Sara was bathing her 6-month-old daughter with tear-free shampoo. After applying the shampoo, her daughter’s eyes became red.
Sara quickly rinsed her screaming child, trying to console her. However, the damage was already done. Her daughter’s eyes were puffy and irritated, and the crying was nonstop. It wasn’t until later that evening, that Sara started to wonder if she should sue the makers of the shampoo for lying about their product being “tear-free”.
If you think you have a class action lawsuit on your hands, don’t wait to take action! Read on to learn the right way to file a class-action suit, and win.
Table of Contents
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
First, let’s clear up what qualifies as a class action suit, and what would be a personal injury claim. A class action lawsuit is when a large group of people (the class) file a lawsuit against the same defendant. A personal injury claim is simply when a single individual sues someone for an injury or loss that they have suffered.
You can start a class action suit if you represent a large and cohesive group of people, with similar claims. The different members of the group must link up in some way, either by location, allegations or injuries sustained.
For instance, a class action suit took place against a diet pill company making fen-phen. The diet pill was responsible for causing all sorts of health issues, such as heart valve problems, leading to death. Thankfully, the victims of the diet pill were able to find justice when the court approved a $3.75 billion national settlement award.
Fen-phen users were then able to receive checks to help them care for their injuries. The settlement award even includes funds to help the plaintiffs monitor their medical condition moving forward, in case a delayed problem appears.
Now that you have a better idea of what qualifies for a class action suit, the next step is to make sure you’re conducting your suit in the right state.
Sue in the Right State
Moving on, it’s important to make sure you’re filing your claim in the right state. For example, if you’re suing a company based in California, and you live in Florida, the court might say that it doesn’t have jurisdiction over your case. What this means is that the court cannot hear your suit. In order to overcome jurisdictional issues, you must file what’s called a ‘Notice of Removal’.
Find an Experienced Class Action Attorney
Next, it’s time to find an attorney who can help you win your case. However, just any attorney won’t do. If you want to position your case to have the best possible outcome, then you’ll need an experienced attorney.
Not only does your attorney need to have general legal experience, but they also need to be well-versed in the procedures for class action suits. How can you be certain your attorney is up for the task? Simply ask! It’s completely acceptable to ask an attorney about their case history, as well as asking them to dive into the details of the cases they’ve handled.
You can usually set up a free consultation online using sites like https://financialjusticenow.com/washington-consumer-class-action-lawyer/. The consultation is an opportunity to review all of the details of your case. At the end of the consultation, a reputable class action attorney will tell you if it’s worth your time to pursue your claim.
Who Can File and Be Part Of the Suit?
Let’s say you meet with an attorney and they want to help you move forward with your class action suit. Now what? Now, it’s time to create a combined voice.
To do this, you need to find people affected by the company in question. Be sure to focus on customers and clients that have similar issues or claims. For instance, if you’re using a company for credit card fraud, it doesn’t make sense to mix those claims with someone’s claim about faulty customer service they received.
The more people you can bring to your class action suit, the better off you’ll be. Not only will it help create a united voice that any opposing party won’t want to take on alone, but it also makes it easier for your attorney and yourself to manage the suit’s details. For instance, a combined voice helps your attorney keep track of potential witnesses and evidence along the way.
What Happens After Filing in Court?
Once your claim is filed with the court, you’ll be able to serve a copy of your claim to each defendant mentioned in your complaint. These claim documents will include details of how and when your suit was filed as well as how long defendants have to respond. Each defendant has a set amount of time to respond or else face default judgment from the court.
Just keep in mind that you can’t start collecting damages until after your case is certified by either the Federal Judicial Center or an appeals court (if you decide to take your case to appeal). Certification means that no one has appealed your case and that it meets all requirements for a class action suit.
Requirements such as commonality (the claims being brought against the company apply to everyone). Once this happens, your class action suit will officially be certified by the courts and can move forward with the collection of damages.
What Happens After Certification?
After a court sets up your class action suit for certification, it’s time for all defendants named in the lawsuit to respond. At this point, only those included in the lawsuit are allowed to file responses as well as any additional motions that might delay or stop your case from moving forward. At the same time, plaintiffs file their responses as well. This is often where both parties discuss points made surrounding the claim.
Do You Have a Case?
There you have it! The ins and outs of how to start a class action lawsuit. We suggest reaching out to a lawyer today, to see where you stand. Remember to look for an attorney who has experience handling class action suits, so they’ll be able to help you put up the best fight possible.
Since it’s easy to set up consultations, and they are usually free, go ahead and schedule one today. For more tips like these, explore the rest of our site.