Class Actions

What qualifies as a class action lawsuit?

In a typical class action, a plaintiff sues a defendant or a number of defendants on behalf of a group, or class, of absent parties, which is a group of people with the same or similar injuries caused by the same product or action. Other names for lawsuits brought by a number of people who suffered similar harm or losses are “mass tort litigation” and “multi-district litigation” (“MDL”). This differs from a traditional lawsuit, where one party sues another party for redress of a wrong, and all of the parties are present in court.

What is the difference between a lawsuit and a class action lawsuit?
When a group of people takes action against the same company for the same source of injury (typically a defective product), this is considered a class action lawsuit. This differs from a standard personal injury lawsuit in which one plaintiff files a case against a defendant. In a personal injury lawsuit all compensation awarded goes to the plaintiff.

How many plaintiffs are required for a class action lawsuit?
One of the very first issues that plaintiffs in a potential class action will have to establish is whether enough plaintiffs with sufficiently similar claims against a defendant exist and can be tracked down and brought into the class. The number of plantiffs needed will depend on several issues, including whether the claims are brought in state or federal court. While there is no set number required for a class action lawsuit, most cases that are approved have hundreds of plaintiffs.

How long does it take to settle a class action lawsuit?
Each class action lawsuit is different. While some are resolved in months, other can take several years. In general, the majority of class action lawsuits take between two and three years to resolve. Some can take even longer if a court ruling is appealed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Class Actions


You find a lawyer who has experience in class action lawsuits by sitting down and consulting with many lawyers until you find the one you like and trust. The consultation should be free.

The main benefits for a class action lawsuit relate to time and cost. Time is saved when multiple people file instead of each case being a separate action. It is also more cost effective if each individual claim has limited value. For example, if one claim is worth $5.00 it probably is cost ineffective to …
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You can start a class action lawsuit on behalf of someone incapable if a court appoints you to handle the affairs of the person that is deemed incapable. Normally a probate judge will do this through the appointment of a guardian. The guardian can act in the best interest of the incapable person and file …
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You can sue a doctor in a class action lawsuit, but it is probably unnecessary. Filing a medical malpractice or negligence lawsuit against the doctor should suffice if you were hurt as a result of the doctors actions. Contact a personal injury lawyer or medical malpractice lawyer for a case like this.

The plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit have responsibilities. The most important responsibility is to act in the interests of all the plaintiffs. If you are appointed class representative it is a breach of your duties to put your own interests over that of the class. The other responsibilities relate to participating in the lawsuit. …
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The plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit need to come to court. Because the class representative has been appointed the judge will expect them to participate and go to court. The class representative will also need to testify. If there is a class action lawsuit with thousands of plaintiffs then each individual plaintiff will not …
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