What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

When a group of people have similar injuries because of the actions or conduct of a specific person or entity, then they can choose to pursue a civil lawsuit together – known as a class action lawsuit. There are many advantages and possible issues that come with this type of lawsuit. So, the best thing you can do is consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the best solution for your unique needs.

Class Action Definition: What You Need to Know

There are several requirements that need to be met in order for a group of people to pursue a class action lawsuit. This process begins with a lead plaintiff (the first victim that comes forward) who needs to prove that they have a strong case, and then they file a lawsuit claiming harm caused by the defendant.

A class action lawsuit forms when the lead plaintiff shows that many other people have the same claim. Then, the court can allow the class action to move forward.

Some of the requirements that must be met include:

  • The victims need to have a legal claim
  • A large group of people
  • All of the participants have similar side effects or injuries for the same reason
  • The legal team puts together a plan to represent the full group of class action members

While the specific injuries or damage may vary among the group of people, there must be enough similarities to categorize everything in the same lawsuit. For example, if health problems result from the use of a specific product, people in the class action lawsuit group might have varying symptoms depending on their unique injuries and damage.

Benefits of a Class Action Lawsuit

Why does it make sense to move forward with a class action lawsuit? Every person has the option to file their own lawsuit. But there are certain benefits from this type of lawsuit:

  • Efficient for the Plaintiffs:There is a lot of preparation and legal work that needs to happen to prepare the case and lawsuit. When victims work together, they only need one set of experts, witnesses, and documents to file a lawsuit on behalf of everyone involved. This approach is easier to manage by one law firm, instead of having multiple law firms trying multiple cases at the same time.
  • Levels the Playing Field:If a defendant is a big corporation and they are dealing with just a few small cases, then they might decide to negotiate or defend against the lawsuit. On the other hand, a class action that is brought on behalf of many victims makes it a fair dispute. Not only is the defendant more likely to find a fair settlement, but it also increases the likelihood that they will change their conduct to avoid similar damages in the future.
  • Cheaper Costs:The court costs can be high when multiple lawsuits are moving through. So, it’s more practical for the court to manage one lawsuit that covers multiple victims. Only one courtroom and one judge will be needed, helping to avoid overscheduling the court.
  • Extent of Injuries:Sometimes, individual cases aren’t big enough to justify the cost and time to file a lawsuit. If the damages are small (such as just a few hundred dollars), then it’s not worth the effort to file a lawsuit for one person. But if thousands or millions of people were victims, then it’s worth the time and effort for everyone involved.
  • Fair Compensation:Multiple lawsuits can result in varying payouts, making it unfair for others who win their cases later. For example, if the first few plaintiffs win all or most of the defendant’s assets or insurance money, then there is nothing left for others who file their lawsuits later. A class action lawsuit ensures fair distribution.

Examples of Class Action Lawsuits

There are many types of class action lawsuits that can be filed. Typically, these types of legal cases fall into several categories:

  • Personal Injury:If a defective product or certain pharmaceutical medication harms a lot of people, then it might make sense to file a personal injury class action lawsuit. Examples include known medication side effects, nursing home neglect, mass disasters, and more.
  • Employment:One common place a lawsuit might occur is when multiple employees have been injured in their workplace. Examples include wage disputes, discrimination, workplace injuries, and safety violations.
  • Securities:Investors might be victims because of improper conduct in managing the investments. In this situation, the group might pursue a securities class action lawsuit.
  • Consumer:When a business participates in illegal or fraudulent activites that cause harm to their customers, then these consumers might choose to move forward with a lawsuit.

If any situation occurs where multiple people are injured due to the negligence of one person or entity, then the best thing you can do is talk to a class action lawyer to see if you have a case worth pursuing.


How does a class action lawsuit work?

Instead of multiple victims filing individual lawsuits for the same reason, the victims work together to file one lawsuit together. The participating victims must have enough evidence showing that their injuries or damages were caused by the same defendant for similar reasons.

Who can file a class action lawsuit?

Usually there is a lead plaintiff that starts with the lawsuit. Then, if a class action lawsuit is approved by the court, other plaintiffs will join the class action. Anyone who has received similar damages or injuries can work together in this lawsuit.

Can I get a settlement in a class action lawsuit?

Yes, there is a good chance that you will receive a settlement for a successful class action lawsuit. Often, the companies will try to settle out of court to avoid expensive legal fees. Victims will receive compensation based on the negotiated agreement.

If you need help with a class action lawsuit, then hire the team with years of experience: Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C. We offer top-notch legal services for many different types of lawsuits. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more: (504) 522-2304.