Archive for the ‘Class Action Information’ Category

What Happens to Unclaimed Class Action Money?

Class action lawsuits are a type of civil suit that is brought to court by one or more people who act on the behalf of a larger group of people. These are cases where many people have a case but separate lawsuits would become a time consuming endeavor. Often class action lawsuits will occur when many people have been injured or wronged by a particular product or company.

Since most class actions are filed in federal court, settlement payments to victims will not show up in a State Unclaimed Property Division or the Department of Revenue search and, unlike most other unclaimed money, there is usually a time limit by which the settlement must be claimed before it expires. If you’ve moved, hold stock in street name and switch brokers, or physically hold stock certificates, you may not be notified of any class action suits so check those companies you maintain shares in regularly.

An ever growing source of unclaimed funds is created by class action law suits within a wide range of industries, products and services. Several hundred companies are involved in class action law suits are coming before court of law each year. These fall into several categories including: security fraud, consumer protection, public health, antitrust, human rights, environment, and product liability. Recent settlements have exceeded $11 billion; however, fifty percent of those who could collect payments fail to make a claim. Even if the product is no longer on the market or the stock has been sold to another business, class action suit members may be eligible to receive cash, credits, shares or distributions in companies.

What happens if a person doesn’t claim the money from a class action settlement? If you used a faulty or defective product years ago you may still be able to receive cash, credit, or shares as a class member, from hundreds of major companies. You may need to hire a company specializing in tracking unclaimed assets you may be eligible for, for a fee. The Consumer Advocacy Center has been working with charities to make sure that even though money isn’t collected for a class action suit that the “wrong doers” don’t keep the money. These charitable donations are called Cy Press awards.

What Happens to Unclaimed Money in Class Action Suits

Unclaimed Money in Class Action Lawsuits

Did you know that millions and millions of dollars of settlements from class action suits have been unclaimed by the plaintiffs, consumers, small businesses, investors and the general public? Hundreds of millions of dollars get reverted back to the same companies that were found to be in the wrong or who agreed to settle the cases out of court.

The reason why so much settlement money goes unclaimed is the majority of people who are entitled to the settlement money simply don’t know it, or they never receive official notification in the mail, never opened the mail, or they died, or because they really didn’t want to fill out the very long, complex legal documents required in order to claim the funds. For these reasons, a significant amount of people do not take advantage of their personal legal rights. Basically, they are being denied justice.

Unclaimed settlement money is a complete irritant to the courts, because unclaimed money is an issue for the claim administrators and disbursing agents who are in charge of the distributing class action settlement money to harmed individuals. As each year passes, the aggregated total of unclaimed cash, which was earmarked for distribution from class action settlement funds, escrow accounts increases.

In the early 80’s, many lawyers began to appeal to the courts to not give the unclaimed money back to the wrongful defendants, but use the Cy Pres doctrine, which translates to ‘as nearly as possible’. Meaning, the lawyers said the unclaimed money should be dispersed to projects that are as close to the original intention as possible. Mostly, all unclaimed settlement money now goes to help the community as a whole, for instance to help lower income families, to charities and to other organizations that help improve the quality of life for all concerned. Currently, many class action law firms are now requesting, before a settlement is agreed upon, that the defendant in the case agrees to allow unclaimed settlement money to be given to charities.

How to File a Class Action Lawsuit

In times as interesting as ours, where there are always new developments and ideas about how things work, a great deal of attention is placed on simple efficiency. It’s not always necessary to make things work so that our lives are easier, but also so that our lives can serve some kind of benefit for the greater good. In this light, then, it’s sensible to understand that procedures and protocols can be extremely useful in turning a better eye toward the world at large. This is not simply to move efficiency along so that it can function for itself, but so that the cumulative effect of the minor and major things that we do can resolve in some kind of organizing principle. This will become an essential part of how we construct the world today.

This is perhaps one of the reasons why we live in such a litigious society. There have been multiple theories to suggest various answers to this question. Perhaps there is a vindictiveness that comes at the expense of our own ability to make solid and worthy decisions. Perhaps it’s something even deeper, reflecting a certain value placed upon the thought of who we are at any particular moment, in relation to the time and place where we are living. This can result in the construction of many diverse and transitory notions of self and other. In a very real sense, then, our ability to make the world as it is depends upon our ability to enter it as full human beings.

It’s necessary of course to have a sense of community, especially when living in a world inhabited by other people and other networks. This can lead quite easily into the central idea of a class action lawsuit. Where there is a need for outside assistance in addressing a certain wrong, only those who are qualified can address the situation using the proper language. It is almost like deciphering a code, and in this case, once the code is broken, it immediately forms itself again. The more elusive aspects, then, would need solid and trustworthy legal counsel.

Class Action Settlements

In legal language the lawsuit settlement occurs when a resolution is reached between the parties that are in dispute. The settlement takes the form of a contract between the parties. This can occur pre-trial or once it is in progress.

Upon settlement the party instigating the suit will drop the lawsuit in exchange for compensation of some sort. Both parties are legally bound by this contract. If one of the parties breach this contract then the court case could resume.

Within a class action lawsuit notices should be sent to class members as part of due process. These notices can include information relating to opting out of the class action and go it alone. The court should be informed of this by the class member if this is the case. If there is a class action settlement a settlement notice is sent out to class members to inform them of the result including full details of the settlement.

The benefits of reaching a settlement include reduced fees and associated costs along with a quicker resolution to the lawsuit. In certain circumstances the details of a settlement are deemed private and confidential and the sued party is not admitting that it was in the wrong.

