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A class-action lawsuit occurs when a group of people has been wronged by the same product, company, or actions. The group of similarly situated people is called a class. The class action combines all plaintiffs into one class.

Class action lawsuits require specific court procedures. A qualified class action lawyer can help create a class to become certified by the court to proceed.

For over 25 years, the qualified class action lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped clients in New York City, Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles, and New Jersey qualify for class action lawsuits and get the compensation they deserve.

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What Constitute a Class Action Lawsuit?

When a group of similarly situated people decides to combine forces to file a lawsuit against a company, business, people, or organization, they may form a class action. The class-action suit represents not only those who are actively involved in the litigation process. It also includes other people who have been wronged by the same company, business, people, or organization. These individuals may not know a class has formed. However, they may still get included and receive notice that a settlement was reached.

Who Comprises a Class?

Classes are composed of all people wronged in the same manner by the same Defendant(s). Classes are formed when several Plaintiffs file a lawsuit against the same Defendant(s) under the same claims.

However, once a class is created, class action lawyers will notify others of the class action, providing the opportunity to join the class.

Therefore, the class action involves the lead Plaintiff(s), or those people who filed the lawsuit. They also include people who join the class without actively participating in the litigation process.

How Is a Class Action Lawsuit Formed?

As lawyers begin to evaluate a case, they may find other people affected by the same issues and concerns. As the process continues, the attorney may ask if others wish to join the litigation. As more people want to be added to the lawsuit, the attorney may determine he has a class of people to create a class action case.

However, merely calling a case a class action is not enough. Once a class is formed, the attorney must request a class certification from the court. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedures Rule 23 requires the following requirements to qualify as a class:

  • There must be so many plaintiffs that filing as joint plaintiffs is impossible.
  • The class must have a common question of law or facts.
  • The attorney’s claims must be typical of the class claims.
  • The lawyer promises to protect the class claims adequately and fairly.

State courts may also certify class actions, using similar state rules of civil procedures.

Do Class Action Suits Need to Be Filed in Federal Court?

A class-action case can be filed in state or federal courts. However, under the Class Action Fairness Act, any class action lawsuit with a likely settlement over $5 million may be moved to federal court.

Corporations worry that class action litigation in state court may be abused. The corporations feel they may not receive a fair trial. They fear the plaintiffs would choose a state with laws best suited for them. Small companies may only operate in one state. However, large corporations may operate in numerous states, some of which are better for business than others, which favor consumers.

The Class Action Fairness Act prevents the Plaintiffs in large class action cases from shopping for the best state in which to file the lawsuit. Once a potentially large class action case is filed, the corporation may request the case be transferred to federal court. The Class Action Fairness Act stipulates the expected potential settlement must be $5 million or higher to transfer the case to federal court.

Is Multidistrict Litigation Considered a Class Action?

Multidistrict litigation occurs when multiple plaintiffs file many lawsuits against one entity across multiple federal district courts.

These cases may include class action lawsuits. However, multidistrict litigation cases are not all class action lawsuits.

If there are many multidistrict litigation cases filed, the courts may require Bellwether trials. A Bellwether case is a test case to determine how successful an argument may be. The judge may order an attorney to try several cases in several states to see jury reaction, decisions, and opposing arguments. Then, the attorney can use this data to aid in the settlement process for other cases.

Bellwether trials are not binding on other cases. However, the information can be critical to assist the lawyer in the process for related matters.

What Type of Cases Can Become Class Action Cases?

Not every case has the capacity to become a class-action lawsuit. However, when several people experience an injustice of injury from the same product, service, organization, or employer. The following types of cases may be filed as class action suits:

What Is a Class Action Grievance?

A class-action grievance relates to union employees and the contract (or collective bargaining agreement). When there is a violation against the collective bargaining agreement, union employees may file a class action grievance against the employer.

These grievances do not go to court. Instead, they are submitted to an arbitrator to settle the dispute.

How is a Collective Action Different from a Class Action?

A collective action is used mostly for employee-related lawsuits in which a group of employees is affected by employer wrongdoings. They are similar to class action and can include cases such as:

  • Workplace Discrimination
  • Unpaid Overtime
  • Misclassification of Employees

Collection actions require employees to “opt-in” to the class. Therefore, they must want to be part of the class and make that known. Class actions, on the other hand, require individuals to “opt-out” of the class.

Can an Employer Fire an Employee for Participating in a Class Action Lawsuit?

Any employee who participates in a class action or collective action against an employer cannot be fired simply due to this participation. Firing an employee who is filing a grievance or lawsuit against an employer is known as wrongful termination. It is a form of retaliation. Employee discrimination and wage and hour laws prohibit retaliation against employees who speak up against wrongdoings at the workplace.

Our Experienced Class Action Attorneys Are Ready to Help You Today!

If you believe you have been harmed by a defective product, dangerous drug, employer violations, and more, contact the dedicated lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group. Our attorneys can help determine the details of our case and potential involvement in a class action case.

Call our class action litigators today at (800) 807-2209 for a free consultation.

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