Class action lawsuits allow groups of injured individuals to come together in their plight for justice against a product, company, or other entity that hurt them. If this sounds familiar, because you are hurt and are aware of others injured like yourself, you should know that you all have the right to justice. A Memphis class action lawsuits lawyer can help you learn more about how you might be able to initiate a class action lawsuit.
If you are looking for justice and know that others have been harmed in the way you have, you can unite in your fight, and Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help. We are passionate about victims’ rights and believe that you should be compensated for your injuries.
To learn more about how we might be able to help you, call us today for a free consultation at (800) 709-1441. We can help you determine whether you might be eligible to file a class action and what damages you deserve, if so. We do receive payment until we win you a settlement or verdict, so there is no need to worry about any upfront legal fees.
The Elements of a Class Action Lawsuit
Like a personal injury lawsuit, a class action represents plaintiffs seeking justice against a defendant who harmed them. The difference is that, instead of a single plaintiff, there is a lead plaintiff, or a small group of lead plaintiffs, that come together to file a “putative,” or a proposed lawsuit on behalf of a large group.
After the lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff’s attorney files a motion to have the court certify the lawsuit. Until that happens, the large group of potential plaintiffs is known only as a “putative class.”
If the attorney’s motion to certify is successful, the order will be entered, the lawsuit will gain official class action status, and the “putative class” will become actual plaintiffs. Then, the lead plaintiffs can move on to the next stage of the process with their counsel, which is building their case. The rationale for allowing large groups of victims to file a single lawsuit together like this has to do with practicality. If a class is large enough, filing a single lawsuit is more efficient than having each individual class member file their own independent lawsuit.
If you are interested in filing a class action lawsuit, a Memphis class action lawsuit lawyer can help. They can evaluate the details of your situation and determine whether you might have a viable class action case. If so, your lawyer could file the class action lawsuit on your behalf and make a motion to have it certified by the court.
If it is certified and becomes an official class action lawsuit, you and your lawyer could then move on to the next phase of the process—gathering evidence and completing the research necessary to start building your case. Finding and contacting other plaintiffs will also be a big part of the next phase of pulling the case together. How they join the lawsuit will depend on a few factors.
For a free legal consultation with a class action lawsuits lawyer serving Memphis, call (800) 709-1441
Joining an Active Class Action Lawsuit
There are usually two ways a class member can become a part of an already certified, active class action lawsuit. They may either opt-in or opt-out, depending on the specific lawsuit’s structure. Class action lawsuits can be filed in state or federal court. Each jurisdiction has its own rules and procedures, and those affect factors such as how plaintiffs join the lawsuit.
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Federal class action lawsuits follow the procedures laid out in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Often, federal class action lawsuits will, by default, include all potential members of any given class because it is legally mandated.
Class members are required to receive a notice for a class action certified under Rule 23(b)(3) because class members in those cases have the right to opt out within a time period that the court sets. These members, when notified of their status as plaintiffs, are given the option to “opt-out” of the lawsuit if they would like to do so. Should they choose to opt out, they will be permanently and officially removed as a party to the lawsuit.
Conversely, some class action lawsuits require members to seek out and opt-in to the lawsuit independently. This older policy is controversial for flaws the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) explains.
“The principal problem with an opt-in requirement was that large numbers of people may not even realize they had been harmed. It is difficult to communicate effectively with large numbers of potential class members.
“An affirmative opt-in requirement can be a substantial obstacle to class formation and can leave large numbers of uninformed claimants with no remedy. Moreover, a failure to compensate fully can result in under deterrence of wrongdoing,” the FTC writes.
Essentially, plaintiffs who are required to opt into a class action lawsuit run the risk of not knowing whether they are affected or have been harmed if they are never made aware of the class action proceedings. They may never even know the lawsuit existed, which is wholly unjust.
Further, because there are fewer plaintiffs, a company that is the defendant in a class action could end up settling their case for less, receiving a fraction of the true penalty they are due.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, believes, if you are owed compensation, you should get it. We want to help all victims get the justice they deserve. If you think you have been harmed and have grounds to file a class action lawsuit, our offices want to hear from you. We can discuss the elements of your case with you and help you decide whether and how to go about filing a class action lawsuit.
A Memphis class action lawsuits lawyer can offer support with jurisdictional matters and filing policies, as well. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC, to set up a free consultation at (800) 709-1441. Because we work on contingency, there is no need to pay us anything unless we win financial awards for you.