A class action lawsuit is generally defined as a civil case representing a large group of people with similar legal claims. A representative stands in for the larger group. Any settlements or decisions are therefore split among the group in the fairest way possible. In some cases, each member of the class action suit is entitled to the same share of the settlement. In other cases, certain parties receive a larger portion of the compensation based on their particular experiences.
Class Action Lawsuits
Many class action law suits target manufacturers of products that have injured or killed consumers. Three examples:
- Dangerous drugs like Vioxx;
- Materials that can cause health hazards such as asbestos;
- Companies that pollute and sicken groups of people.
Class Action Requirements
When a class action suit is filed, the court must first define who the class is, and then notify everyone who falls within that definition about the case with a clear legal statement. Using clear, concise language, the statement must identify what the action is and the means by which members of the class may participate or exclude themselves. In some cases, the defendants may successfully appeal to have the case dismissed if the class members are not properly defined or if their claims can be shown to be legally dissimilar.
If you believe you are a potential member of a pending class action settlement, do a little research and then talk to an attorney skilled in mass torts.
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