Class Action Lawsuits
How to File a Class Action Lawsuit with LeavenLaw: A Solutions-Oriented Law Firm
A class action, commonly referred to as a class suit, is a case in which one person represents many people, eventually coming together to bring a collective claim and / or case in which there is an entire class of people pursuing a wrongdoer in the lawsuit. The benefit of filing a class action lawsuit is that many people can work together to not only force a penalty for the wrongdoing of a defendant, but also to ensure that there is a clear message that such wrongful actions are not tolerated.
At LeavenLaw, our attorneys play a pivotal role in shaping the outcome of class action and mass tort lawsuits across the country. In a class action lawsuit, a large number of people who have suffered similar harm join together to sue another entity, usually a company or organization. These cases may involve consumer fraud or defective products.
The attorneys at LeavenLaw recognize that class actions are complex and often time consuming cases, but remain undeterred. Should you choose to work with our firm, you can be confident knowing that regardless of the complications of your case or the amount of damages involved that we will fight tirelessly on their behalf.
LeavenLaw lawyers have experience and a history in litigation class action and multi-district litigation cases. Notable cases and results include:
- DeHoyos v. Allstate Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 5:01-1010 (Western District of Texas), Class Counsel.
- Healey v. Allianz Life Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 2:05-8908 (Central District of California), Class Counsel.
- Hill v. Countrywide, Case No. A-0178441 (Texas 58th District Court, Jefferson County), Class Counsel.
- In re Collecto, Inc. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Litigation, Case No. 14-md-2513-RGS (District Court for the District of Massachusetts), MDL Action Co-Lead Counsel.
- In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, Misc. No. 08-ML-0511-PLF (District Court for the District of Columbia), Class Counsel.
- Algarin v. Tivoli Community Developers, Inc., Case No. 2008-CA-000193-O (Florida 9th Circuit Court, Orange County), Co-Lead Counsel.
- Lieber v. Bank of America, N.A., Case No. 2012-3622-CI-91S (Florida 6th Circuit Court, Pinellas County), Co-Lead Counsel.
- In Re: Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS "MMS" Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 2116 (Eastern District of Louisiana), Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.
- Paugh v. Walgreen Company, Case No. 1:12-cv-21229-JEM (Southern District of Florida), Co-Lead Counsel.
- Schmidt v. Regions Bank, Case No. 11-7608-CI-91S (Florida 6th Circuit Court, Pinellas County; aff’d on appeal to 2DCA) Co-Lead Class Counsel
- Narvaez v. Law Office of Antonio Duarte III, P.A., Case No. 8:14-cv-01646-VMC-MAP (Middle District of Florida), Lead Counsel.
- McCurdy v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Douglas C. Zahm, P.A., Case No.13-3556-C8 (Florida 6th Circuit Court, Pinellas County), settlement and approval pending; Co-Lead Counsel
If you would like to learn what more can be done to help you, please contact a knowledgeable Florida attorney from our firm by calling us at (855) 637-3302 as soon as possible. We serve clients nationwide in class claims.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a class action?
A class action is a type of lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single case. Specific plaintiffs are named in the lawsuit to assert the claims of the entire class so that everyone with the same claim or injury doesn’t have to file their own separate lawsuit. Also, because they allow people whose damages are too small to warrant an individual lawsuit to try their cases together, class actions can often be the only practical way to stop illegal practices and recover ill-gotten gains. Class action suits have allowed individual people to stand up against the most powerful industries in the world and to hold them accountable for their actions.
What types of cases can be brought as class actions?
As discussed above, a class action lawsuit typically involves a situation where a large group of people is injured by the same conduct or product. There are four primary types of class action lawsuits:
- Deceptive or Unfair Trade Practices Actions: Such lawsuits typically involve businesses engaging consumers through trade or commerce in a deceptive or unfair way, such as false advertising, bait-n-switch representations, and selling products or services to the consuming public that do not perform as advertised.
- Product Liability Actions: Product Liability and personal injury class action lawsuits are generally brought when a defective product, such as a drug with harmful side effects, or "mass accident", such as a toxic spill harms many people.
- Consumer Class 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, unlawful debt collection, and failure to comply with consumer protection laws.
- Employment Class Actions: Employment class action lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of employees of a company for violations of the labor and employment laws, such as unpaid overtime, failure to provide breaks, as well as claims ranging from safety violations to systematic workplace discrimination.
How does a case become a class action?
A class action is generally initiated by one or more people who feel that they, as a subset of a larger group of people, have been injured or harmed in some common way. A lawyer then files a lawsuit on behalf of the individual or individuals who desire to represent the class. They are referred to as the "class representative." At the appropriate time, the lawyer will file a motion with the court asking it to certify the case as a class action. If the court grants that motion for class certification, the unnamed people who were alleged wronged in the same manner as the class representative are notified of the class action and are given an opportunity to participate in the class action as a member of the "class." Alternatively, they are also afforded the opportunity to "opt out" of the class to try and pursue their own, individual remedies should they so choose.
How many people are needed for a class action?
While it may help if several people are named as class representatives (i.e., plaintiff) in the lawsuit, a single person is enough to file a class action lawsuit so long as the attorney for the class has a good-faith belief that a sufficient number of other people were injured in a similar way. In Florida and the 11th Circuit, it generally takes at least 40 people with similar claims to qualify as a class action.
How much does a class action cost?
Generally, the lawyer who agrees to take and file the class action case will advance all of the costs required to file and litigate the case. Further, such attorney shall almost always take their fees on a contingency basis. If the lawsuit is successful, the attorney will then petition the court to award attorney fees and reimburse out-of-pocket costs. If the case is unsuccessful, the plaintiff’s lawyer absorbs the loss.
Why would I want my case to become a class action?
There are many reasons an individual may want to take part in a class action lawsuit. Many class representatives take pride in forcing someone who is profiting from doing wrong to stop and start doing right. Others class representatives bring class actions to recover money that was illegally taken from them, recognizing that they couldn’t afford to pay a lawyer’s hourly fees to bring an individual suit and that, given the relatively small amount of individual damage, it would be hard if not impossible to attract a lawyer to otherwise take his or her case unless it was on a contingency, class action basis.
Are class representatives entitled to any additional compensation?
If a class action is successful in obtaining the relief sought, most courts will provide class representatives with "incentive awards" for the time and expense associated with helping to prosecute such a case. Judges are typically given broad discretion in deciding whether these awards are appropriate and in setting the amounts of the awards, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. In deciding how much of an incentive to award, if anything, to the class representatives, courts look at factors such as the amount of involvement of the class representative, the size of the recovery for the class, and whether a practice change (e.g., injunctive relief) was obtained. Importantly, while we promise to work hard and strive to obtain our class representatives an incentive award, the attorneys at LeavenLaw cannot guarantee any such amount.
How do I choose a class action attorney?
There are many very good class action attorneys in the United States. Because class action law is fairly specialized, you should look for attorneys and a law firm with significant class action experience. Further, because class actions can be brought in many different areas of the law, it is important that you look for an attorney or law firm who has past experience in the type of law you seek a class action case. It is also a good idea to ask any lawyer you’re considering a lot of questions before hiring him or her. You should ask your attorney if they have handled these types of cases before, how many such cases has the firm handled, how many cases are the firm and your lawyer currently handling - these are all important questions in evaluating your law firm before you make your decision. Finally, make sure you understand what’s expected of you as the class representative, and always insist on a written engagement letter (i.e., Authority to Represent) and a written disclosure of your rights as a class representative.