Strength in numbers.
The Process Of A Class Action Lawsuit
In general, anyone who has suffered a legal wrong and who believes others have suffered a similar wrong can start a class action lawsuit. Usually, the best first step is to find a class action attorney who can aid with this process, since class action suits require going through a specific legal process, that includes:
- Filing: The first step in a class action lawsuit is filing a complaint. This is typically done by a lead plaintiff, who represents the class. The complaint should outline the alleged wrongdoing by the defendant and why the plaintiff believes the defendant is liable. The complaint should also identify the class members and how they were harmed.
- Certification: After the complaint is filed, the court will determine whether the case can proceed as a class action. This is known as certification. To be certified, the class must meet specific requirements, such as having numerous members who have suffered similar harm. If the court certifies the class, the case will proceed as a class action.
- Settlement or Trial: Once the class is certified, the parties will typically engage in discovery, exchanging information and evidence. After discovery, the parties may attempt to settle the case. If a settlement is reached, the court will review and approve it. If a settlement is not reached, the case will go to trial. At trial, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant is liable and that the class members have suffered harm. If the plaintiff is successful, the court will award damages to the class.