Class Action Lawsuits
What Is a Class Action?
A class action lawsuit is a type of civil litigation brought by one or several individuals (known as the lead plaintiffs) on behalf of a larger group of victims (the class). When the damage affects many people, class actions are much easier to pursue than for each individual victim to file a separate lawsuit. For the courts to certify a certain case as a class action, the case must meet various criteria, including:
- The plaintiff(s) have a legitimate legal claim against the defendant(s);
- A larger group of people beside the plaintiff(s) have suffered damage in a similar manner; and
- The plaintiff(s) are typical of the class and can adequately represent the other victims.
Once the case has been certified as a class action lawsuit, the court will order that all affected victims be notified of the class action, and they will become part of the class unless they choose to opt out. When a settlement is reached, the courts will determine how to divide the recovery among the lead plaintiff(s) and the rest of the class.
Litigating a class action lawsuit can be a very complex process requiring years of commitment and numerous trial phases—but in the end, a successful outcome can result in compensation for a large number of victims. If you believe you have been victimized by a company or organization and that you are representative of a larger number of victims, McLachlan Law can help. Call our offices for more information.
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