Class Action Lawsuits: What You Need to Know About Your Case
A class action is a procedural device to collect individuals’ claims that are suffering harm. When a case is awarded class action status, it means that an individual or small group of plaintiffs will act as representatives for others who have suffered injuries similar to theirs because of actions by the same defendant. When a case is classified as a class action, it does not rule on the merits of an action. It expands the scope of who is bound by a later decision on the scope of the issues at hand.
For example, if the plaintiff class, through their attorneys, prevails on the merits of an action, then all class members will receive compensation for the harm they have suffered. On the other hand, if the defendant succeeds, no member of the class will receive compensation for the alleged injury and cannot bring a new lawsuit against the defendant for the same issues at hand. The attorneys at Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. understand the complexities surrounding class action lawsuits. Contact our law firm today for a free review of the facts of your case. 803.252.4800.
What Class Actions Are Not
The main reason for making something a class action is efficiency. If a large group of people have the same injury, it is easier to decide whether they are entitled to compensation in one area, rather than a case by case basis.Large businesses have generally waged massive campaigns against class actions. The main line of attack has been that “class actions place undue pressure on defendants to settle because of the exposure to high dollar amounts in liability.” They believe a class action is an act of extortion.
Class action lawsuits are not an act of extortion. Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a majority opinion wrote when she was a circuit court judge that such concerns have no basis in the law and
“underestimate the powerful policy considerations that favor class certification….”
In re Visa Check / Mastermoney Antitrust Litig., 280 F.3d 124, 145-46 (2d Cir. 2001).
Further, there is no empirical evidence to substantiate the assertion that businesses routinely settle class actions simply out of fear, rather than because individuals have suffered a real injury and are entitled to relief under the law.
Following class certification, if corporations believe they have done no wrong, they should be confident they will prevail on the merits of the suit through a motion for summary judgment or at trial, clearing them of all liability in one stroke. As scholars have written,
“Meritless filings are not met with payoff money; they are met with motion practice, and sometimes sanctions.”
Myriam Gilles & Gary B. Friedman, Exploding the Class Action Agency Costs Myth: The Social Utility of Entrepreneurial Lawyers, 155 U.Pa. L. Rev. 103, 159 (2006).
Class Action Lawsuit Fees
This is the question every individual thinks about the most. How much do the attorney’s make?
Plaintiffs’ firms work on a contingency basis. This means payment for their services is contingent on a positive outcome. You only owe them money if they’re able to obtain you financial compensation for your damages. Their incentive is to file meritorious lawsuits and resolve them as quickly as possible.
Defense attorneys on the other hand are typically compensated by the hour at rather handsome levels and paid contemporaneously
“frequently protract pretrial processes for various reasons, including to enhance their fees, to avoid reaching trial (particularly jury trial), and to coerce contingent-fee lawyers … into settlement.”
Arthur R. Miller, From Conley to Twombly to Iqbal: A Double Play on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 60 Duke L.J. 1, 66.
Call Today for a Free Class Action Consultation
We are currently investigating the following class action cases:
- Atlas Chalet Shingles Lawsuit
- Benzene Lawsuit
- GAF Cross Timbers Decking
- Lumber Liquidators Class Action
- Popcorn Lung Disease Lawsuit
- Volkswagen Emissions Lawsuit
- Windsor Windows Class Action Lawsuit
Class Action cases we have handled include:
- a case against the managed care industry on behalf of physicians for systematically undercutting physician claims for payment for seeing patients;
- race-based life insurance cases against life insurance companies for charging African Americans higher rates for industrial life insurance;
- consumer cases included suing finance companies for adding credit life insurance on to consumer loans;
- a predatory lending case against the title loan industry;
- a predatory lending case against the mortgage industry for systematically steering clients into subprime lending
Our Columbia, South Carolina class action lawyers litigated breach of warranty cases involving defective washing machines, electrical receptacles, and pharmaceutical products. Founded in 1996 by former United States Attorney and assistant solicitor, Pete Strom, the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. aggressively pursues class action cases. The class action lawyers at the Strom Law Firm enjoy a distinct statewide and national reputation for excellence in the area of consumer protection litigation and class action lawsuits. Call today for your free case evaluation. 803.252.4800.