What are Class Action Lawsuits?

What are class action lawsuits? Such suits are filed for a group of people who have been injured in one way or another by a company’s actions. Commonly, these lawsuits may be filed by company members if practices regarding hiring or salary are illegal; another type of class action lawsuit is filed when a company causes injury or death or some type of physical damage to a group of people, such as in the case of a drug company that made claims about their product that’s illegal, harming those who ended up taking those drugs.

Usually, when an individual joins a class action suit, he or she must sign papers that forfeits the right to sue the company individually. If the lawsuit is successful, then damages are awarded to the plaintiffs with regard to those who suffered the most damage. Not all members of the suit share in the compensation equally.

Attorneys will work on such cases on contingency, receiving a part of the award, but with the knowledge that if they don’t succeed, they won’t charge their group of clients any fees. In this instance, the attorneys may receive as much as thirty or fifty percent of the entire award.

If you’ve joined a class action lawsuit, you’ll find that the awards may be split into two different types: compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages addresses the defendants (the companies being sued) and the direct damage they’ve caused. The monies here are intended to help compensate for illness or loss of life, attempting as much as possible to make whole the individuals who have suffered. Punitive damages, as the name implies, intends to punish the companies, a cost which may be extremely high, in order to discourage the company or other companies from having the same reckless disregard for either the plaintiff’s safety, health, or well-being.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 29th, 2012 at 7:23 pm and is filed under Class Action Information. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “What are Class Action Lawsuits?”

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