When a person — whether it’s a consumer, employee, or investor — experiences a problem that results in physical or financial harm, they may be able to sue the person or entity responsible for their injuries or losses.
But what happens when the harm you’ve suffered seems insufficient to merit legal action? In other words, the potential compensation you could receive from the responsible party does not offset the expected cost of filing a lawsuit. Do you just give up? The way many injured people see it, they’re better off quietly enduring the injustice.
Fortunately, if the harm you’ve suffered is something many others have experienced, you’re not without legal recourse. In these situations, a class action might be an option. A class action is one of the most powerful tools to provide legal relief to a large number of individuals who were wronged by a person or company and incurred relatively small monetary losses.
Nix Patterson has over 40 years of experience litigating and winning class actions. Our fearless class action attorneys understand the intricacies of state and federal class action laws and are standing by to discuss your options with you. We help investors and other groups of individuals who have been deprived of justice or suffered unlawful violations and breaches in various industries.
What Is a Class Action?
A class action is defined as a civil lawsuit brought by one person or a small group of people on behalf of a larger group of people or business entities, known as a “class,” who have suffered the same or similar harm due to the defendant’s conduct.
In a class action, separate individual class member claims are aggregated into a single action against the defendant. While individual class members are not responsible for filing the lawsuit, they receive a share of the proceeds if damages are awarded through a settlement or a judgment. So, a group of people or businesses that each suffered an injury that was too small to warrant legal action can combine their claims to get a fair and sufficient recovery.
What Is Required When Filing a Class Action Lawsuit?
If you believe that you and a large group of people have been hurt in a similar way, you may have questions regarding starting a class action lawsuit, such as: What is a class action lawsuit? Who can start a class action? Where can you file a class action? How do you file a class action lawsuit?
Even one individual can bring a class action lawsuit on behalf of the rest of the class in a state or federal court. State rules differ. For instance, any person or entity bringing a class action in Texas must abide by Rule 42 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. If you want to bring a class action in Oklahoma, you must abide by Oklahoma Statutes of Civil Procedure §12-2023.
If you wish to file a class action in federal court, you must abide by the requirements set forth in Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 23, there are certain implied and express requirements that a class must satisfy for an action to proceed as a class action lawsuit.
There must be a significant number of individuals who have all allegedly suffered harm because of the same legal wrongdoing and have a shared right to pursue a claim together. There is no fixed criterion for dictating the size of a proposed class. Class sizes may vary and often depend on the nature of the claim.
This means there must be substantially similar legal issues and facts presented by each class member’s claims.
The named plaintiff(s) — those prosecuting the claim on behalf of the class — must be good representatives of the entire class. In other words, their individual claims must be fairly typical of all claims.
Adequacy of Representation
The court must be satisfied that the named class members don’t have any conflicts of interest with other potential class members and that their legal counsel has the appropriate experience to pursue the lawsuit on behalf of the entire class competently. As skilled and innovative national class action attorneys well-known to federal judges in Texas and throughout the country, our team at Nix Patterson is always certified as qualified class counsel.
What Are Some Common Types of Class Actions
Class action lawsuits come in a variety of contexts and can be filed against:
- Banks, debt collection agencies, and mortgage companies, e.g., because of predatory lending practices
- Insurance companies, e.g., because of insurance disputes caused by unfair or misleading contract provisions
- Car manufacturers
- Food and pharmaceutical companies
- Publicly traded corporations
- Oil and gas companies
Regardless of the corporation you want to sue, it helps to understand the different categories of class actions. These include:
Consumer Class Actions
Consumers injured by defective products, false advertising, consumer fraud, antitrust violations, and other illegal or fraudulent business practices can bring a class action against the responsible business entities.
Securities Class Actions
Investors hurt by the defendant company’s or the board’s improper conduct, such as securities fraud, can come together to sue.
Personal Injury and Product Liability Class Actions
When a large number of individuals are physically injured by a defective product, such as when pharmaceutical fraud results in the manufacture and distribution of a dangerous medical device that injures many patients, they can pursue a class action.
Breach of Contract Class Actions
If a large corporation makes promises in writing to a large number of individuals and fails to fulfill these promises, the people injured can file a class action for breach of contract.
Contact an Experienced Class Action Law Firm Today
Pursuing and administering a class action lawsuit is a complicated and overwhelming process that requires substantial resources, skills, and experience.
The tenacious business and commercial litigation attorneys at Nix Patterson understand the wide range of class action litigation issues and laws. We have the size, knowledge, and unshakable dedication you need to fight big corporations with deep pockets.
If you have suffered physical injuries or financial harm and believe you’re not the only one, our class actions may be able to assist. We handle class actions on a no-win, no-fee basis. If we don’t succeed, you owe us nothing. Call 512-328-5333 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.