and other Civil Rights violations. A class-action may be warranted when governmental authorities have similarly violated a group of individuals’ Constitutional rights be detaining them in jail or prison after they been court-ordered to be released or they have served out their time, or other Civil Rights have been violated.
  4. Design defects, warranty, and products liability claims
    A consumer class-action might happen based on design defects, warranty, and product liability claims. For example, if the product has broken due to design before an established warranty and the company refuses to honor its obligation to replace the product.

False advertising claims
False advertising consumer class-actions are more common than might be expected and often require legal action. False advertising is constituted by the use of misleading information to advertise the product to consumers.

What is Class Action “Certification”?

Before a class-action suit can happen, the class needs to be “certified’ by a judge. Class certification is the process in which the judge determines that all the plaintiffs have enough similarities and commonalities in their grievances to be considered a single entity, rather than having each plaintiff file a separate case.

The judge determines this through several requirements, including:

 1. Number of Plaintiffs

For a class to be certified, the judge must determine that there are enough plaintiffs so that it would not be practical to have them each file a separate personal injury lawsuit.This number can fluctuate depending on the circumstances of the case, but a quick rule is that there generally needs to be over 40 plaintiffs with similar grievances to be considered a “class”.

 2.  Protection of Interests of the Entire Class

The judge must determine that the named plaintiff fairly and accurately represents each member of the class’ interests before the litigation begins.If some members of the class have interests that differ too much from the rest of the class, they must have sub-classes to fully represent and protect their interests.

 3.  Similar Grievances

The judge must also use his or her discretion to determine whether or not the members of the class’ grievances or injuries are similar enough to be considered one single grievance.If the judge determines that there is not a practical cause for the plaintiffs to be filing a class action lawsuit and resolve the claims (known as fulfilling judicial efficiency), then the plaintiffs will not be certified as a class and cannot continue with their class action lawsuit!

We’ll Answer the Call

Jim Ballinger and the attorneys who work with Louisville Lawyer, PLLC, are very competent and experienced class-action attorneys who have successfully represented classes of individuals numbering in the tens of thousands to get classes of people the compensation they rightfully deserved. Please feel free to email Jim at jim@louisvillelawyer.com or call (502) 426-3215 for a free consultation if you feel you may have grounds for a class-action lawsuit. Jim, or one of his team, would also be happy to come to visit you in-person or via zoom to make matters more convenient for meeting with you. If you have a valid class-action, we charge zero attorneys’ fees if we don’t win. All of the risk is on us! If the case is successful, usually lawyers are paid out of the recoveries of class-actions.

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