All You Need to Know Before Filing a Class Action Lawsuit

More than 10,000 class action suits get filed in the United States annually. Class action suits are filed when there are too many individual plaintiffs(those wronged and seeking redressal), and filing multiple cases is deemed impractical.

If you’re planning to file a class action lawsuit, here’s everything you need to know:

When Is a Class Action Lawsuit Filed?

If you’ve ever had a problem with a product that you believe was defective, or if you feel like you were treated unfairly by a business or other entity, chances are there’s someone else out there who has the same issue. 

Not every lawsuit needs to be filed individually in court. 

Class action lawsuits are a way to bring together many plaintiffs with similar grievances, so they can fight collectively as one unit. In theory, this should make it easier for the plaintiffs (the people bringing forth the lawsuit) to obtain relief without having to go through the expense of hiring attorneys on their own.

A class action suit is usually filed by an attorney who has already agreed to represent all members of the class in question, usually after seeing evidence of wrongdoing or negligence that affects many victims at once. Because there are so many parties involved, these cases tend to be long and complicated; settlements often take years before they are finalized by judges.

Examples of Famous Class Action Suits

A very recent example of an ongoing class action suit would be the Tylenol Lawsuit.

The Tylenol (Acetaminophen) Autism Lawsuit is a recent ongoing lawsuit where multiple individual plaintiffs suspect Tylenol consumed by expecting mothers had resulted in autism and other cognitive disabilities in their offspring. If you feel you are eligible for compensation for such a situation, it is important you familiarise yourself with the details of the Tylenol Lawsuit.

According to CDC, 1 in 44 children was identified with an autism spectrum disorder in 2018, whereas in 2000, only 1 in 150 was diagnosed. The National Law Review mentions cases of multiple independent studies confirming the possibility of a connection between acetaminophen(present in Tylenol) consumed by expecting mothers and autism spectrum disorders occurring in their children.

Another recent example of a Class Action Lawsuit would be the Camp Lejeune case, where those living for more than 30 days in Camp Lejeune during the years of water contamination(1953-87) are eligible for compensation.

Steps of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit

We suggest you keep the following points in mind while filing a class action lawsuit.

1. Choose an attorney specializing in class action lawsuits.

It’s important to do your research when choosing an attorney and make sure they have the experience, resources, and expertise you need.

Attorneys specialize in different areas of law, so it is important to select one who specializes in the type of case you want to bring forward. 

If you are considering filing a product liability lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for improperly marketing its medication without mentioning harmful side effects like the Tylenol Lawsuit, then ensure that your lawyer has experience with these types of cases and has built up relationships with experts who can testify on your behalf about the dangers of this drug.

2. Review the lawsuit with your attorney and file papers at the courthouse.

After you have hired an attorney, you will need to review the lawsuit with them and make sure that it is accurate. Your attorney will want to know about any additional information that is not included in the initial complaint and may ask for more details about how the company’s practices have affected you.

Once you are ready, file papers at the courthouse. You will submit all of your paperwork with a filing fee to be entered into court records as part of a class action suit against a company or organization.

Attorney fees can range from $250 to $10,000 or more, depending on how complex your case is and how much time it takes for an attorney to work through all of its elements before the trial begins.

3. Create a notice to inform potential plaintiffs of the opportunity to join the class action lawsuit.

The notice must be provided to potential plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit by mail or email.

To join the class action lawsuit, you need to provide the details of the lawyer and their contact details in the notice, so that potential plaintiffs can join the class action suit.

4. Review all responses with your attorney, who will determine if any other legal measures are necessary.

Once you have received responses from all the defendants, your attorney will review each to determine if any additional legal measures are necessary. 

The following are some things that your attorney may consider while reviewing all responses:

  • Is there an opportunity for settlement? If so, this would be good news for both parties because it can save money on legal fees and potentially result in a quicker resolution of the case.
  • Are there other legal measures that should be considered first? For example, sometimes plaintiffs’ attorneys should file an individual lawsuit instead of continuing with a class action case.

Conclusion

Because the time frame in which you can file a class action lawsuit is generally limited, it is important to know what steps need to be taken next before filing a class action lawsuit. We hope that this article has helped you understand the steps involved in filing a class action lawsuit.

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