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.

What is a Class Action Law Suit?

Class action law suits are certainly more in the news today than they ever were. There’s always been a lot of public interest in class action, because the nature of the suit does have a kind of sensational nature at its core. But perhaps more importantly, the reason they’re interesting these days is because they serve as a kind of pie in the sky hope for a lot of people. The idea that anyone could have been wronged by a large corporation and entitled to a sizable cash settlement is a dream that’s almost as common as winning the lottery, and it might be as unlikely, too. What exactly is a class action suit, then?

A class action suit is where a large number of people have been wronged by a corporation or business, usually, or some kind of body that is difficult for most ordinary people to contend with. The character of the wrong is usually based in some kind of physical harm. The most commonly referenced class action, for purposes of an example, involves the many suits filed against the asbestos companies, and asbestos mines. In those cases, working people were exposed to a very dangerous chemical over a prolonged period. The risks of exposure to asbestos could lead to sickness and even cancers. The nature of the risks were not unknown to the companies, either, so that when the class actions went to trial, there was very little they could do to deny that they had put their employees at risk.

From this example, then, we can see that a class action is something that’s on a fairly large scale, where the threat to health is very grave. Groups of people will usually file these together, because the defendant in these is never an individual, but a body of people who have been harmed. This also offers a kind of safety in numbers, where it might be possible to have more people come forward when they have a more reasonable suspicion that some good would come out of it, rather than further injustice. Class action suits appeal to the sympathy we all have for the underdog, and they play into all the elements of that classic myth.

What is the Difference Between a Class Action Lawsuit and a MDL?

A Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) is a procedure utilized in the federal court system to transfer to one federal judge all pending civil cases of a similar type filed throughout the United States. A Class Action Lawsuit is a lawsuit where a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court and where a class of defendants are sued. The difference is that a class action lawsuit can be transferred to a MDL where a Judicial Panel was created by legislation in 1968 in response to the complexity among the courts to coordinate almost 2,000 related cases that were pending in a total of 36 districts around the country that alleged a nationwide antitrust conspiracy among electrical equipment manufacturers.

The Judicial Panel on MDL, which consists of seven judges presided over by a chairman, was needed to coordinate the difficult cases filed in multiple districts. The duties of each Judicial Panel member is the same with respect of deciding cases. However, the chairman of the panel has additional responsibilities because the chairman is responsible for the oversight of the panel’s office, the staff of 20 employees, and the budget. Plus, the chairman will handle any necessary contact’s with the transferee districts.

The decision whether cases should be transferred is made by the panel of seven federal judges, these judges are appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The Judicial Panel on MDL meet, on a periodic basis, to review requests that cases be consolidated for pretrial matters pursuant to the law passed by Congress. Even though the panel meets in various cities throughout the U.S., the Clerk of the Panel is permanently stationed in Washington D.C. The judge who has all the federal cases assigned is known as the ‘transferee judge.’ The judges, who are throughout the U.S., send cases to the MDL judge and are known as the ‘transferor judges’ or the ‘transferor courts.’

What Constitutes Class Action in Union Grievance?

Class actions are rather interesting for students of law, and anyone else that might be interested in the legal system in general. They point out general inequities and wrong-doing on a large scale, and some of the most exciting lawsuits revolve around class action. There is something of the underdog myth at work here, where the average worker goes up against the big corporation and sometimes wins. This underdog myth can become even more marked when it comes to play in the field of unions. So what, exactly, constitutes class action in a union grievance?

Class actions are distinguished from other general wrong-doings because of their scale. In a class action, a large group of people have had an injustice done to them, and they have decided to take it up with the wrong-doers in a legal forum. These cases appeal to the general population because there are usually real people involved, actively fighting a system that is usually known for ignoring the people. It’s a pretty classic tale, and the cinemas are filled with these kinds of stories. When there is a verdict on the side of those filing the class action, there is a sense that the verdict speaks for everyone. When it’s lost, there’s still a sense of justice being served, fighting the law and the law wins.

In unions generally, when an individual feels that there is a rule that has been broken, such as overtime without pay, they can file a grievance. Grievances have a very particular code in unions, and they go through a very specific process, and usually very quickly.

Oftentimes, when more than one individual feels wronged, the grievance process can take care of the problems quickly and efficiently. However, when there seems to be larger battle at hand, and something the union might see as a more difficult fight, and there are enough individuals who have suffered under the same discrepancy, they can take it the level of class action. When this happens, it becomes more serious, and there is a decision to put it at the level of us vs. them, rather than trying to settle it in a more inconspicuous way.

Medicaid Brand-Name Drugs When Prescribed Class Action Suit

There has been a settlement in a class-action lawsuit that will guarantee Medicaid beneficiaries to continue purchasing prescription drugs at a minimal cost when they become eligible for Medicare. The class action lawsuit, filed in 2007 by the Center of Medicare Advocacy and the National Senior Citizens Law Center in the United States District Court in San Francisco, on behalf of the 6.2 million Medicaid beneficiaries who alleged they were overcharged for drugs or even turned away from pharmacies due to processing delays of Medicare enrollment.

Medicare law states that people enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare are to receive any assistance with purchasing prescription drugs and the beneficiaries who are eligible, will only have a co-pay as low as $1.05 to $3.10 for brand-name drugs. But, it was alleged that the beneficiaries were charged as much as $35 to $75 dollars. Evidence shows that their low-income status was not properly shared by government agencies, pharmacies and insurers.

