William G. Schwab and Associates
811 Blakeslee Blvd. Dr. East (PA Route 443) PO Box 56 Lehighton, PA 18235
Tel 610-377-5200 Fax 610-377-5209
NEWSLETTER
Personal Injury October 30, 2014
 
Personal Injury
Bankruptcy
Business
Criminal Law
Elder Law
Estate Planning/Probate
Real Estate
 

Work-Related Injuries and Employer Liability

Workplace injuries are usually followed by a Workers' Compensation claim filed on behalf of the injured employee. However, in certain ...(more)

 

Division of Personal Injury Awards During Divorce

Upon termination of a marriage by divorce, one of the most difficult problems is often division of the couple's real ...(more)

 

The Right to Sue Family Members

Over the years, intra-family immunity from lawsuits against other family members developed; "parental immunity" and "spousal immunity." Some have suggested ...(more)

 

Some Defenses to Liability for Damages in a Car Accident

When a vehicle accident results in damage, injury, or death, the party whose carelessness (negligence) caused the accident may be ...(more)

 

Personal Injury Headlines

Illinois Teen Injured in Bike Wreck Awarded $910K

Personal-injury accident investigtion leads to multiple charges for Massena pair

Walmart removes personal injury lawsuit to federal court

Anderson Hospital denies allegations in personal injury lawsuit

$5 million personal injury lawsuit against city dismissed

Proceeding with a Class Action Lawsuit


A "class action" is a lawsuit brought by a representative plaintiff on behalf of a class of persons with similar claims. The class and the lawsuit must be certified by a judge as appropriate for class action treatment. If the case is certified, the lawsuit may proceed to resolve issues common to all class members. In general, notice of the lawsuit is mailed to all potential class members and, unless they "opt out," all who fit within the class definition are automatically part of the lawsuit.

Situations where class action treatment is typical and may be appropriate include:

  • A mass accident – usually a single event such as an airplane crash
  • Widespread personal injuries from defective products – e.g., tires or pharmaceuticals
  • Where action or refusal to comply with laws affects a group of people – e.g., racial discrimination / civil rights action
Requirements for Class Actions
Generally, in federal or state court, a single plaintiff may sue on behalf of a class if all of the following are met:

  1. A definable class exists, that can be certified
  2. The plaintiffs are members of this class
  3. The class is so numerous that trying each case individually would be impractical
  4. The class members' claims have common issues of law and fact
  5. The representative plaintiff's claims and defenses are typical of the class
  6. The representative plaintiff will ensure fair and adequate representation of the interests of the members of the class
Advantages of Class Action Litigation

  • A class action may provide the only means of judicial relief for individuals, especially for small claims involving complex issues that would be expensive to litigate
  • The benefits from a strengthened negotiating position
  • Generally there is no payment or risk of legal fees – if the class wins, the lawyer gets a contingency fee; if the class loses, the lawyer generally gets nothing
  • There is a tolling or suspension of the limitation periods during the lawsuit for asserted class members who have not opted out to file an individual lawsuit
  • It may serve to consolidate numerous court actions into one, thereby relieving the burden on courts and avoiding inconsistent judgments
  • Litigation costs can be lowered by aggregating small claims
  • It can attract superior legal talent to represent the representative plaintiff
Disadvantages of Class Action Litigation

  • Resolution of class actions generally take much longer than conventional lawsuits due to their procedural complexities
  • They must be resolved in a common manner such that differences between individual cases are typically not emphasized
  • Individuals who participate typically give up their right to file suit individually
  • Class members generally play a lesser role in directing the litigation
  • Even if successful, participating members of the class may only be compensated with a minimal recovery

© 2013 NextClient.com, Inc.  All rights reserved.