When Are Class Action Lawsuits Necessary?
Have you ever received a recall notice where a manufacturer is agreeing to pay for some safety issue? Well, it could be that the recall notice was sent to genuinely alert people of the potential problem, or it could be that the notice is designed to make the product maker look good in case of a class action lawsuit. Or, perhaps the notice is the result of a class action lawsuit and the manufacturer is being forced to correct wrongdoings or omissions.
The Power of Many
You see, one individual who sues might not have the financial wherewithal to fight a big manufacturer that has enormous resources to continue fighting long after a single individual has exhausted all personal resources.
In a class action lawsuit, instead of one person suing the manufacturer, there are many. The group acts as a “class” to take “action” through the means of a “lawsuit” in order to have their combine cases, or a select few representative cases, brought before a jury.
The 5 Advantages of a Class Action Lawsuit
1) By combining claims together, a class action can eliminate duplicate days in separate court proceedings hearing testimony from the same witnesses, looking at the same exhibits and dealing with the same issues.
2) Monetarily it may not be worth a single injured party pursuing a case if the amount of money per individual is low. By combining individuals into a group, a “class”, a multitude of small claims becomes one big claim that becomes economical to fight when experts have to be hired.
3) A class action lawsuit can result in a change of behavior of a defendant company so future decision making is inline with safety protocols. A company saving $5.00 by cutting corners on safety on a million products quickly comes to involve $5 million dollars when the aggregate claims are combined. When making an unsafe decision might cost a company millions of dollars, it makes a $5.00 expenditure to make a product safe much more attractive. Especially so if punitive damages are assessed as a result of choosing to ignore nor safety for increased profits.
4) A class action restricts preferential treatment, avoids court rulings from different courts that are inconsistent, and limits the prospect of manufacturers having to comply with conflicting court rulings.
5) The class action court has the power to apportion a verdict or settlement proceeds among the individual class members according to a fair formula developed after the court receives input from representative members of the class.
Over the years we’ve coordinated several class action lawsuits in which we’ve helped clients recover for injuries, loss of property, and property damage.
If you’ve suffered an injury, a loss or damage and it happened in Indiana, I invite you to call us and ask questions. We’ll let you know if your case can move forward or if it could be combined with others to form a class action lawsuit. If your case would benefit from being combined with that of others, we will let you know the process and how it might effect your individual rights.