The attorney for the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, claim that the delays have shortened since the Medicare prescription drug benefit took effect back in 2006. But, the average wait time currently is five to six weeks before tens of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries who transfer to Medicare every month can begin receiving prescription drug benefits.

The settlement will make the Government change its computer system, which will allow states to submit names of new low-income Medicare beneficiaries more than once a month. Government officials will be required to process the submissions within one day. Insurers that deliver drug benefits, must also provide drugs at a minimal costs of all low-income Medicare beneficiaries who have qualified for additional assistance. Plus, if a beneficiary claims eligibility, but doesn’t have the proper documentation, or is soon to run out of medication, federal officials are required to immediately contact the state Medicaid agency to confirm their eligibility.

The settlement agreement is a great win for many of the United States most vulnerable citizens who face life-threatening delays in obtaining vital medications. Because of the class action lawsuit, it is now easier for the poorest beneficiaries to navigate Medicare Part D.

How Can I File a Class Action Lawsuit?

In these days, where it seems as though there aren’t just one or two places with litigious societies, but it seems to be moving that direction everywhere, it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are genuine lawsuits as well. Some of the most important decisions in law have come about when there’s a wrong that’s been done to a large group of people. These cases are generally resolved through class action lawsuits, and if this is your case, then this article is for you.

Determining whether or not your case actually qualifies for class action is the first step, and it’s fairly cut and dry as to what might constitute such a case. The most important element here is really in numbers. If you’ve suffered because of some negligent or even malevolent actions from another body, usually a corporation, and you are not alone, then you have a start. If other people have suffered in the same way, from the same corporation, and in the same circumstances, then you’re probably ready to take it to the next step.

It’s virtually impossible to get anywhere without a lawyer or a law firm, so that’s the next thing to do: find lawyers who specialize in this, and start interviewing them, giving the reasons you think your case qualifies for class action. By definition, these things are brought to trial by lawyers, who fight on behalf of a large number of people. It will certainly help your case, then, to get as many people on your case as possible. This can also help convince the lawyers to help you, because when there are larger numbers, it only increases your chances of winning, and this means more money for the lawyers.

Gather as much information as you can about the circumstances of the injury, and as much evidence to support your case. A good lawyer will certainly help you to get what you deserve, but it also helps to have all your ducks in a row. If the case is legitimate, the right lawyers will help take care of the rest of the details.

What is Class Action Lawsuits Agains Corporation

On February 23rd, 2010, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Hertz Corporation vs. Friend class action lawsuit, adopting that a ‘Corporations’ principal place of business is where its executives work and not where its products are sold. The Court stated that it was adopting a single test among the numerous approaches previously employed by the lower federal courts. Now, a corporation is deemed a citizen both of the state of its incorporation’s and the State where it has its principal place of business. Prior to this decision, the lower courts had adopted a number of increasingly complex and divergent interpretations of the provision, leading to a variety of different tests for determining diversity jurisdiction. Basically, it creates a more uniform interpretation of the statutory phrase ‘Principal Place of Business.’ This ruling will make it harder for class action suits to be filed against out-of-state corporations in state courts, which are known to be friendlier to class-action lawsuits compared to federal courts.

The Supreme court ruled that a corporation’s place of business, or so called ‘nerve center’, is where its officers direct, coordinate and control its activities and not where the corporation has its largest amount of business. The ruling said if it finds that the corporation’s alleged ‘nerve center’ is nothing more than a mailbox or an empty office, then a court should determine the location of its actual principal place of business for purposes of determining the venue for a class action lawsuit.

Legal experts claim the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision will make it easier for parties of class action lawsuits in different states to move the suit to from state court to federal court. The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, which was backed by businesses, held that they could get fairer hearings in federal courts rather than state courts, especially if they are not residence of a state.

Can Class Action Lawsuit be Filed for Financial Damages

Yes, class action lawsuit can be filed for financial damages. Basically, most class action lawsuits stem from financial damages in a variety of forms. For instance, there is a class action lawsuit alleging that Ameriloss of Florida overcharged clients with fee of 33.5% for adjusting claims related to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Florida state law limits fee to 10 percent.

Another example of a class action lawsuit filed because of financial damages is the suit brought against Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. The claim alleges that Heartland failed to secure Sensitive Financial Information of millions of credit card consumers from across the US. The suit continues to allege that sometime in 2008, an unauthorized and unknown third person(s) hacked into Heartland’s computer network and gained access to the Sensitive Financial Information of an undetermined number of consumers. After the data breach, Heartland has not offered the affected consumers anything that might protect or compensate them for the injuries suffered as a result of the breach, like offering free credit monitoring, free identity theft insurance, or payments for ‘freezing’ consumer’s credit.

Amazon has a class action lawsuit filed against it for having the ability to delete digital content from Amazon’s product ‘Kindle’, an electronic reading device. Plaintiffs say the value of a Kindle and any reading materials purchased has significantly diminished because of Amazon’s ability to remotely delete digital content. The class action lawsuit contends that owning an electronic reading device that allows content to be deleted remotely is worth less than one without such a feature.

Other forms of class action lawsuits deal with Wage-and-hour, covering disputes involving unpaid overtime and employment discrimination. Or, Billing Fraud, covering securities fraud, contract disputes, any billing discrepancies, antitrust, product liability, and environmental claims. Finally, Improper Interest Rate Levies, which covers unfair practices by credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions.

