Class Action Lawsuits
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Class Action Lawsuits
At any given time there are thousands of class action lawsuits. These are also referred to as a class suit or representative action. This is a type of lawsuit where one of the parties is a group of people represented collectively by a member of that group. At a high level, typically the “class” refers to a group of people that have similar damages are being represented by appointed counsel representing the class members in a single proceeding. This is done as opposed to each person bringing his or her own lawsuit.
The purpose of class action lawsuits is to hold companies accountable and protect consumers from defects, deception, and misleading information. The lawsuits vary in scope such as a by municipality, state, business, brand (within a business) and many more. They also vary in terms of potential claim value ranging from a few pennies, few dollars and others are much more.
When a class action lawsuit settles, people who could collect part of the settlement may receive a letter in the mail or an e-mail that contains instructions on how to claim their money or refunds. In some cases there is not a way to notify everyone that could claim part of a final settlement. Efforts may be made to reach people electronically, phone, or publications but it’s not likely that everyone in the potential population of claimants can be reached. But in some cases you don’t need to do anything at all and you’ll possibly get a part of the settlement. And if you are not reached, you may miss out on a settlement and if you don’t opt out you may lose out on a higher value of recovery.
Do your own DD (Due Diligence)
There are pros/cons to class action lawsuits. Conduct your own due diligence on this topic and each case. Fortunately there are a number sources on the web to follow the open and settled cases. These cases are constantly evolving with cases closing, deadlines passing, and new ones arising. Each has time sensitive deadlines for people to act so check in periodically.
The unfortunate reality is a lot of money is left unclaimed. And why? Usually it’s because people are unaware of the case or the value is likely to be too little to make it worthwhile. But filing a claim is usually a very simple process and there are several resources on the internet to help, phone numbers to call, and email addresses to get assistance. Of course, be mindful of companies and scammers offering you help to get a share of your pie….some are legit and some are shady. Conduct your own due diligence and consult with someone you trust if you have doubts.
Of course the defendant that lost the case isn’t likely to contact you or publish this opportunity on social media or their website. It’s best for you to take control and seek them out. Keep tabs on the open and settled cases on a regular basis. You’d be surprised how many and the variety of cases that are out there. They all have deadlines and options for potential claimants.
How are claim sizes determined?
Some of the criteria impacting the amount of the claim a person could be entitled are:
- Value of the overall settlement
- Number of people filing claims or involved in the claim
- Whether proof of purchase was included. Some claims do not require proof but others will. In some cases both options are accepted but evidence may results in a higher value of potential settlement.
How is the money distributed?
The answer varies but some of the money within the settlement may go toward:
- The original plaintiff(s) may get more than the typical claimant
- 3rd party administrator(s)
- Legal teams
- Some of the left over money could go back to the company that was sued
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