Class action lawsuits are a subcategory of mass torts. They are necessary when there are so many members with similar grievances that bringing separate cases is impractical. There must be a lead plaintiff who represents the interests of an entire group, or class. Class members are identified at a preliminary hearing and are then notified of their inclusion in the case. They can opt out if they desire to bring their own separate case, but this decision is usually irreversible.
A class action lawsuit starts when a plaintiff brings the case to a lawyer. The attorney verifies whether a similar class action lawsuit already exists, and if not, whether the case meets class action criteria. The person who initially brings the case may become the lead plaintiff and in the event of a settlement may receive an additional amount for representing the class.
The settlement will be divided according to an agreement worked out between the court, the lead plaintiff, and the attorneys. The judge will approve the settlement if it is "fair, reasonable and adequate". The class action attorneys will receive a percentage of the settlement to cover their costs, then the lead plaintiff will receive a portion, and the rest will be divided among the rest of the class.
Since 1996 2,373 class action lawsuits have been settled and $97,958,011,051 has been won in settlements. The highest number of cases was brought in 2001 with 498, while in 2017 there were 412 cases filed, about the average amount. These statistics demonstrate that while a modest number of cases have been filed, the amount paid out has been significant.
The adverse effects families and individuals suffer after being injured by a defendant can be severe. Often there are medical complications involved, such as from injuries sustained on a job with insufficient safety regulations, or from inferiorly built toys or equipment. This can result in medical bills that add additional stress to an already stressful time. Often there are lost wages which make the situation even more difficult.
Bringing a class action lawsuit with the assistance of a team of experienced class action attorneys can help alleviate some of these negative effects. A settlement can make up for lost wages and help cover medical bills. A lawyer can review the case and advise the client on how best to proceed. A competent attorney will guide their client every step of the way.
Zanes Law has the experience and drive to give you the best outcome possible. Doug Zanes has been practicing law since 1997 and practices in the United States District Courts within Arizona and within the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which only accepts attorneys who have won over $1 million in verdicts and settlements. Only 1% of U.S. attorneys are members. Doug Zanes and his team are ready and qualified to help you take your class action case to court.
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