An experienced Orange County commercial litigation attorney will tell you that a class action lawsuit is one filed by a specific group of people against a certain company or organization.
Who are the parties in a class action?
The plaintiffs are typically either the employees of a large company that is accused of such violations as illegal hiring practices or improper salary issues, or perhaps individuals who have used medicines sold by large pharmaceutical companies that may have made false claims that resulted in some physical injury or death. In any case, a large company may be liable for damages to a great number of individual claims, as a class of plaintiffs.
What happens if I become a plaintiff in a class action?
It is important to understand, as explained by an Orange County commercial litigation attorney, that once you join a class action lawsuit you thereby waive your right to file a lawsuit as an individual.
What are the benefits of being a plaintiff in a class action?
If your damages are minor, you may be well served by joining a class action.
Do I have other options?
You may opt out of the class action and file as an individual plaintiff.
What are the benefits of opting out of a class action?
As a member of a class of plaintiffs, you are eligible for only a prorated share of the total damages, which is reduced by the legal fees paid to the law firm who represented the class. The reality is that as a member of a class action, you receive pennies on the dollar for your actual loss.
If your damages are severe or specific to you, bringing an individual lawsuit against the defendant will pose no limit to your recovery. You can recover all that you have actually lost and may have the right to additional compensation for pain and suffering and punitive damages.
A consultation with an experienced Orange County commercial litigation attorney is a necessary first step in determining whether you should opt out of a class action and file an individual lawsuit.