If you have suffered an injury shared by hundreds of people nationwide, you may be able to pursue compensation through a class action lawsuit or a mass tort.
Consumer class action litigation is a complex and demanding practice area. A class action is a civil action involving many plaintiffs against one or a few defendants. Class action involves litigation on behalf of a group of individuals who share common injuries and damages that resulted from the same source. Some examples of a class action are customers who bought merchandise with false and misleading labels, customers who overpaid for items, or employees subjected to discrimination.
Mass torts are also very complex, and are distinct from class action. Whereas class action consolidates many plaintiffs into a single case, mass torts involve many individual but similar cases. For example, past victims of oil spills have filed individual lawsuits as parts of a mass tort challenging the same defendant. If you think your case may fit into a class action or a mass tort, call 1.800.241.9779 to set up a free case evaluation and discuss your options going forward.
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Alabama and Florida residents and business owners suing Nissan North America Inc. over transmission problems in thousands of its vehicles. The Suit alleges the car maker shouldn’t be allowed to duck their breach of warranty claims.
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How Do Class Action Lawsuits Work?
You may have received a postcard in the mail at some point, letting you know that you are part of a potential class action lawsuit. Or, perhaps you have heard about large multimillion-dollar lawsuits that forced corporations to pay heavy judgments for various types of wrongdoing, such as consumer fraud, junk fees, defective products, recalled products, car / truck defects, and so forth. Many of these lawsuits that take on such powerful corporations are made through class action lawsuits.
In a class action lawsuit, a “class” is formed by many individuals who have very similar claims to make against a defendant. These individuals may have all suffered injury due to the same product, or all experienced some form of discrimination from the same company. Instead of separately pursuing compensation for these harms, the members of the class all become part of one lawsuit.
Class actions usually start with a single injured person approaching a lawyer about pursuing compensation. If the lawyer realizes that many other people have likely suffered an injury due to the same cause as their client, they may attempt to initiate a class action lawsuit. The lawyer will investigate and present a potential class of victims to be certified by a court. Once the class is certified, all proposed injured parties are added to the class unless they opt out.
If the class action lawsuit is successful, all members of the class will receive compensation from the defendant. The method of dividing compensation varies from case to case.
Much like class action lawsuits, plaintiffs involved in a mass tort share a similar set of grievances against a product manufacturer or other defendant. Unlike class action lawsuits, mass torts involve many individual cases. In short: a class action is one lawsuit for many people, and a mass tort includes many suits for many people.
Although mass torts don’t consolidate cases into one lawsuit, they do streamline the legal process and strengthen individuals’ cases. Plaintiffs and attorneys whose cases fall under a mass tort can benefit from a large network of similar cases. They can study recent related verdicts and collaborate to share information across cases that take on the same defendant.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Consumer Actions and Mass Torts
We know that you may have further questions about how you can pursue compensation through a class action or mass tort lawsuit. Below are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. You can also call us at 1.800.241.9779 to schedule a free consultation and receive more information.
A: The way that compensation is divided between class members depends on the particular lawsuit. In some cases, compensation is specific and pre-determined according to what the defendant has cost each member. In others, a formula is applied to determine each member’s compensation based on the degree of harm they have suffered.
A: If your case is sufficiently similar to the others in a class action, it may be more convenient for you to join the class rather than to deal with a personal lawsuit. On the other hand, if your case involves important details that don’t fit into the class action, a mass tort can provide the benefits of a large legal network without sacrificing the specifics of your case.
A: Many consumer class action lawsuits are pending and still accepting new class members, even if they have been ongoing for a couple of years. A lawyer at Heninger Garrison Davis will know of these lawsuits and can help you find a class action to fit your case.