Amplifying The Voice of the People
If you know the phrase “power in numbers,” you already understand
the foundation of class action lawsuits. When a group of people or businesses
suffer similar injuries from a defendant’s wrongdoings, they can
file a class action lawsuit. In most cases, class actions are filed against
companies and corporations rather than individuals.
To start a class action, an individual or a small group of people who suffered
similar injuries from similar conduct of a business entity will file a
lawsuit with the help of their lawyer. If an individual initiates the
class action, Texas courts will typically require at least 40 class members
to join the suit, although, the law requires the class to be “so
numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.” In other
words, the number of class members must be so high that it’s impossible
to bring them together. For these reasons, class actions are typically
brought by consumers, employees, investors, and healthcare patients.
We encourage you to call our nationwide
class action lawyers at (972) 460-9339 to learn how we can help hold the responsible party
accountable for their wrongdoings and fight for maximum compensation on
behalf of the class.
How Do Class Action Lawsuits Work?
As you will see below, lots of criteria must be met before a class action
suit can move forward. But the general rule of thumb is a lead plaintiff
(or “class representative”) will sue a defendant on behalf
of a group of people, known as the class. The defendant is usually a company
or other business entity who committed the same wrongdoings that resulted
in similar injuries to the class. Once a lawsuit is certified as a class
action, each member of the class will be notified and confirm whether
or not they want to be a part of the lawsuit. These individuals should
consult a lawyer to determine whether or not to proceed with the class action.
From there, the class representative and their lawyer will either negotiate
a settlement with the defendant or try the case in court. Once both parties
achieve a resolution, class members will again be notified and confirm
whether or not they want to join the settlement. From there, the lead
plaintiff and their legal counsel will pay and distribute the monetary
damages to themselves and the rest of the class.
Common Types of Class Actions
When a group of people experienced similar damages from a company or corporation’s
conduct, plaintiffs tend to sue in class actions because they are more
practical, more impactful, and more consistent, as separate trials may
produce different results for each plaintiff. For instance, a plaintiff
who files an individual lawsuit may receive less compensation than another
plaintiff who suffered the same harm from the same conduct by the defendant.
Differing court judgments would make it harder to hold the defendant responsible
for their wrongdoings.
For these reasons and more, class action lawsuits generally concern the
- Consumer fraud
- Product liability
- Civil rights
- Environmental issues
- Securities fraud
Requirements for Class Action Lawsuits
Most plaintiffs have never filed a class action lawsuit before, which is
why many people ask their attorneys, “What qualifies for a class
action lawsuit?” For starters, the class representative, also known
as the representative plaintiff, is the lead plaintiff who is essentially
in charge of representing and speaking on behalf of the class, which is
the group of people who suffered similar injuries from the defendant.
Generally, a class action must meet the following criteria:
- There must be a live claim or controversy in dispute, which means that
the class representative must have a live claim, at least until the class
- The class representative(s) must be members of the proposed class.
- The class must be defined by objective criteria, which may require the
plaintiff to identify an administratively practical method of determining
who is in the class.
- The class must be sufficiently numerous (this typically means 40 members
are in the class).
- Common questions by the class allow for common answers.
- The claims of the class representative reflect the claims of the class.
- The class representative must have no major conflicts of interest with
absent class members.
- Legal counsel must have adequate experience with handling the claims and
class actions as a whole.
While the information listed above includes the general requirements for
a class action lawsuit, other rules vary by state. That being said, the
prerequisites for a class representative to
initiate a class action lawsuit in Texas are:
- The class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable
- There are questions of law or fact common to the class,
- The claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the
claims or defenses of the class
- The class representative(s) will fairly and adequately protect the interests
of the class
But that’s not all. For a class action to be
maintained, one of the following requirements must be satisfied:
The prosecution of
separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create certain risks,
such as inconsistent adjudications for those individual class members
or negative impacts to individuals who are not involved in such adjudications
- The defendant has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable
to the class
The questions of law or fact that are common to the
class outweigh any questions affecting only
individual members, and a class action is the best way to achieve a fair and efficient
resolution. Matters that relate to these issues include:
- The class members’ stance on individually controlling the prosecution
- The extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already
initiated by members of the class
- The desirability or undesirability of litigating the claims in the particular forum
- The difficulties that may arise in the management of a class action
Questions or Concerns? We Can Provide Clarity.
Our Dallas class action lawsuit attorney has negotiated and litigated cases
on behalf of numerous plaintiffs. We understand the obstacles and complexities
involved in class action lawsuits, which is why our approach is to identify
the potential risks and roadblocks our clients could face and work proactively
to minimize the impacts on their lawsuits. Since class actions are founded,
in part, on the concept of “power in numbers,” our lawyer
will champion the best interests of the people every step of the way!
To learn more, please get in touch with our firm
online or at (972) 460-9339!