Class Action Lawyers Belleville
Experienced Attorneys Representing Plaintiffs for Class-Action Lawsuits in Illinois and Missouri
A class action is a lawsuit filed on behalf of a large group of injured parties (collectively referred to as a “class”). All members of the class are treated as one plaintiff, and there is a class representative, an individual or group of individuals who stand in for the rest of the class. These types of cases have become increasingly common, and most consumers have received notices of class actions in recent years. If you have suffered injury and the economic loss is too small to bring an individual lawsuit, it is best to discuss your case with a seasoned class action attorney as soon as possible.
Our attorneys have successfully represented numerous plaintiffs in class-action litigation, and we know what it takes to prevail in even the most complex cases against large entities and their armies of high-priced lawyers. Our depth of understanding allows us to quickly and thoroughly assess your case to determine if this is the right course of action.
If you have a complaint about a product label, a business practice, the cost of a service or something else, please consider calling us.Contact Us
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit is often preferable to filing numerous individual lawsuits against a particular entity. This is especially true if there are several injured parties who suffered relatively small economic losses and filing a series of separate lawsuits would be impractical.
Say you discover somebody has cheated you out of $25 or $50. You ask for the money back, but he says no. Are you going to file a lawsuit over $50?
You won’t file the lawsuit because the cost of that lawsuit would be greater than the compensation the court would allow you. All you are going to get is $50!
Now imagine you are not alone.
Imagine there are thousands of people getting ripped off by the same person. The thousands of people who also lose $50 will make the same decision as you did: they will choose not to file a lawsuit. Meanwhile, the person (or corporation) gets rich – by cheating you!
The class action lawsuit can fix the problem by allowing all of those thousands of people to be included in just one lawsuit.
Types of Class Action Lawsuits
There are several types of cases in which a class action may be appropriate, these include:
- Product Defects
- Vehicle Part Defects
- Predatory Lending Practices
- Unlawful Debt Collection Practices
- Overcharging for a Product or Service
- Securities Fraud
- Civil Rights Violations
- Unlawful Employment Practices
We’ve handled many class action cases, and they can come in many forms. In one of those cases, the corporation made salsa. It claimed the salsa was “all-natural.” But it wasn’t. As part of the settlement agreement, the corporation agreed to change its label by removing the claim that the salsa was “all-natural.”
How Does the Class Action Process Work?
The class action process begins when a lawyer files the class action lawsuit on behalf of the whole group of citizens — called the “class.” But not all members of the class take part in the litigation.
Instead, the class is represented by one individual (or sometimes a small group like three or four) who stand in for the rest of the class.
There are a number of factors that must be considered in determining whether or not to file a class action. In general, for a proposed class to become certified, the following requirements must be met:
- Numerosity: The class is so numerous that it would be impractical for all individual members to file separate lawsuits;
- Commonality: Common factual and legal claims exist among the members of the class;
- Typicality: The claims made are typical among the members of the class;
Skilled Representation: The class has adequate legal representation to ensure that the rights and interests of its members are protected.
In every class action lawsuit, there is a class representative (or a class plaintiff) and the class. The class representative is an individual or small group of individuals who will file the class action against the entity for themselves and a larger group of people similarly affected. Only the class plaintiff or plaintiffs participate in the litigation and trial. But if the plaintiff wins, the compensation will benefit every member in the class, hopefully returning to them what has been lost.
A class action can be filed in a state court or a federal court. If the impact of the entity’s negligent or reckless actions reaches far beyond state boundaries, then it is more likely that the action will end up in federal court. Once a class action is certified, the judge is responsible for defining the scope.
If the harm to the class is ongoing – if the corporation continues to cheat consumers – then the plaintiff may ask the court to make the corporation stop. For example, the court could order the corporation to change its label.
And sometimes the case settles, and in the settlement agreement that is approved by the court, the corporation agrees to change the label voluntarily in exchange for dismissal of the lawsuit.
Discuss your Potential Class Action Lawsuit with Nelson & Nelson Today
Class actions can be an effective legal avenue for holding parties responsible when their negative actions cause injury to a large number of victims. Certain criteria must be met for a class to be certified, however, and it is important for the class to have strong legal representation.
At Nelson & Nelson, we thoroughly understand how class actions work, and we can fully assess your case to determine if this type of action would be appropriate. We enjoy working on class actions because when we win, we win on behalf of hundreds or thousands of people.