Class Action Lawsuits
What is a Consumer Class-Action Lawsuit?
Put simply, a consumer class-action lawsuit is a lawsuit brought by one person on behalf of a large number of people with something relevant in common. Often, this means that everyone in the class purchased the product or service that is the focus of the lawsuit, and all were subject to the same harm or violation of consumer protection laws.
Specific limitations typically apply; for example, the class may be narrowed to only those who purchased the product during a certain time period. The specifics will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.
A class action is filed due to a specific risk, danger or fraud involving the subject. For example, a class-action lawsuit may be filed regarding:
- A defective product
- A falsely advertised product
- A dangerous product
- Any violation of consumer protection laws
What is the Benefit of Class-Action Lawsuits?
Consumer class actions are effective because they can address injuries that may be too small to cost-effectively pursue in an individual case. A class-action suit may also be the only way for a company to be held legally accountable for a defective product, for example, if the harm caused by the defect was relatively minor but widespread.
Thanks to class-action lawsuits, violations of the laws in place to protect consumers don’t go unrecognized simply because no one was killed or severely injured – injuries that would form the basis of an individual personal injury or wrongful death claim, which would likely lead to more compensation for the victim than in a class action.
How Do I Opt In or Opt Out?
Members of a potential class are typically notified by mail of the specifics of the lawsuit and what they have to do to become a part of the class seeking a settlement. Often, if you wish to be a member of the class, you need to do nothing.
The decision is up to you. It may be beneficial, for example, to opt out of a class-action suit if you believe you have a stronger individual case. Of course, you always have the right to speak with your own attorney about your rights and options.
How Are Attorneys Paid in a Class-Action Lawsuit?
Similar to individual cases, the attorneys who pursue class-action lawsuits typically claim a percentage of any compensation recovered. If there is no compensation for the class the attorney represents, the attorney is not paid.
This contingent fee model allows people of lesser incomes to protect their rights without being discouraged by cost, and it makes an attorney earn his or her pay through hard work on behalf of clients.
The Michael Brady Lynch Law Firm
This is general information about class-action lawsuits. Nothing replaces the advice of an attorney.
If you wish to speak with us about your case, contact us today at (877) 513-9517 or complete the form to the right for a free consultation with an attorney. There is no cost or obligation.