What Happened to the Diamond Reimbursement Class Action Suit

The De Beers diamond company has settled its class action lawsuit –it will pay millions! 272 million will be split up by the number of people filing a claim. This lawsuit spans a 12 year period. Anyone who bought a diamond during those twelve years may be entitled to compensation. In order to file a claim you do not need any type of receipt or documentation. It is best to locate a copy of the receipt, as it may be requested later on in the process. The De Beers Company is not located in the U.S. and did not believe that the courts in New Jersey had a right to prosecute the. It turns out that the courts were never given a chance since a settlement was reached.

When a settlement is reached, both parties agree to stop any further court proceedings. Many times this is done to prevent further court and attorney’s fees. If one side is feeling the pressure and realizes that they may lose in trial, a settlement is usually offered.

In this case the defendants were accused of violating antitrust laws and creating unfair competition. The defendants consisted of mining companies, diamond sellers, and investment companies, myriad of other constituents associated with the number one diamond seller in the world.

What it boils down to is that de Beers had a monopoly on the diamond business and were manipulating the prices. As part of the settlement agreement an injunction has been placed on the defendants. This injunction mandates that the companies involved follow anti trust laws, and prohibits them from manipulating the supply of diamonds or fixing prices.

The last date to file a claim was March 19, 2008. Claims can be filed after this date, but there is no guarantee it will be considered. There are several categories under the settlement to categorize claim holders. The 295 million dollars will be divided into two major categories and then two other subcategories. Once all of the claims have been filed, each subcategory will be divided by the number of claims and then monies allocated accordingly.

Where to Find Class Action Lawsuits

It seems that by the time most individuals reach the point of retirement, and usually many years before, they have received at least one notice informing them that they have been listed in a class action lawsuit. And for most of these people, they will likely admit that they had no idea what it was about or what it meant and they very likely threw away the notice instead of looking into it. This is actually extremely common and the typical response to the receipt of such a notice. Meanwhile, there are other people across the country who are trying to find their way into a particular suit or figure out how to initiate one. And while they might seem like similar endeavors they are actually very different in what is expected, or more accurately required, of the pursuer.

It generally requires little or no effort to find out if you are already part of an existing class action suit, however it may require a little further investigation to find an existing lawsuit and become a part of it. If you are already part of a suit then you should receive notice from the court indicating such. However, if you are not already one of the registered plaintiffs, one of the easiest ways to do this is to do a general search on the Internet. If you are able to find the suit in this manner then you will want to make note of the representing law firm and contact them as soon as possible. If you already know the law firm that is handling the case then you can just contact them directly.

While you are searching for a specific suit you may want to browse the listings and see if there are any others that you feel you are eligible to be a part of. Meanwhile, if you continue to have difficulty finding a specific suit you can advertise that you are looking for one. You can do this both online and in a local newspaper. You are also encouraged to speak to your friends and associates about it. Chances are likely that your friends may have the same interests and similar lifestyles and may already be part of the class action suit you’re looking for or may wish to join with you. Joining an existing suit is easier than it might seem, though it is definitely recommended that you do as much research as you can and that you become comfortable the way these lawsuits work.

How Do I Register for a Class Action Lawsuit for Contaminated Water in USMC?

Class action lawsuits can be some of the most fascinating legal actions in contemporary times. Because the nature of these suits affect a large number of people by definition, they also tend to attract an awful lot of media attention. They speak to the underdog in all of us, and they can also appeal to our universal need to come across unpredicted sums of money. Usually they involve being exposed to something unhealthy, against our will, so anyone could potentially be a victim if they were unfortunate enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. This is certainly what’s happening with Camp Lejeune, and here we’ll discuss your options if you feel you might have been affected.

The case is revolving around water contamination. The Marine base at Camp Lejeune was connected to water sources that are now known to have been contaminated, with a level of toxic solvents that made it unsuitable for human consumption. This happened between the years 1957 and 1987, so it was something that was a considerable health risk for 30 years, and the toxins have been linked to birth defects and cancers. To make matters worse, it seems as though there is evidence that it was known to be toxic in the early 60s, and so much of the damage could possibly have been prevented.

Some say that this is the worst case of contamination in history, and there were thousands and thousands of military people, their families, and residents who were exposed, and the numbers could come close to one million. This class action suit is a very hot topic, then, and there are many ways to investigate to see if you might be eligible to register in the class action. The main offices in charge of the suit are North Carolina’s Anderson Pangia and Associates, and Pennsylvania’s Smorto, Persio, Webb and McGill. Contacting them could be a good first step, or you could also contact any experienced attorney that you trust, and they can help put you in touch with the right people.

Please note:  This is an informational site.  We do not sign people up for lawsuits.

How Can I Find Class Action Investigations?

If you think you might be a part of a class action lawsuit, but no one’s contacted you, how do you join such a lawsuit? How do you even find out if anyone’s conducting a class action investigation?

Class action suits are about the rights and claims of a large number of people that is ruled upon in a single case. While there are specific plaintiffs, these plaintiffs represent an entire group of people who have the same injury or the same complaint, so that everyone doesn’t have to file an independent lawsuit. Different types of class action lawsuits include, consumer class actions, securities class actions, product liability and personal injury class actions as well as employment class action. In a consumer class type of lawsuit, these are brought about when companies injure their customers through repeated, illegal practices (failure to follow consumer protection laws or making an illegal charge on a bill, for example). In a securities class action, the injury is to investors who have suffered because of misstated earnings or improper conduct. A product liability or personal injury class suit would deal with injuries caused by a mass accident by a defective product, while an employment class action lawsuit would attempt to remedy injuries done to the employees of a particular company. If you find your financial loss or injury following into one of these categories, you may already be a part of a class action lawsuit, but not be aware of it.

