Unlike your typical lawsuit, a class action lawsuit involves a large group
of plaintiffs combining their resources against a defendant or defendants
that have wronged them. In order to enact a class action suit, the following
must be proven:
- The group harmed is large enough that it would be impractical to conduct
individual cases; and
- Common issues exist in each case and the attorney (or attorneys) will be
able to represent all parties within the class action
If these prerequisites are established, it’s important to understand
the complex components of a class action lawsuit.
1. Filing the Case
Once the legal team analyzes all the available information and determines
a case can be made, a class action lawsuit can be filed by the group’s lawyer.
After filing the case, the court then determines the variables for the
case and whether or not it qualifies for a class action. In addition,
the court may suggest discovery, which is a pre-trial procedure used to
gather evidence for a lawsuit.
If the case is certified and the judge rules on the parameters of the class
action, the defendant has the option to object the validity of the claim
or whether the plaintiffs are appropriate representatives.
Once the defendant has the opportunity to object and be heard by the judge,
the case is announced to the public. This allows parties who may be affected
by the issue to become aware of the litigation and potentially join the
class action lawsuit and receive compensation.
Many times, the defendant in a class action lawsuit will settle the case
out of court, providing compensation to the plaintiffs. However, if they
refuse to settle, the case will go to trial, which can take a few months
to over a year to resolve. Whether the case is settled or goes to trial,
a judge must approve the final disbursement to the plaintiffs to ensure
they are compensated fairly.
Contact our Philadelphia consumer class action lawyers
Golomb & Honik, P.C. today. Call (215) 278-4449 or contact us online
for a free no-obligation consultation.