What is a class action lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a case filed on behalf of a group of people who share a similar legal claim with a wide group of other people. In a class action lawsuit, a group is collectively represented by a plaintiff or plaintiffs who are members of that group, also known as class representatives. Class action lawsuits can be filed in state and federal courts depending on the nature of the claim and the rights at issue. For a case to proceed as a class action, a Judge must decide that the named plaintiff, or group of plaintiffs, adequately represent the interests of the entire class. Once a class action has been decided through a settlement between the parties or a court verdict, class members are often entitled to recover damages under the settlement or verdict unless they take steps to affirmatively opt out of the class.

What does it mean to “opt in” or “opt out” of a class action settlement?

There are different types of class action lawsuits. Commonly, members of a plaintiff class must decide whether they want to “opt in” (participate) or “opt out” (not participate) of participating in a class action. Members who choose to opt in are bound by the terms of the class action and any negotiated settlement that results from the lawsuit. Those who decide to opt out of the class action may prefer to file their own case. Class members who do not affirmatively opt out are bound by the settlement terms unless the required notice states otherwise.

What types of claims may be brought as class action lawsuits?

Many different claims can be pursued through class action lawsuits. Cases involving deceptive sales practices or false advertising, product defects, wage and overtime violations, mass torts, illegal background checks, and unlawful jail or prison conditions are most appropriately pursued as class actions.  Class actions are brought in both federal and state courts, and the process in each is generally the same. Cases involving violations of specific federal statutes can only proceed in federal court.

Are there special class action lawyers?

Although any licensed lawyer may file a class action lawsuit, class action litigation is complex and requires counsel with a specialized skill set and incredible resources. Depending on the size of the class and the nature of the lawsuit, multiple law firms may work collaboratively to ensure the best possible outcome for the plaintiffs and class members. Thus, it is essential to hire a lawyer with the experience and resources you need.

The attorneys at Garrison Law have the background and skills to pursue class actions across the country. Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in complex legal matters and class action litigation and have helped clients recover millions in damages. Whether you are an individual or consumer and have an issue that may be best resolved through a class action lawsuit, contact Garrison Law and we would be happy to discuss your case.


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