People file class actions because they have been injured and feel that others may have been injured in the same manner and because bringing an individual lawsuit is too expensive relative to the individual’s loss. The individual or entity, as a “representative” of the larger group, may bring a class action on behalf of tens, hundreds, or even millions of other people injured or wronged in a similar manner. This allows the individual’s claims, as well as those of the larger group, to be represented in court with lawyers working on a contingency fee basis.
Haeggquist & Eck, LLP’s class action law attorneys in San Diego offer free case evaluations to help you understand how we can assist you with your claim.
Class actions are based on the idea that there is strength in numbers. They allow individuals to file lawsuits to challenge unfair, unsafe, or illegal practices. While the prospect of a class action may seem overwhelming to a single person, this type of suit can successfully reform or stop unfair practices more successfully than an individual claim could.
Class actions have been used to promote civil rights, consumer rights, employee rights, the right to fair housing, the right to medical care, and are also used to fight securities fraud and antitrust violations. They have advanced the rights of people injured by defective or harmful products like cigarettes, defective tires, defective vehicles, asbestos, Agent Orange, breast implants, and many others. Often, class actions help the government enforce laws, make business practices safer, keep unfair business practices in check, and compensates consumers or investors for the harm they suffered at the hands of corporations.
Various laws are in place to protect your rights as a consumer or investor to prevent businesses or other entities from injuring you or treating you unfairly. The government, however, clearly does not have the resources to monitor every action every business takes and to enforce all of those laws.
Inadvertently or deliberately, a business or other entity may violate a law or contract or act in a way that it is unfair, illegal, or unsafe for the public. It may be on such a small scale on the individual level that the violation goes unchecked, but the same violation can be constantly taking place and affecting dozens or millions of people. Corporations may not correct a wrong voluntarily where doing so is expensive, unprofitable or embarrassing, which is a classic situation that can lead to a class action lawsuit. If you recognize a situation like this, reach out to our class action law attorneys at Haeggquist & Eck, LLP today for help!
If you’re bringing a class action lawsuit forward, it won’t cost you anything to do so because such cases are brought by attorneys working on a contingency fee basis. This means that attorneys do not get paid unless the lawsuit is successful. The attorneys advance the money and time needed for the lawsuit on behalf of the representative and the class. If the class action is successful, the attorneys apply to the court for an award of their fees and reimbursement of expenses. It is up to the court to determine the fee, and the attorneys alone risk the possibility of not getting paid.
Only one representative is required to bring a class action. A class representative is typically an individual or a company that believes it has been wronged, realizes that others are being injured similarly, wants the offending practice to end, and wants to be compensated with the other members of the class for monetary damages. A class representative is one of the named or “lead” plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
An individual or entity that feels it has been wronged and realizes that others are likely being injured as well should contact class action law attorneys in San Diego, like ours at Haeggquist & Eck, LLP, who have a lot of experience handling class actions. Our team will meet with that person and then examine the matter to determine the best course of action based on our evaluation of the merits of the case. If we decide to go forward in filing the class action, the individual or group would act as the class representative. We would then bring the lawsuit forward in the person’s name and on behalf of a defined class of similarly situated persons.
The class representative does not need to pay any money to bring the suit, but they may have to provide paperwork and background information that’s relevant to the case. Over the course of the lawsuit, the representative may have to answer questions about the case, which includes sitting for a deposition. The representative would be guided and assisted in these matters by his or her class action law attorneys in San Diego. During the course of the lawsuit, the representative will be periodically called upon to assist in the suit and help make all major case decisions with the advice of their lawyers. If the suit is successful, the representative generally receives extra compensation (with court approval) for their time and contribution.
After the attorneys thoroughly investigate the facts and examine the law that will correct the wrong, a letter may be sent to the alleged wrongdoers to try and obtain the desired relief without litigation. If the law firm decides to proceed with litigation, it will file a lawsuit with the representative as lead plaintiff.
San Diego class action law attorneys will then ask the court to certify the suit as a class action, and if the case meets the legal requirements, the court will certify the case and it will move forward. As appropriate and with the representative’s authorization, the attorneys may negotiate with the opposing counsel to obtain a reasonable compromise or settlement for the class. Although every case is different, it typically takes several years to achieve a successful resolution to a class action lawsuit.