If you haven’t had any notice of being a part of the law suit, then you may wish to contact the attorney for the lawsuit and request that your name be added to the class action registry. Registration makes sure you’ll be mailed future notices, especially those concerning a notice of settlement and how to take part in any recovery. If you have information useful to attorneys in the suit, you should contact them and tell them.

The best way to find out information about these investigations and/or lawsuits already in progress is the Internet. Attorneys will often create web pages to provide information about the lawsuit and how to contact them. Type into a search engine the name of the product or company and the words class action. This should generate the proper webpage.

What Happens to Unclaimed Class Action Settlement Money

Every once in a while, you may find a notice in your mailbox about a business you’ve gone to, or an insurance company you’ve used, only to discover they’re involved in a class action lawsuit.  These law suits are an action that takes place when a plaintiff or defendant represents a group of people with the same interest.  For instance, class action law suits have been filed and decided against tobacco firms and the effects smoking has on their customers, and against the manufacturers of Agent Orange after Vietnam vets were exposed to this herbicide.  These cases were settled in 1997 and 1984, respectively.  More class action lawsuits are filed each day, and notices are sent to people who may be part of the representative group.  But what happens when people don’t respond to these notices?  What happens if a person doesn’t claim the class action settlement money?

Class action lawsuits are an increasing part of funds which go unclaimed.  Every year there will be companies in the hundreds that take part in class action suits.  You’ll find them falling into several categories, such as consumer protection, which deals with fraudulent marketing; public health, which concerns anything that endangers a person’s health, such as tobacco.  The class action lawsuit may deal with anything from a business’s unfair practice to fixing prices to problems created by pollution and discrimination.  While the money involved is great (five billion in settlements in 2006, for example), more than half of those people entitled to payment do not file for the claim.  Many people may overlook the notices in newspaper classified ads; they might have moved and never received the form to file.  Whatever the reason, if the money remains unclaimed, you may still have access to it.

For example, if you used a defective product years ago, or you’ve sold stock, a class member may still be able to receive cash or credit, even shares or distributions from hundreds of major companies, such as AT&T, Coca Cola, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, and so on.  However, you must file a claim to receive that share.  If the lawsuit was filed in Federal court, as many of them are, the money owed in a settlement won’t be listed in a State Unclaimed Property Division search and there’s a time limit fixed for when the settlement must be claimed or disappear.  If you suspect you have unclaimed monies owed you, you may have to pay a small fee with a company that specializes in searches for unclaimed assets to find out if you’re eligible.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

Class action lawsuits are civil suits that are brought about by one person or a couple of people who are acting on the behalf of a large group of people.  People who have suffered or been harmed and who sue the individuals or the company that is allegedly responsible for their pain and suffering or maltreatment.  These cases are heard in state courts as well as federal courts, and a recent act called the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 now makes it much easier to take a case from the state to the federal level.

These are cases when so many people have a case, a similar case that presenting each individual case in different law suits becomes a preposterous and time consuming notion.  These are cases that usually involve bodily harm or injury to many people, such as in many cases concerning pharmaceutical companies or dangerous chemicals.  Other examples include the firing or wrongful layoffs of a large number of people, or when a financial institute is found guilty of fraudulent behavior that has affecting the lives of many of their clients.

How a case becomes a class action suit is when the lead plaintiffs file a claim with the judicial system stating that many people have suffered some kind of harm due to the actions of a company.  They must show that these criteria are met: the people must have a legal claim, and there are many people who have suffered in the same kind of way.

For instance, if many people suffered the side effects of a drug in different ways, it may not be classified as a class action suit.  But if a drug caused many people the same side effect, they would have a case.  The lead plaintiff must represent all members of the group.  The lead plaintiff is also to not be in contact at all with the Class Members of the company in which they are suing.  Class actions cases ensure that the needs of many people who have been wronged are met quickly and efficiently.

How does a Class Action Lawsuit Work ?

One of the most well know class actions lawsuits in history is the case of Erin Brockovich and Pacific Gas and Electric.  She found out that many of the people of Hinkley, California were suffering from cancer due to chemicals that had been in the water supply.  The company was proven to have known that these chemicals were hazardous and not only did nothing to rectify the situation, but tried to cover it up.  Most of the people did not have the money to bring their own cases to court individually, and in fact none of them even knew why they were all getting sick.  Erin Brockovich became the lead plaintiff acting on behalf of all of the residents.  They simply needed the money to pay for their medical bills.

In this case as in many class actions cases, the attorneys are not paid unless a settlement is reached.  In cases where they do reach settlements they typically make thirty to fifty percent of the final amount that is awarded.  The award are divided, into compensatory damages and punitive damages.  The compensatory damages go to pay for the medical bills and the pain, and the compensatory damages are the fees that are the penalty, or the punishment that is given to the company that is involved.  In this way, many people have the opportunity to seek restitution for the pain and the suffering that they are exposed to.  And justice is served.

When members come together for a class action suit, they are usually required to sign contracts stating that in agreeing to be part of the suit, they will not then sue the company individually.  Some of these cases do go to trial, while other cases are settled outside the courtroom, when the cost and the publicity surrounding the trial would mean that the company may have to shut down.  These cases can always be appealed and may take years to be resolved, but it is a case of many people coming together to protect themselves and to make sure that justice is brought to those who did them harm.

