CONSUMER CLASS ACTION LITIGATION
What is Consumer Class Action?
When many people have common claims against one or more defendants, one or more plaintiffs may also file a lawsuit, known as a class action, on behalf of all similarly situated individuals. Class actions allow courts to manage a large number of claims more efficiently, and they enable plaintiffs who might not have been able to pursue a claim individually to assert their rights in court. Individuals who have claims under a consumer protection statute, for example, may not find it economically feasible to file a lawsuit on their own, but they could participate in a class action.
CLASS ACTION CLAIMS
Courts have certified class actions in a wide variety of civil lawsuits, and they are common in consumer disputes, such as broker or securities fraud, false advertising claims, debt collection practices, and other violations of state or federal consumer protection statutes.
Once the court has certified a lawsuit as a class action, it has the duty of notifying class members of the pending litigation. FRCP 23(c)(2) requires that notice of a (b)(3) class contain detailed information about the class, the lawsuit, and procedures for requesting exclusion, or “opting out” from the class. For other types of class actions, the notice must simply be “appropriate.”
Most class action rules require class members to opt out of a class, rather than creating a class composed of members who opt in. Class members who opt out may bring a claim on their own, but they must notify the class counsel within a specific time frame. If a class member does not opt out, he or she will be bound by the outcome of the class action.
If you believe you are a victim, or simply just have questions, please contact one of our experienced attorneys. Call the firm today at (561) 444-7980.