What is a Class Action lawsuit?
Many of us aren’t familiar with what a Class Action lawsuit encompasses, but we should be. This Shaked Law Resource article will provide the information those who may have come to harm need to be familiar with in order to successfully recover the compensation that may be owed to them. That’s because even though Class Action was created to make a lawsuit easier, it’s the opposite when there are too many “plaintiffs” for the standard Personal Injury lawsuit. Finding an experienced Class Action lawyer is the first step, and reading this article will provide readers with the information to do so.
What is a class?
A group of plaintiffs in Class Action lawsuits is commonly known as a “class”. Every class member must allege the same thing: the defendant(s) were the cause of irreparable harm from using a product or service in a reasonable manner.
How is a Class Action lawsuit organized?
There comes a point in which defendants decide they want to settle a Class Action case, or they’re found to have violated law at trial. At this point every member of the “class” who sustained injury due to the negligence of the defendant(s) is given an equal dollar amount. These full amount of damages (the “verdict”) is decided by a judge. In the case of Roundup’s ongoing Class Action litigation, 2 billion dollars has been set aside to be distributed amongst the thousands of class members involved in the lawsuit against Monsanto.
What factors into a Class Action lawsuit?
- What is the age range of the plaintiffs? Are any elderly or minors named in the proceedings?
- Life expectancy of the plaintiffs (had they not sustained injury due to the defendant(s) actions or defective product or pharmaceutical)
- The quality of life victims had prior to the pain and suffering sustained due to the actions of the defendant(s) or the harmful product they produced; did the victims lose significant income due to their injuries–incurring medical expenses or lost wages?
How does Class Action lawsuit start?
The only way to successfully file a Class Action lawsuit is to hire a Personal Injury lawyer that is Board Certified and has experience in trying these types of cases. An attorney who is unfamiliar with the territory and cannot handle a lawsuit with an often extreme amount of plaintiffs involved cannot be trusted to take on these cases. Many times, it takes years of litigation before a Class Action suit can see any resolution in favor of the injured plaintiffs. While many plaintiffs are willing to wait out the process to see justice, the attorney must be able to follow through on their promise that they know how to proceed.
The requirements set forth by a Class Action lawsuit can overwhelm an inexperienced lawyer. A Board Certified lawyer is necessary when it comes to organizing a successful “class” of plaintiffs who all share the experience of injuries or a wrongful death from the same product or service. It should be noted that a great deal of Class Action lawsuits are filed against companies who produce a defective product or harmful drug without disclosing the risks. Drug and defective product Class Action lawsuits are the most common litigation in the Class Action arena.
What does this litigation cover?
The Class Action lawsuits that draw the most attention are those in which victims come to harm due to lack of disclosure of harmful drug side effects. This is due in part to the shock that the pharmaceutical company was well aware there was potential for harm, and did not prevent it.
Ongoing litigation against pharmaceutical companies
An ongoing Class Action lawsuit that top Personal Injury lawyers are now litigating are against the pharmaceutical company responsible for the drug known as Taxotere. Recent litigation experts have determined that Sanofi-Aventis the maker of the chemotherapy drug only began warning patients about the risk of permanent Alopecia (hair loss) after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) demanded they do so.
The practice of withholding scientifically proven information is unacceptable, and violates the law of “foreseeability”. “Foreseeability” means: should a defendant have known better (foreseen potential harm in their actions) but acted regardless causing harm, they’re liable for their actions. Pharmaceutical companies must always be transparent with patients about the potentially harmful side effects of their drugs.
For further reading on Class Action Shaked Law Blog provides the specifics about what sets Class Action lawsuits apart from individual Personal Injury lawsuits in Damages in Class Action Lawsuits: Part 1 as well as Damages in Class Action Lawsuits: Part 2. We provided an in-depth look at the multi-step process that surrounds these lawsuits and the reasons why this type of litigation often drags on for many years.
Remember: never try to navigate the legal system alone. If you feel you’ve become the victim of someone else’s negligence, the most important thing to do is seek the expert advice of a Board Certified lawyer with years of experience in his or her profession.