How To Start a Class Action Suit in Missouri

A class action suit is a lawsuit that attempts to compensate for monetary loss and suffering of a client by a company. This often involves insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and even sometimes manufacturing companies. Although there is no limit to the number of people that can be part of the class action suit, its fairness and legitimacy is decided by a judge.
One of the first things that you can do to start your own class action suit in Missouri, or any other state, is do some research. Look up the laws for your area as well as any other similar cases. Most of this information can be found online. If you find several current suits for the same company that you are going after you don’t have to worry about making contact with all of them. Often the courts will combine all of these cases into one case. Also, make sure that you have kept good documentation of events and purchases as this could make or break your case. Once you feel like you have a good case and a solid understanding of the laws it is time to contact a lawyer for real legal advice. Take care in selecting a lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in class action suits can help walk you through the process; however, some require payment up front while others receive payment after the case is done.
The important thing to remember is that court cases, especially class action suits, take time. Compensation could take months or it could take years, so be patient. It can sometimes take time to build up a strong case and make a decision that could end up costing a company millions of dollars. With a good lawyer and a strong case, you will receive your compensation in the end.

How to File Class Action

To file a class-action lawsuit, first make sure you know what a class-action lawsuit is: it’s a lawsuit that allows many people who have the same claim go to court and have their issue to be heard and be decided in one single legal proceeding.

Finding everyone who qualify to participate in the class-action lawsuit in not necessary before you file, but you can not simply file a class-action lawsuit and instantly have it settled out of court or actually go to court. The court first needs to approve the ‘class’ definition during the litigation or at the time of settlement. So, when considering whether to file a class-action lawsuit, you must first see if the ‘class’ can be easily defined; find out if the number of ‘class’ members sufficiently numerous; does a common factual and legal issue exist?; is the factual and legal issue for the ‘class’ predominate over an individual issue?; is your claim typical of the other ‘class’ members?; and can you adequately represent the ‘class’?

Not all class-action suits are an appropriate ‘class’ action case. The court will weigh many things to determine whether to approve your claim as a ‘class-action’ as opposed to requiring you to file only an individual suit. Basically, the best move for you to make before filing a class-action lawsuit is to consult with an attorney who specializes in class-action lawsuits. They will easily tell you if your claim has merit and will let you know if the case will lead to a monetary settlement. No lawyer will take on your class-action lawsuit if they see no merit or any monetary gain. The reason for attorneys for not taking on your case is that most firms do not have the resources to invest in a class-action lawsuit, but then again, some law firms do have the resources, but do not want to use them because all class-action lawsuit are done on a contingency basis, no fees are paid upfront, so even if you have a good class-action case, this does not mean it will ever be heard by a court or even have a chance to settle out of court.

How to File a Class Action Law Suite

Class action lawsuits are the perfect solution for consumers who are suffering from faulty products and incur losses and or damages as a result of the poor quality product or service. At this point you may be wondering why the consumer doesn’t access a standard injury lawyer and file a regular suit, which is a great question and has a relatively simple answer. The class action lawsuit is for the consumer whose loss or damage does not amount to a high enough dollar amount to be considered viable in a standard legal suit.

So, who is appropriate for the class action suit? Situations are appropriate for this type of suit not based on the large dollar amount of loss or injury but on the fact that there are numerous, meaning hundreds and thousands, of other individuals who have suffered the same injury or loss. This is great news for many consumers and taking advantage of this opportunity is more common than what you might imagine. It is also somewhat easier than what many people suppose, though it is important to keep in mind that it is still a lawsuit and any interaction with the legal and or court system can be complicated and a lawyer is generally recommended to assist with these.

However, once you are certain that there are enough people that suffer from the same poor quality service or product and are ready to file a class action suit there are some general steps that are common to all of them. First you will find an attorney that specializes in these suits and sign the standard agreement with them. The next step is to serve a summons to the intended defendant. This is the company or person that the suit is against. The next step is to notify all of the other plaintiffs. This can be done by direct contact, though it is often achieved through publication of a notice in a major newspaper. The court as well as each of the opposing parties is then provided with a copy of the complaint.

Who & How: Can I Start a Class Action Lawsuit Against Someone?

It is certainly true that we live in a rather litigious society, where it seems as though everyone is suing everyone for one thing or another. Some of the suits seem somewhat reasonable, and some of them just seem downright petty, but for bringing justice to the people, class action lawsuits seem to be a particularly weighty means for the underdogs to get what they deserve. So many people wonder, then, how a class action lawsuit works. In this article, we’ll look at the ways you might be able to start a class action lawsuit.

First, you’ll need to determine if your case is really worthy of class action. In order to qualify, there has to be a large number of people who have been adversely affected by an action or policy on behalf of a larger entity, such as a corporation or a business. The best example of this, in ongoing lawsuits in many parts of the world, has to do with cancers caused by asbestos insulation in buildings and ships. Here, the damage is pretty obvious, and there is plenty of medical evidence to corroborate the charges that asbestos does cause substantial bodily harm. If your concern is something where large groups have been affected, you might have a case.

Second, you’ll also need to determine if the damages can be traced to a single source, a single entity. If there are other contributing factors to the injuries, then this may make the case too cloudy, and will hinder your ability to find reasonably effective legal counsel. If this condition is met, however, then you’re ready to begin with the how. Next, you’ll want to find a lawyer or a firm that has a history of taking on cases like yours. This is perhaps the single-most important thing you can do, since the lawsuit will ultimately win or lose depending on the quality of your lawyer. Choose carefully, do the research, and talk to lawyers before deciding to dive in. At that point, your legal counsel will take care of all the other details in your class action suit.

