An Explanation Of The Elements Of A Class Action Lawsuit
Class action lawsuits are a good way for a group of plaintiffs to hold a single defendant accountable. Typical class action lawsuits involve a large corporation as the defendant and a group of people who have experienced the same or similar damages. The rules for class action cases are unique and must be followed in order for a class to recover damages. San Diego, CA, attorney Chris Olsen has experience representing classes of victims and understands how important it is to identify the elements of a class action lawsuit before initiating a new suit.
What Is A Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit is a special type of legal proceeding where a large group of people join together to hold a defendant liable. Class actions are common in instances where an insurance company has denied coverage, for employees seeking fair and equal treatment, victims of large accidents such as a bus or plane crash, consumers who have suffered financial setbacks due to a mortgage company policy or procedure, or any situation where many people have experienced harm from a common incident. Victims have the option of filing separate suits against the entity, or the group may collectively initiate a class action. When dozens or hundreds of people similarly situated decide to team up and sue a corporation or other business entity, judicial resources are more easily focused on the issues at hand rather than at the task of managing a crowded court docket.
Elements Of A Class Action Lawsuit
Litigants are not permitted to initiate a class action lawsuit unless certain requirements are met. The elements of a class action lawsuit include:
- Numerosity: this element is best defined as a class of people that is so large it is impractical to join all of them into a suit initiated by a single person. The actual number of affected persons is not the key, but rather the impossibility of joining all of the plaintiffs to an existing suit that is considered.
- Commonality: potential class members must have all suffered an action or inaction that arises from a common set of facts, and should thus be decided by application of similar legal standards.
- Typicality: this element is met when the claims of the class representative are typical of the claims of the entire class. When claims of the class representative and of the entire class arise from the same incident, such as a bus or airplane crash, typicality is said to exist.
- Adequate representation: the representative for the class must be able to adequately represent the entire class; this is accomplished by ruling out any conflicts of interest and by securing competent legal counsel.
If you have been involved in an incident that mirrors the experience of a large group of people, we can help you determine if pursuing your claim individually or through certifying a class is your best option. We do this by talking to other potential litigants and learning how the group was impacted by the accident or grievance. Our goal is to obtain the maximum amount of recovery for your damages, and we consider every option when developing an effective strategy.
Contact Our Office for More Information
If you believe you have a case that is suitable for a class action, we know what to do next. We handle cases of all types and are familiar with the different requirements of each type of case we manage. To schedule an initial office consultation, contact us online, or call us at (619) 550-9352.