Class action lawsuits are a vehicle for several people with a similar type claim to bring a case against the same defendant all at once. Usually it involves everyone getting hurt by the same medicine or getting overcharged by the same financial institution. The good news is, you’re offered plenty of protection as part of the class action.
Let’s say the bank overcharges you five cents for a check. Well, you can’t sue the bank for five cents or even five hundred dollars! In fact, it would cost you more to hire a lawyer. But if all the people who use that bank and those checks got together in a class action, they would be able to afford to sue the bank and get that money back. That’s why you see a lot of class actions against financial institutions, lending companies and credit card companies.
It can also involve certain types of medicine. If a drug is put on the market that is dangerous and the FDA had been misled by the drug company, groups of people can ban together to bring a class action. They might ask for things like medical monitoring, which is a certain type of test to be sure the drug did not hurt them.
So how are you protected? First, the lawyers who represent the class are chosen by the judge. The judge looks at the experience of the lawyer and the history of his or her ability handling class actions. And it’s usually more than one firm. In most cases, you’ll see two to four law firms at the head of the table. Another thing that’s important to understand is that if you are sent a letter or communication by the lawyers, it’s already been approved by the judge.
Lastly, when the class action is successful and there is a settlement, the judge will decide if it’s fair, not the lawyers or defendants. And it’s the judge who sets the attorney fees for the lawyers who brought the class action. The judge will look at the work done by the lawyers and determine how much will be charged to the class action.
We at The Segal Law Firm have done class actions here in our state for diet drugs, diabetes drugs. We’ve handled cases involving insurance fraud where an insurance company messed over a whole bunch of people claiming that a certain type of coverage wasn’t available. If you have a question about a class action case, even if I’m not the one handling, I’m happy to take your call and answer your questions. I can usually tell you in a very short time if you have a case or I think it’s worth your while to become a part of one. Call me and I’ll get you those answers at 855-344-9100.