The phrase "class action" is often used in conjunction with litigation involving large corporations or personal injuries caused by consumer goods. But, what exactly is a class action - legally speaking? The term is derived from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - which are closely mirrored by Florida's civil procedure code - and refers to a civil lawsuit involving multiple plaintiffs with similar injuries caused by a common defendant.
There are many benefits to joining a class action, and a Ft. Lauderdale class action law firm is the best resource to ensure your rights within the class are adequately addressed. Likewise, your class action attorneys can review your case and advise you as to whether your experience would fit within an ongoing class action or, in the alternative, you would be better off filing your claim individually.
Requirements for Class Actions
The requirements for joining a class action are governed by the civil procedure rules mentioned above. If you plan to file your case in Florida state court, you would follow Rule 1.220. If your class action lawyer decides to file your case in federal district court, the action would follow Rule 23 of the federal statutes.
Fortunately, the prerequisites to forming a class action are identical under both rules, and include the following:
The members of the class of plaintiffs must be so large that separate joinder of each party would be impracticable;
Each class member raises common questions of law or fact;
Each class member's claim or defense is typical of the claims and defenses raised by the representative party, and;
The representative party can fairly and adequately protect and represent the legal interests of each class member.
Common Class Action Cases
A class action lawsuit is most ordinarily used in order to bring together plaintiffs with similar experiences following the use of a consumer product, drug, or medical device. Since consumer goods are usually manufactured and distributed across the United States, it is not uncommon for plaintiffs in a class action to reside in nearly all 50 states.
The most common types of items giving rise to class action lawsuits include:
Prescription or over-the-counter medications: Contraceptives, antidepressants, painkillers, blood thinners, or diabetes medication;
Household products: Small appliances, water heaters, cooktops, lawn equipment, space heaters, or electric fireplaces;
Vehicles: Automobiles, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, boats, or trucks;
Medical devices: Spinal implants, intrauterine devices, knee replacements, hip replacements, dental implants, laser surgery robots, heart valves, or pacemakers
Benefits of Class Action Lawsuits
Depending upon the strength of the class action's claims against the defendants, large corporations may be more willing to offer a sizable settlement amount in order to alleviate the expense, time commitment, and public exposure of a lengthy trial. By joining a class action, you can share in a portion of the settlement amount, thereby ensuring your rights are honored and your injuries are redressed. Likewise, a class action lawsuit alleviates the personal stress felt by many individual injury plaintiffs who choose to advance a lawsuit against a corporation on their own.
Contact a Reputable Class Action Law Firm Today!
If you are considering a lawsuit against a drug company or consumer product maker, please contact a class action lawyer at Michael L. Feinstein, P.A. today. You can reach our main office by calling 954-767-9662.