When people need legal representation, it can feel like they do not have the resources or money necessary to get the support they need. However, that’s not necessarily the case. There are times when someone can get legal support and could potentially not pay anything. This is available through class action lawsuits. They also go by the name of “mass tort litigation.” Many people hear about these lawsuits through media like TV commercials, the radio, or even ads online. However, even though people hear about these lawsuits, they may not realize how they can benefit from them.
What are Class Action Lawsuits
Have you ever heard the phrase “there is strength in numbers?” Well, that’s the idea behind a class action lawsuit. When many people have been harmed by the same source such as a company, these lawsuits allow all of the victims to join in a lawsuit together. This lawsuit allows many claims to be combined into one. It can make the process easier to manage for everyone involved. This is especially nice when people are going up against large businesses or corporations.
Three parties are involved in a class action lawsuit that is important to know about. There are plaintiffs, the defendant, and legal representation. Plaintiffs are the people that are suing. In the case of a class action lawsuit, there will be an assigned lead plaintiff that will file the lawsuit on behalf of all of the people that want to sue. The defendant is the one being sued. The legal representation is the lawyer. Both the plaintiffs and defendants will have legal representation.
When Do People File Class Action Lawsuits?
There are a variety of reasons why a person may choose to file a class action lawsuit. Some popular reasons that people may file include the following:
- Cases of workplace discrimination
- Contract breaches
- Criminal business practices
- Defective medication
- Misleading or false advertising
Pros of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
There are plenty of benefits that come along with filing a class action lawsuit. Most of the time, these lawsuits are on a contingency fee basis. Why is that important? Because that means people won’t need to pay anything until the case is won! Besides the financial benefit of these types of lawsuits, there is also a risk reduction benefit. People that want to go through the legal process of suing a company could end up paying thousands of dollars for a settlement that is only worth a few hundred dollars. Through class action lawsuits, this risk is typically avoided.
Can You Get Paid from a Class Action Lawsuit?
Whether or not you get compensation from your class action lawsuit will depend on the decision made by the judge. Other factors that can impact the amount of compensation include the severity of damages. Those that have been impacted the most in the class action lawsuit may get more money than others that were less affected. On top of that, there is a risk that the defendant ends up filing for bankruptcy. It is a good rule of thumb to join a class action lawsuit sooner rather than later. In some cases, the first group of plaintiffs is the ones to receive compensation before the company goes underwater.
What is the Process of Filing a Class Action Lawsuit
When people find themselves in need of filing a class action lawsuit, it’s much easier than they may realize. The first step they will need to take is to reach out to a legal expert. This would include professionals like a lawyer. Once you reach out to a lawyer, you will have a consultation to see if a class action lawsuit may be the right fit for your legal needs. This consultation is important because not anyone can be a part of a class action lawsuit. However, those that may be able to benefit will have the legal expert file a complaint on their behalf to work on getting a settlement.
What are Some Popular Class Action Lawsuits?
Countless class action lawsuits have happened in America. Ones that you may have heard about include:
- Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder
- Zantac Heartburn Medication
- Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water
- Catholic Church Abuse
Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder
Countless people use baby powder (also known as talcum powder) to avoid chafing. Not every baby powder contains talcum, but some do. Some talcum powders have been found to contain carcinogens like asbestos and it has been proven to cause issues like pneumonia if inhaled. Individuals that have used this product may have found themselves dealing with some negative effects like ovarian cancer. Studies have shown a considerable connection between talcum-based baby powder and ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs claim that this evidence is enough cause for action, especially because these powders had not given adequate warnings about what the side effects may be. In fact, according to Drug Watch, women that used talcum powder on their genitals had an increased risk of ovarian cancer by a whopping 24%!
Zantac Heartburn Medication
Manufacturers issued a recall for ranitidine as well as Zantac due to the possible risk of getting cancer. In terms of Zantac, the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) found that the ranitidine that was in Zantac contained NDMA (an unstable molecule) which is a likely carcinogen for people. There have been countless cancers associated with this drug which include bladder cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, and more. On top of that, other health problems may be linked to this medication as well.
Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water
In North Carolina, there was Camp Lejeune. This military base contained drinking water that had dangerous chemicals that could have caused cancer in people as well as other serious health conditions. Luckily, the government created the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. This act aims to get veterans the justice they deserve for the harm that came from this toxic water.
Catholic Church Abuse
There have been lawsuits all over the world that have accused the clergy of abuse. While the exact amount of money that the Catholic Church has repaid is not officially stated, there is an estimate. According to the nonprofit organization known as Bishop Accountability, the church paid over $3 billion in major settlements (and awards) in just the United States alone.
If you need some legal representation because of harm or damages you have faced, then you may have more support than you think. One opportunity that may be able to help includes a class action lawsuit. This type of lawsuit takes the claims of many people and combines them into one. The benefits of this type of lawsuit are financial benefits and risk reduction.
If you want to start the process of a class action lawsuit, then you will want to reach out to a legal expert. From there, if a class action lawsuit is suitable, then they will file a claim on your behalf and begin the process. You may have more legal support than you realize!