Bartz Law Group

Employee Rights Advocates

How a Class Action Lawsuit Works

Class Action Lawsuit Works

A class-action lawsuit is filed by plaintiffs with a similar claim against a common defendant. In personal injury law, a class action is a legal action filed by a group of people with similar claims against one party, usually a corporation, company, or other entity. Bartz Law Group can help you file a class action.

A class action is a classic example of parties pulling together because the individuals involved bring their resources and mind together for a common cause. However, class actions are not the typical lawsuit. That said, the services or advice of a legal firm, such as Bartz Law Group can be invaluable when filing a class action.

In addition, creative solutions can come out of a class action settlement, especially in non-injury cases. For example, several department stores agreed to give away free makeup for a limited time to settle a class action that alleged the stores secretly worked together to keep cosmetic prices artificially high.

Filing a Class Action Lawsuit

A complaint is a court document for initiating legal action. When completing the required documentation, filing a class action involves checking the appropriate box in a complaint sheet in court. The complaint contains the allegations leveled against the defendant and that is why the process is sometimes called serving a complaint on the defendant.

Once a class action complaint is served on the defendant, the certification of the class and the requirements for certification can vary by state. However, most states have the same requirements. That said, the representative plaintiff must prove the following facts to qualify for certification:

  • The class representative suffered the same injuries as the other members of the class;
  • The class members can be distinctly identified;
  • The class is composed of a certain minimum––21 is usually the minimum;
  • The individual grievances are related to a common question of law;
  • The class representative must prove that they can represent all members adequately; and
  • A class action is the most efficient way of resolving the case.

That said, getting a class certification is not just checking the right boxes. Further, the judge is allowed to exercise discretion, meaning the arguments for or against certification can get quite complex and protracted.

Failing to be certified means the case (class action) will be dismissed and on the other hand, the case moves to the pre-trial stage if the class is certified. Also, being certified does not mean that the defendant is guilty of the claims brought by the class, or that a court will likely find the defendant liable/guilty. Additionally, certification does not mean the case has advanced to some extent, and the defendant is now facing a legitimate lawsuit. That said, injury settlement negotiations begin after the class has been certified.

Class actions involve many plaintiffs and one defendant. For the best outcome, it’s always advisable to involve a legal professional who specializes in class actions.