In many cases, when a person is wronged or harmed be it by a person or a faulty product, a lawsuit can be filed as a one-on-one case. But in cases where a large group is affected by a common party, a class action lawsuit would be more appropriate.
How to Start a Class Action Lawsuit
When starting a class action lawsuit, the primary plaintiff, also known as the lead plaintiff, will gather the information needed to back up their claim. For example, if an electric kettle was being sold by a company and that product was found to have poor wiring that caused a fire, the lead plaintiff would gather information regarding the damage caused by the faulty product. This could be medical records detailing the costs of treatment needed for any injuries the product caused, photos of the damage that the kettle caused and more. This evidence is then brought to an attorney who can gather the evidence and establish a case.
In order for to start a class action lawsuit, certain criteria must be met. The criteria are validated by a judge who can decide whether or not the claim should be treated as a class action. The criteria are often made up of the following:
- How many people are affected by the defective product, service, or party being sued
- The similarity between the lead plaintiff’s claim and the claims of others in the class
- The class is being properly represented by an attorney with experience in class action
These factors play a vital role in deciding whether or not a class action lawsuit can be carried out. Class action suits are not just based on how many people are being represented but the similarity of their claims. If the lead plaintiff, for example, experienced a fire as a result of the faulty kettle and others in the class only experienced a short-circuited kettle that stopped working but did not cause damage, the judge may suggest the plaintiff file a lawsuit on their own. However, if all the members of the class experienced a fire or similar experience, the case could qualify for a class action.
A judge will also determine whether or not the lawyer representing the lead plaintiff, as well as other class members, has experience with class action lawsuits. These cases can be very complex, and a judge takes care to make sure that the parties involved are prepared to take the case on.
This criterion is not set in stone and could vary in some ways from case to case. If you are considering starting a class action lawsuit, contact the law offices of Salter Ferguson today to schedule your case consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.