What Is A Class Action?
In simple terms, a class action is a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group of individuals who have suffered a wrong or an injury caused by the same defendant(s) arising from the same or similar wrongful conduct. Generally speaking, there is one or several individuals approved by the court who act as representatives of the class (or group) who become part of the lawsuit.
At the Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton in Sacramento, we have experience with these complex cases. Call our lawyers at 916-993-4900 for a consultation.
Why Are Class Actions Necessary?
Class actions often involve seeking justice for numerous individuals who have been harmed by wrongful conduct. It is often economically unfeasible to pursue these actions individually because the cost of prosecuting the case is greater than the individual value of the case.
For instance, if a large corporation, employing thousands of employees, fails to pay for overtime as required by the law, many employees may only be owed relatively small amounts, depending on how much overtime each employee actually worked. But when all of the overtime owed to all of the employees is calculated, the value of the case can be, and often is, in the millions of dollars.
Class actions make recovery of smaller amounts for each individual possible, and allow the courts to handle these claims in one common case, rather than having to have hundreds or even thousands of separate trials.
What Cases Are Appropriate For Class Action Treatment?
Traditionally, courts have allowed class actions to proceed in wage and hour cases (failure to pay wages, minimum wages, overtime, etc.), consumer fraud or injury cases (e.g. the Ford Pinto cases or poisonous children’s toys), and financial cases (securities fraud, credit card overcharging, etc.) However, any case in which the group of plaintiffs (victims) shares common issues of law and fact can be certified by the court as a class action case.
What Are The Benefits Of Initiating A Class Action Case?
When a case is certified by the court as a class action, the plaintiffs instantly gain a tremendous amount of leverage against the defendant. Class action verdicts are often very large, and defendants frequently have a lot at stake following certification of a case as a class action. Class representatives, usually those who started the case, are compensated following a settlement or verdict for their participation in the case.
Contact Our Office To Learn More
If you have been victimized, and you believe that you are just one of many who have suffered the same injuries/damages by way of the same conduct of the defendant(s), you may have a class action case. If you believe that you have a potential class action, please contact our attorneys at 916-993-4900.