Class action lawsuits are unique because they involve a significant group of people who were injured. These types of cases also require much greater resources and experience than in typical cases. A class action law firm must have attorneys who can handle the complicated process and information involved with a class action lawsuit.
To understand how class action law firms operate, let’s look at what a class action lawsuit is, why it happens, and finally, how a class action law firm works.
What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?
Class action lawsuits, or class actions, are civil cases brought by one person or a few people on behalf of a lot of people who were harmed by a similar claim. For example; if a product has allegedly injured a large group of people, it’s unrealistic for each individual to file a separate lawsuit against the offending party.
Examples of class action lawsuits can include injuries from:
- Prescription drugs
- Pharmaceutical products
- Breast implants
- Military earplugs
- Contraceptive devices
- Any other hazardous products
Class actions are also commonly used when there are violations of wage laws or mass firings, a release of false information in security cases, or illegal manufacturing practices.
Class action lawsuits can be brought in state or federal courts. Under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, it’s now easier for class action lawsuits to be moved from state to federal courts.
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How Are Class Action Lawsuits Filed?
To begin, one or more “lead plaintiffs” file the lawsuit claiming they were harmed in some way. Then, the plaintiffs can request the lawsuit be certified as a class action and the court decides whether or not to certify it. For a lawsuit to be categorized as a class action, it must need the following conditions:
- A legal claim is made against the defendant or defendants
- A very large group of people (referred to as the “class members”) were harmed in a similar way to the lead plaintiffs
- The cases of the other people who were injured involve similar facts and side effects
- The lead plaintiff has the ability and a reasonable plan for representing class members
- No conflict exists with other class members and the lead plaintiff is typical of those members
The court must evaluate the conditions and decide whether certifying the lawsuit as a class action is convenient for the administration of justice, fair to everyone, and meets the specifications.
For example; if the plaintiffs’ issues are not similar enough, the suit will probably not be accepted as a class action. If all plaintiffs were harmed by a drug but their symptoms are different, their issues probably won’t match enough for one lawsuit to resolve each group’s problem. But if all plaintiffs have issues with a certain vehicle and that problem for each relates to brake failure, the issues could be similar enough to act as a class action.
How Does a Class Action Law Firm Work in the State of Georgia?
In Georgia, class action lawsuits are personal injury lawsuits. A law firm that takes on class action lawsuits deals with cases involving wrongful acts or violations of rights that lead to civil legal liability. This is also known as tort law.
Most law firms experienced in class action law also handle other types of civil and personal injury cases. However, big law firms typically handle class actions because they possess the significant resources and staff often required to carry out these cases.
Class action lawsuits are usually filed against companies with deep pockets, so a class action law firm is prepared with the correct experience, skill set, and ability to acquire lots of information. Instead of representing one person, the attorney or team of attorneys will be working with a group of plaintiffs. The firm will have its own investigators and legal team to research and identify other people who have suffered from the same issue.
An attorney from a class action law firm in Georgia will help you:
- Choose the best jurisdiction to file the class action
- Get through the initial hearings where your case can get certified as a class action
- Work with other attorneys who are representing other victims
- Negotiate a settlement with the company
- File the suit with a different jurisdiction if the judge rejects your class action
Working with a class action law firm is helpful for defendants, as well. Those harmed by the same product or circumstance can often join a class action lawsuit with minimal work, and the plaintiffs can work with one attorney or law firm instead of various attorneys.
Talk to a Class Action Lawyer Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have grown to be one of the largest and more respected law firms in Georgia over the last two decades. We have the experience and resources to handle class action matters. If you’re wondering whether you have a case or if you can join a current class action lawsuit, call us today and we’ll give you a FREE consultation to talk details. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to the right for your free consultation.