Under the legal system exists an act of law that effectively outlines the procedures, standards and requirements for individuals looking to develop class-action litigation. The 2005 Class Action Fairness Act does precisely this; assuring fair and adequate recovery of claims, which are legitimate. Often comprised of injured indiviudals, consumers or small businesses are the groups of people in a class action. One or more of the affected then represents the harmed group in court, and if those representatives meet specific criteria, they are granted permission to prove and settle not only their own claims, but also the claims of each individual of the larger affected group as well. Antitrust Claims Antitrust actions are typically brought when consumers suffer financial losses because products and services are illegally overpriced.
This overpricing can occur due to companies fixing prices at artificial levels to secure higher profits and/or to force out competition, forming agreements that allocate markets or customers among competitors to eliminate or reduce competition and through bid rigging. Consumer Actions Consumer class actions are generally brought when consumers are injured by a company's systematic and illegal practices. Examples include illegal charges on bills, illegal penalties for late-payments, and failure to comply with consumer protection laws. Consumer Product Claims Legal actions are often brought about because of defective products that cause harm or injury to large numbers of individuals due to faulty labeling, design defects or defective manufacturing. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer, designer, distributor, or retailer to ensure that the product does not cause harm and they can be held liable.
Breach of Warranty Warranties on personal items, appliances, automotives and many other consumer products exist to protect consumers regardless of whether the product specifically states the coverage. When this assurance is false or the quality is misstated class action lawsuits are often brought against the liable party. Employment Claims Employment class action lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of employees of a large company for claims ranging from systematic workplace discrimination, illegal hiring and promotion practices, wrongful termination policies and practices, unpaid unemployment benefits and unpaid overtime. Employee Benefits These class actions by employees of a single employer generally address violations of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and involve discriminatory practices or violations in employers plan design. Additionally, some health plan benefit payments may be considered illegal because of discrimination laws. Insurance Claims Insurance companies that misrepresent policies, do not pay valid claims, deny coverage to classes of individuals, fail to make prompt investigations or payments are all vulnerable to class action lawsuits.
Medical Devices Medical devices that malfunction cause serious injury or death and the manufacturers of these devices are liable to the group of people and their families who suffer because of the defect of the device. Product Liability/Personal Injury Product liability and personal injury class action lawsuits are generally brought when a defective product, unreasonably dangerous product, unsafe environments or negligent practices kill or seriously harm and injure people. Pharmaceutical Litigation Pharmaceutical liability claims of prescription and over-the-counter medications are brought when drugs that are intended to help people causes side effects, injuries, serious harm or sometimes death in a large group of people.
This can occur because clinical trials were not large enough to determine increased risks, when drugs are prescribed to the wrong patients or when drugs are regularly co-prescribed with other drugs and cause adverse reactions. Securities Class Actions Securities class actions are typically brought on behalf of a group of investors who have been injured as a result of a company's improper conduct, such as misstating earnings, concealing or misrepresenting risks, or otherwise engaging in activity detrimental to the company. Other securities actions are brought as direct result of a financial advisor or broker's, or group of advisors, repeated misrepresentation, negligence, dishonesty or fraud. Additionally, a variety of other industry class action lawsuits exist depending on the type of injury a group has suffered from because of another. A law firm that handles these types of cases can provide the guidance necessary to proceed with a class action lawsuit.
The class action settlement usually pays for most fees.
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