How to Start a Class Action Lawsuit

A class action sounds rather complicated, and like any legal matter, it certainly is, for those who have to do the detail work. If you’re not a lawyer, however, it’s really not all that complex. There are very exact steps to take, but most of these will be handled by the attorney. This will give you a good idea of how to get the ball rolling, but first, before we look at the how, let’s look at the why. A class action is something that’s filed when there has been some kind of misconduct on the part of a larger entity, such as a business or corporation, that has adversely affected a large number of people. When it’s a large enough group, it makes sense for everyone involved to handle it as a large group rather than hearing all the individual stories. This makes for a class action.

To begin, then, there are a few criteria that need to be met for a class action lawsuit to be considered viable. These questions are important for you to ask yourself before interviewing attorneys to take your case. They will make the bulk of their money on the case if it wins, so they have as much interest as you in winning, and every reason to turn it down if it’s not thought out. Keep in mind that the lawyers usually get about 25% of the award on these, and sometimes more. This can leave very little left for the individuals. The criteria then include: a large enough group of people affected, commonality among all of them in terms of damage, the damage has to have come from the same event, and then there’s also concern for viability of the defendant along with viability of the legal representation.

They will necessarily want to make sure the damages are as uniform as possible, so that the need for class action is clear. If there are lots of individual variables and concerns, it is not a good candidate. A good example of a good candidate, then, would be a video store overcharging for late fees. This case would be easy to resolve if it were found in favor of the people, and the damages and rewards would be uniform. Once these criteria are met, then, you would be ready to take it to the lawyers that you feel would best represent you, and begin getting ready to go to court.

How to Join Class Action Lawsuits

Class action lawsuits are not uncommon in this day and age. It can be extremely helpful to know how to join them, not only because there is always a possibility that you might be directly or indirectly affected by a faulty product, but also because it’s important to be in touch with the currents that are going on around you. There are many reasons for a class action lawsuit, too. Some of these begin as an almost sideways attempt to take advantage of someone or something. There are those who feel that it’s their right to try to get something out of the system, because they feel as though they have been taken advantage of themselves.

It’s really important to examine the reasons for the lawsuit before getting too deeply involved. If it seems as though the claim is legitimate, however, then there’s no reason not to proceed. Of course, if you’re already obviously directly effected, due to a minor personal injury or inconvenience, then you can certainly proceed with a clear conscience. But it is very important to be cautious, because there are certainly many unscrupulous people in the world, hoping to make something for nothing. In the past, there were people who would be willing to injure themselves in order to collect insurance payments, and there’s really not much difference between that and a questionable lawsuit. In many instances, you may want to look into the lawyers involved, and determine if their reputation is something you can be comfortable standing behind.

In a class action lawsuit, then, there is always a law firm that is making the claim. The very first step is to make contact with the lawyers, and talk to them about your situation. In many cases, they will already have contacted all the victims of the case, and if you fell into that category, you would have already been notified. If this is not in operation here, and there are many unknown victims, then it is very likely that they will be happy to hear from you. The more they have on their side, the stronger the case. All of this assumes that you know who is responsible for the damages or harm you’ve suffered, and you’re already aware of the pending case. There are other options for joining a suit. A simple search on the web for pending class action suits will bring up several resources for lists that you can look through to determine if your particular damages are common to others as well.

How Many People For a Class Action Suit

Class Actions Law Suits are an interesting aspect of the legal process that are structured and intended to protect and empower consumers whose damages or losses may not be great enough to warrant the attention of standard process claims. Injury lawyers are typically looking for large money suits, which is understandable considering the time effort and cost in filing one. This is why minor or small financially based loses or damages might get ignored and fall through the cracks in legal protection and justice without a mechanism such as class action suits in place and available for consumers to file regardless of the amount of their personal damages or loss.

However, an interesting aspect of the class action suit is that more parties are needed for it to be effective. This is also how they become possible. They are an appropriate resource when there are numerous people who have become affected by the same negligent company and suffer a similar damage or loss as the individual who files the claim. This brings up the important question of how many people it would take to actually file a class action suit. The number is not actually fixed regarding total number of people overall though it may be applied to specific filings and as it is with most legal issues a lawyer is needed to assist with the process.

The lawyer is also there to answer these important questions along the way and guide the suit filer through a less stressful legal process. In considering numbers of people required for class action suits its easier to think in terms of dollars and consider the larger financial aspect of these types of suits which is broken down and then based on the individuals involved. Another aspect of these suits to remember is that a single person can and usually does bring the law suit against a particular company though they are doing so on behalf of all the other individuals that have been injured or suffered a loss in the process. And all of these individuals will need to be contacted in the process.

How to Initiate a Class Action Suit

Requirements to initiate a Class Action Suit are having an adequate number of plaintiffs who have common damages and legal issues. Each class member’s claim must come from the same occurrence, and must have the same legal argument. The representative for the plaintiff should adequately protect and represent the interest of the class members. If the defendant doesn’t have the means to compensate the class members for the alleged damages and all the legal costs, then it might be very difficult to get a law firm to represent the class action lawsuit.

So, it’s important to research the scope of the problem. The web is a great resource to gather information. Visit online support groups or chat rooms in order to find information that will relate directly to the lawsuit. Consider placing an ad in the newspaper for finding class members, but only after the class action has been certified by a court. Information may be also found at government agencies or with congressional representatives.

