After being physically or financially injured, you may realize that you are not alone. When a business is responsible for your injuries, other people may be suffering from similar situations. That business’s defective products or deceptive financial practices could reach hundreds or thousands of individuals in California or throughout the country. In this situation, you should speak with a San Francisco class action lawyer from Willoughby Brod, LLP. If you are suffering a similar physical or financial injury as many others, which is the result of a business’s wrongdoing, then you may be able to file or join a class action lawsuit.The Basics of Class Action Lawsuits
During a class action lawsuit, one person (or a small group of people) represents a large group of individuals who have been similarly hurt by a business’s actions in court. The “class representative,” also known as the class plaintiff, is one person or a small group who file the lawsuit on behalf of “the class,” which encompasses each individual hurt by the defendant’s actions. The class may be a dozen people, or it could hundreds, thousands, or millions. It all depends on how far the business’s misconduct reached.
A class action lawsuit is used to ensure that everyone injured by a product or business practice is able to obtain justice and receive damages. It is most appropriate when each individual’s damages are too small to warrant filing individual suits. For example, a deceptive billing practice may cost many individuals a few hundred dollars each. It would be too expensive for each individual to file a lawsuit. However, by coming together as a group with one person as the representative plaintiff, then court costs can be minimized and shared.
To learn more about class action lawsuits and when they are or are not appropriate, contact a class action lawyer in San Francisco. An attorney from Willoughby Brod, LLP is ready to answer your questions.Common Class Action Lawsuits
Many scenarios can lead to class action lawsuits, but some of the most common include:
Consumer Products/Defective Products: Defective and dangerous products can cause you and your loved ones significant harm. If you or your child were injured by any type of defective product, call a lawyer as soon as you can. If the product had a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect, then you are probably not the only injured individual. Defective products often include vehicles, auto parts, medications, medical devices, children’s toys, household chemicals, household appliances, and tools.
Banking: If you have been the victim of predatory lending practices, discriminatory practices, or unlawful debt collection practices by a bank, credit union, or other financial institutions, contact an attorney immediately.
Employment Practices: When a business does something illegal, it may affect all or many of the employers. Business are often held responsible for misclassifying employees as contractors, wage, hour, and overtime violations, sexual harassment, discrimination, and other unlawful employment practices.
Consumer Fraud: Companies that use unfair and deceptive business practices that financial injury consumers may be held responsible for consumer fraud.
To discuss whether your type of injury is appropriate for a class action claim, call a San Francisco class action attorney from Willoughby Brod, LLP.Class Actions are not the Same as Mass Torts
You may have also heard of mass tort claims. These are similar to class actions, yet also very different. In a mass tort case, many people have been injured due to a business’s actions. However, instead of filing one lawsuit with the class representative at the helm, every injured individual must file their own lawsuit. During mass tort claims, dozens or hundreds of similar lawsuits may be going on. To make the court process more efficient, these lawsuits may all be transferred to one jurisdiction or a couple of jurisdictions around the country. Another way mass torts are more efficient than simple individual suits is that certain firms will representative multiple plaintiffs, enabling the pooling of resources.Call Willoughby Brod, LLP for Help
If you have been injured because of a business’s negligence, failure to act, or other type of misconduct and you believe others may be hurt too, call a class action attorney for San Francisco at Willoughby Brod, LLP. You may have the beginning of a class action case. If so, we can explain the process of filing a class action case, including seeking class certification and class notification. If you do not have a class action claim, we can discuss your individual right to file a lawsuit.