As a licensed attorney, Alexander Petraglia handles class-action lawsuits on a regular basis. This article will provide an overview of class-action lawsuits, why people file them, and the potential benefits of class-action litigation.
What Is a Class-Action Lawsuit?
A class-action lawsuit is a type of lawsuit in which one of the parties is a group of people who are represented collectively by a member or members of that group. The person who files the lawsuit is called the class representative or lead plaintiff.
Class-action lawsuits are most often used against major corporations who are gaining financially from individual consumers in an unjust way. These legal disputes are often the way by which powerful companies or larger organizations are held accountable by the public.
A Simplified Example
If many people bought the same car and there was a defect in that car that led to car- or accident-related injuries, then everyone hurt or injured would fall into the “class.” The defendant would be the car company.
The one individual who decided to take legal action against the car company on behalf of the class or group of people affected by the car defect would be considered the class representative. This class-action lawsuit involves “regular people” going up against a big corporation to hold them accountable.
Other Names for a Class-Action Lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit is sometimes simply called a class action. It’s also referred to as a class suit or representative action.
Why Do People File Class-Action Lawsuits?
While there are different reasons a person might file a class-action lawsuit, they are often interconnected.
For many individuals, the collective aspect of a class action is the driving force for filing. In this case, individuals want to hold the offending organization accountable for their actions and/or negligence and are motivated by the fact the organization has affected several other people in the same way.
Stronger Case in Court
For some, there isn’t enough evidence to take a company to court and win the compensation they deserve for their injuries—financial or physical. Filing a class-action lawsuit puts a larger group of individuals against an offending corporation, giving the case more sway.
In most cases, one injury is not “valuable enough” to support a lawsuit. Some plaintiffs would have to pay thousands to go to court and only get rewarded a few hundred dollars. However, when people band together, the value of the case rises dramatically.
Class-action lawsuits are a great option for someone who does not have the financial resources to spend on legal fees. In almost every case of a class-action lawsuit, there are no lawyer fees, or else the fees are split among so many people that it’s incredibly manageable. If a class suit is successful, the lawyer’s pay comes from the recoveries, meaning the class representative and members pay nothing.
What Are the Benefits of Class Action Litigation?
There are several potential benefits of filing a class-action lawsuit. Here are three of the most significant:
Filing Alongside Other Class Members Saves Money
As previously stated, filing as an individual plaintiff can be so expensive that even big money from a case victory might not cover the plaintiff’s costs. On the other hand, when each person pays a tiny amount of all of the litigation fees, the price of filing is fractionalized. Additionally, if the class wins the lawsuit, they often don’t need to pay any fees at all. In this case, the lawyer’s pay most often comes from the damages paid by the defendant.
Better Chances at Compensation
As the old saying goes, “there is strength in numbers.” Naturally, when many people come forward and become part of a class-action lawsuit, there’s more evidence against the company or business in question. More evidence leads to a stronger case, which means a greater chance of success and compensation for damages.
A Simpler Process
It is far more complicated for an individual to file against a company for damages rather than to file as part of a class, even if that individual can afford it.
When plaintiffs band together as a group, they streamline the litigation process. A class action requires one judge and one court to deal with a multitude of claims, making the process easier for everyone involved and often calling for less work.
Alex Petraglia Helps Clients Build Strong Class Action Cases
Alexander Petraglia is a licensed trial attorney dedicated to the vigorous representation of his clients. He currently works at Deters Law Office and has experience in both criminal defense and class-action lawsuits.
Mr. Petraglia has completed Gideon’s Promise Trial Program and has perfected his strategies for trial advocacy and client care. He gives every case his all in order to protect client liberty, health, and wealth.