Finding the right attorney to represent the class members is most important, they should specialize in class action lawsuits and also specializes in the type of lawsuit that’s being pursued. For example, suing current employer or even a former employer for discrimination, pick a lawyer who specializes in labor laws and class action lawsuits. Don’t pay a lawyer upfront, most class action lawyers work on a contingency basis, but be prepared that 30 percent will be taken from the settlement funds to pay the lawyers fees.

Once the above has been established, then a motion of class certification needs to be filed. To qualify, there must be proof of a sufficient amount of plaintiffs whom were also subject to the same misconduct. Each class members must have the same allegations. The lawyer picked to represent the case must prove that he or she will handle the common questions predominate in the suit rather than the individual issues. Once this is established, then the lawyer is responsible to send notices to all potential members of the class suit and publish notices nationwide, like in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Then it’s time to get ready for court.

Class Action Lawsuits Won Against Continental Can Company

The Continental Can Company is one of the many large companies throughout history to be brought to trial in a class action law suit. They are one of the many companies that have been accused of taking advantage of people for monetary gain. The history of this suit began in 1970. While the company was doing well, and while profits and revenue continued to climb, the company was looking to cut costs in order to give their investors higher returns.

Looking to ensure the company’s growth and looking for ways to cut their bottom line, they turned to what has been called immoral and unethical acts. Members of the Steelworkers Union from Los Angeles to St. Louis came together in a class action lawsuit stated that the Continental Can Company took those cuts in their budget by taking the pensions of workers who had given their entire lives to the company.

Due to the protection of the Union, the administrators found it necessary to find a creative way to cut their costs by the cutting of pensions. The pension plan was intended to encourage this life long service, as once a worker had reached retirement age, they would be eligible to receive the pension payments for the rest of their lives. Those who left the company early would forfeit that pension. The name for a computer program that tracked the length of the worker’s employment was devised and titled “BELL” This was a backwards acronym for “Let’s Limit Employee Benefits”. The computer program kept track of those employees who were approaching their retirement, and when that would happen, those employees would be laid off or fired.

This was taking place for ten years before anyone realized what was going on. It was not until the 1980’s that evidence that this was taking place was revealed. There have been many cases since then, of companies taking advantage of or defrauding their own employees for a higher monetary gain. Continental Can Company was found guilty, and they were required to pay each and every employee who was wrongfully terminated over the years. This was one case where justice was served.

How to File a Class Action Lawsuit

Almost everyone has heard of class action lawsuits and many have wondered what exactly they entail though they never actually look into it. They always seem to be something you hear about after they have been settled and there always seems to be large numbers of people involved. But that’s as far was what most people go in understanding exactly what they are and how they function in today’s society and legal system. Another way many people tend to find out about them is to realize that they are in the population of people that are intended to be satisfied by initiating suit. Almost everyone has at some point wondered what they are and how and why to file them.

The lawsuits are structured to serve an individual party who seeks relief from a particular business for themselves as well as members of a larger population of affected individuals. This is frequently the type of suit filed when a particular party’s damages may be small or represent an insufficient dollar amount, though when it is considered within the context of the larger population who has suffered the same small amount or damages it becomes a great deal larger. They are filed when the damages or money amount is simply too small for an individual suit but when it is added to the multiple, sometimes hundreds, of others affected by the business it becomes a major financial lawsuit.

There are a few basic initial steps in filing a class action lawsuit that should be understood by the party who is seeking to pursue it. First, you should research the types of damages and losses that are considered appropriate for these cases and then contact an attorney who specializes in them. After signing a representative agreement with an attorney you may need to pay a retainer fee to them. You will likely need to pay a filing fee when you actually file the suit. You will then serve the defendant in the case and you must publish the names of all members of the particular suit, or mail the information to them. This is an effective manner of suing businesses that have faulted on product liability and other situations where an individual lawsuit may seem unsubstantial. You will need the services of a skilled lawyer and they will be able to answer many of your questions for you and provide some of the necessary services.

A class action suit can only be filed by a professional, so the first step will be to contact a lawyer, and explain your case. If there’s something to it, and you’ve thought it through well enough, you might have something on your hands.

How Many People Constitute a Class Action Lawsuit?

You only need a single ‘class representative’ in order to file a lawsuit on behalf of a putative class. But, you can not do this without a lawyer, because you can not legally serve as the ‘attorney-of-record’ for the absent class members and you wouldn’t be an adequate attorney to represent the class members. Nonetheless, there really is no bright line test to how many people must be in the class, but the general rule is the fewer the members of the putative class, it is more unlikely that it will be certified as a ‘class action lawsuit’. It’s been shown that it’s extremely difficult to win a ‘class action lawsuit’ with less than 30 class members.

To clarify, you only need one person to start a ‘class action lawsuit’, but for the court to certify it as a ‘class action lawsuit’, which is the court saying that your case actually can proceed as a ‘class action’, you have to have what the law calls ‘numerosity’. This means you have to have enough people who have been affected by the legally wrong act to make it more convenient for the court to treat it as an ‘all-in-one’ case instead of having each person file their own lawsuit.

Often, the quantity depends on the court, the state, the case and the circumstances. In a few states, there are cases that have given a general guideline, like in Ohio, a ‘class action lawsuit’ has to be at least 40 people, but in most of the other states, there is no specific number; it just depends on the circumstances of the case. Class action cases can be extremely difficult for the attorney to handle, and they can take an enormous amount of time to get through the courts to get settled. A majority of ‘class action lawsuits’ get settled without ever having gone to trial.

 

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