A class action lawsuit gives hundreds and even thousands of employees the opportunity to come together and collectively take legal action against an entity instead of filing individually, which could easily become financially and logistically unfeasible for the affected class.
If you would like to participate in a class action lawsuit, our legal team at West Coast Employment Lawyers are available 24/7 to assist victims who have been wronged by a company. We will investigate the incident and do everything we can to ensure justice has been served.
To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our top-rated class action lawyers, we welcome you to contact us by calling 213-927-3700, emailing [email protected], or completing our online contact form located on the bottom of the page.
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit allows a person or a small group of people to file a lawsuit on behalf of a much larger group who have all suffered similar damages as a result of a company’s wrongdoings. This large group is known as the class. Once a class action lawsuit has been settled, the proceeds will be divided amongst all members of the class.
Common examples of what can lead to a class action lawsuit include the following:
What Are the Benefits of a Class Action Lawsuit?
There are many benefits that people may receive in a class action lawsuit. First and foremost, there are no costs required to be a class member and you will not suffer any retaliatory actions for participating in one. You are also given the opportunity to opt out of a class action lawsuit if you change your mind or no longer wish to be involved.
Below are three other additional benefits of being in a class action lawsuit:
How Should You Plan a Class Action Lawsuit?
Being involved in a class action lawsuit can be a lot to take in, which is why it is important to plan it out first before taking the initiative of filing one. Below, we have created a list of steps you should consider taking to determine if you should move forward with the lawsuit.
How Do You File a Class Action Lawsuit?
To file a class action lawsuit, it will need to be brought by one person (the lead plaintiff) or a small group of people (the class). For the most part, any individual may bring a class action lawsuit. If you wish to engage in one, it’s crucial that you first speak with a lawyer to know whether your situation meets the requirements.
What Are the Requirements to Start a Class Action Lawsuit?
A major requirement that must be included in a class action lawsuit is a large group of people. If a class action lawsuit is being pushed by a small group, it is likely that the judge will want individual lawsuits to be filed rather than one altogether.
Once enough people are involved, they may proceed to submit a complaint against the company. This complaint will need to include factual statements backed with supporting evidence of similar injuries or damages all of the class members have experienced as a result of the company’s negligence.
If you are planning on filing this type of lawsuit, you should consider hiring a class action lawyer to represent the group. They will evaluate the case, determine liability, argue against the opposing party, and form a resolution to deliver a favorable settlement to the members.
It is important to note that the lead plaintiff must have experienced similar injuries or damages with the rest of the class members. If the lead plaintiff has sustained greater injuries compared to the others, it is likely that the judge will have the lead plaintiff file their own separate lawsuit against the company.
What Are the Stages of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit?
Those who are planning on participating in a class action lawsuit should learn about each stage of the filing process. This will help you get an idea of what to expect.
Filing a Lawsuit
Your class action lawyer will draft a complaint that includes facts about any damages you and the other class members endured by the company. The complaint will also identify the class members on a nationwide or state-wide basis.
Certifying the Class
A class action lawsuit does not become official until a judge rules that it should be granted class action status. This is referred to as a class certification. Until a decision has been made on whether the case should be certified as a class action, it will be viewed as a putative class action.
A putative class action is still considered as a class action. However, it is not official until the judge has made a final decision on whether your case satisfies the criteria mentioned in the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.
The Discovery Stage
The discovery stage is when class action lawyers will begin the investigation process to determine liability. They will request documents from the company to use as proof that the allegations mentioned in the class action lawsuit are true. The lawyers may also carry out depositions of each class member to acquire valuable information.
Resolution and Notification
In general, most class action lawsuits are settled before going to litigation. The judge will determine whether the settlement offers fair compensation towards the class members involved in the case. If so, the judge will approve the final decision and will divide the compensation amongst the large group.
If no agreement has been made between the class members and the company, the class action lawsuit will head to trial. The lead plaintiff will likely be asked to testify, and witnesses may need to present themselves in court to provide testimonies. If the case still does not settle, the jury will be expected to make the final decision.
Issuing a Notice to the Class Members
After the lawsuit has been resolved, the lawyers will notify the class members about the settlement and their rights to opt out of the case. Generally, these notices are sent out when the judge has certified the case as a class action lawsuit and once more when an agreement has been made between both parties.
All class members will be required to collect their compensation in a timely manner. If not, then the remaining money will be given back to the company, divided amongst the class members who collected their compensation, or donated to a charity or non-profit organization.
How Is a Class Action Settlement Divided?
A class action settlement will be divided between the lawyers and the class members. The lawyers will be granted a certain percentage whereas the remaining money will be split between all class members.
How Long Does a Class Action Lawsuit Take?
Class action lawsuits can be resolved within a few months, but some may take up to two to three years. There is always the possibility that some companies will prefer to settle quickly. This may typically be the case when businesses are worried about their reputations and are afraid of bad publicity.
Can You Opt Out of a Class Action Lawsuit?
Yes, you may opt out of a class action lawsuit. The court will send you a notice that contains a thorough explanation of how to get out of one. You can file an individual lawsuit if you still plan on taking legal action against your employer.
If you choose to remain in the class action lawsuit, and it has settled in the plaintiff’s favor, the court will let you know how to claim your compensation.
West Coast Employment Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you and a large group of employees are being mistreated by your employer, you may be eligible to file a class action lawsuit against them.
At West Coast Employment Lawyers, our class action lawyers are readily available to help employees who want to take a stand against employers that are violating California’s labor and employment laws. Our legal team is committed to helping you receive full vindication, fair compensation, and the peace of mind that you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation, you may contact us by calling 213-927-3700, emailing [email protected], or filling out our quick contact form located on the bottom of the page.
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