A class action lawsuit is filed on behalf of a group of people who have been in some way injured by the actions of a company. It is common to see class action lawsuits filed by members of the company if hiring or salary practices have been illegal. Another type is the class action lawsuit filed against a drug company for making illegal claims about their product, or for causing deaths or physical damage to those taking the drug.
When one joins a class action lawsuit, one usually has to sign papers declaring that he or she then forfeits the right to sue the company as an individual. A successful class action lawsuit awards damages to the plaintiffs, who are those suing the company, according to greatest damage. In most cases not all members of the suit are entitled to equal compensation.
Awards from a class action lawsuit are split into two portions: punitive and compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to address the defendants (those being sued), and direct damage. These funds will be used to address actual damages caused by the defendants, such as illness, loss of life, and/or pain and suffering. Punitive damages from a class action lawsuit are a form of punishment for the company committing illegal acts, or causing harm. Punitive damages in large class action lawsuits can be particularly high, when it is demonstrated the company has shown great disregard for the health, safety or emotional well being of the plaintiffs.
If you think you may have a class action case, please fill out our online case evaluation form.