What are class-action lawsuits? Also referred to as “mass tort litigation,” this legal action may help people who have been subject to damages get the justice they deserve. Lawsuits are known to cost a lot of money. Are class-action lawsuits any different? Is it to someone’s benefit to be involved in a class action lawsuit? How do these lawsuits begin? There are a lot of questions about class-action lawsuits, and this article will address them!
How Do Class-Action Lawsuits Work?
A class-action lawsuit consists of three parties:
- Legal representation: a person who is licensed to represent other people in a case (A.K.A. an attorney).
- Plaintiffs: A plaintiff is a person suing the opposing party. In a class-action lawsuit, a chosen lead plaintiff will file the lawsuit, representing everyone who wishes to open a case.
- The defendant: the person or party being sued based on accusations.
There are many advantages to a class-action lawsuit. One of which is that the party that is suing may occasionally be able to receive legal assistance without having to make any payments. What stops people from seeking the legal action they deserve is the fear that they won’t be able to afford it. Additionally, a class-action lawsuit enables a number of claims made by many people to be merged into one. This motivates people to have the courage to deal with powerful corporations or businesses because they have all been affected by the same source.
The Reasons Behind Class-Action Lawsuits
The purpose of class action lawsuits is to offer relief to many people. Essentially, the plaintiff will file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group of people who have also been harmed. Then the defendants and plaintiffs will have their attorneys handle their case and present evidence to the court, in which both sides hope to get a ruling in their favor. People seeking a class-action lawsuit must have a solid rationale for filing. This could be because of incorrect or deceptive advertising, a violation of a contract, incidents of discrimination at work, faulty medication, and more.
Things People Should Keep in Mind About Class-Action Lawsuits
Class-action lawsuits can assist many people at the same time in claiming their rights for any damage or injury caused by businesses or corporations. In most cases, the parties that are suing are looking for monetary gain. However, because a defendant may end up declaring bankruptcy, the parties suing should always act quickly. The early group of plaintiffs will be the ones to claim their payments while they still can if the defendant were to go bankrupt. Usually, the parties who are suing won’t be required to make any payments until they win because the majority of these class-action lawsuits are pursued on a contingency fee basis.
Many people wonder if class-action lawsuits are even beneficial. Nobody wants to waste time, money, and effort suing a business only to wind up with a settlement that isn’t worth it. So the question now is, do people really make good money from these lawsuits? Essentially, in a class-action lawsuit, those who were most negatively affected may receive a larger settlement amount. It all comes down to the judge’s ruling, which will determine the compensation and who claims payment.
A Few Well-Known Class-Action Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits are not the same as typical lawsuits. To be able to understand how these lawsuits work and if they are able to help, we need to look at some examples of class-action lawsuits. The following cases may offer more explanation:
- Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
- The Medication Zantac for Heartburn
- Baby Powder by Johnson and Johnson
- Catholic Church Abuse
Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was created by the government for people who drank the water at the military base at Camp Lejeune. The backstory is that the drinking water at this military facility contained toxic compounds that might have led to cancer and other severe health issues. As a result, these individuals sought compensation through a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
The Medication Zantac for Heartburn
Numerous cancers have been linked to NDMA. Ranitidine, which was found in Zantac, included NDMA. The problem is that the medicine label didn’t disclose a warning about cancer risk to customers. This is why manufacturers have discontinued ranitidine and Zantac.
Baby Powder by Johnson and Johnson
It’s very important that a company warn its consumers about any harmful elements or ingredients in its products. This basically sums up the Johnson & Johnson baby powder case and why they were sued. Some baby powders include an ingredient called talcum. Apparently, talcum is linked to a 33% higher risk of ovarian cancer in women, according to Drug Watch. It has been established that some talcum powders contain asbestos, a known carcinogen that, when inhaled, can result in certain health problems. Johnson & Johnson powder labels didn’t provide necessary warnings regarding potential side effects. This is misleading for consumers, which is why a class-action lawsuit was filed against Johnson & Johnson.
Abuse in the Catholic Church
In the United States, the Catholic Church has paid out more than $3 billion in awards and settlements, according to the NGO Bishop Accountability. However, it has not been officially confirmed how much money the church paid. This all came after victim claims and lawsuits alleging clerical abuse had been filed worldwide against the church.
To Sum Up
When several people have been affected by the same reason, class-action lawsuits allow all of the victims to seek justice together. People may occasionally be able to receive legal assistance without having to make any payments through these lawsuits until they win. In a class-action lawsuit, there are three parties: the plaintiffs, their legal representatives, and, of course, the defendant. Basically, the defendant will most likely be a business or a company. The plaintiffs and the defendant will both have attorneys representing them. If the defendant loses, they must pay damages, which are usually substantial. The good news is that class action lawsuits will ensure either party gets the justice they deserve!