filing a class action lawsuit

When large corporations or institutions’ conduct harms numerous individuals, the affected parties often feel powerless to fight back. The time, resources, and legal knowledge required to take on these powerful entities can be overwhelming, leaving many victims without a clear path to justice.

Class-action lawsuits provide a solution. By bringing together a group of individuals who have suffered similar harm, a class-action lawsuit can level the playing field and give everyday people the means to hold powerful wrongdoers accountable.

The attorneys at Bayuk Pratt have over 50 years of collective legal experience and have successfully secured over $300 million for deserving clients. Our founders’ experience as former insurance defense attorneys gives us a distinctive edge in understanding and countering the tactics large corporations often use to evade responsibility and avoid paying what they owe.

Contact Bayuk Pratt today for a free initial consultation with an Atlanta class-action lawyer to discuss your case.

Why You Need a Lawyer for a Class-Action Lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit involves a group (class) of people (plaintiffs) who sue another party (the defendant) for similar injuries or losses resulting from the defendant’s actions. These lawsuits are inherently more challenging due to the number of people involved and the scale of the issues. When many individuals unite to address a common grievance through a class action, the foundation of the case is significantly more complex than in individual lawsuits. Each plaintiff might have slightly different damages or experiences, yet they must form a unified legal argument.

A skilled lawyer with experience handling these types of cases is necessary for cases like these because they know how to file a class-action lawsuit properly. They will use their in-depth legal knowledge and strategic planning to present a strong case and demand suitable compensation on behalf of the class. Without a lawyer, the group might find it difficult to meet the demands of the legal system, which could weaken their position. An Atlanta class-action attorney from Bayuk Pratt can provide the guidance to successfully overcome these challenges.

Moreover, the stakes in class-action lawsuits are often high, involving significant financial implications or impactful legal precedents. A knowledgeable Bayuk Pratt class-action lawyer can meet all relevant procedural requirements and clearly articulate the group’s needs and rights.

What Are Examples of Common Types of Class Actions?

Class-action lawsuits provide a powerful tool for groups of individuals who have suffered similar harms or injuries to seek justice together. These lawsuits can address a wide range of issues, each targeting specific wrongful actions by defendants.

Common types of class-action lawsuits include the following:

  • Consumer Fraud Class Actions – These lawsuits can arise when companies deceive customers through false advertising, defective products, or other misleading practices. For example, a group might sue a company for selling a dangerously defective toy, automobile, or drug.
  • Securities Class Actions – Investors can file this type of class action if a company misleads them about its financial status in a way that leads to economic losses. For example, this type of claim might arise if a company falsifies its earnings reports and its stock drops once the truth emerges.
  • Employment Class Actions – These claims address violations of workers’ rights, such as unpaid overtime, discrimination, or unsafe working conditions. A typical case might involve employees suing a business for refusing to pay overtime wages to a large group of workers.
  • Antitrust Class Actions – These lawsuits involve businesses engaging in practices that unfairly reduce competition or control prices. For instance, if several companies conspire to fix prices on products like electronics, consumers can sue them collectively.
  • Environmental Class Actions – These class actions can arise when companies cause environmental damage that affects a large number of people. For example, a community might sue a factory for pollution that has contaminated local water supplies.

What’s the Difference Between a Class-Action Lawsuit and a Mass Tort?

The critical difference between these two types of legal actions lies in how the cases are structured and how plaintiffs present their claims in court.

What Is a Class-Action Lawsuit?

A class-action lawsuit is a legal process where one or several individuals sue on behalf of a larger group of people who suffered similar harms. This approach means all claims combine into one lawsuit against the defendant. If successful, each member of the class shares in any settlement or award.

What Is a Mass Tort?

A mass tort also involves many plaintiffs against one or a few defendants, but each plaintiff pursues a distinct lawsuit. Even though these cases sometimes get grouped together to streamline the legal process, they don’t merge into a single claim. Each plaintiff works with their own unique case details and might receive a different outcome in terms of their eventual settlement or judgment.

How Does the Class-Action Process Typically Go?

A class-action lawsuit involves several distinct steps, and understanding these steps is a great way to set realistic expectations for your case. The following is how the typical process for a class-action lawsuit goes:

  • Case Evaluation – First, lawyers evaluate claims to determine whether they can be grouped into a class action. They assess the extent of the damages or injuries and the number of people affected, which sets the foundation for whether the lawsuit can proceed as a class action.
  • Filing the Lawsuit – If attorneys decide the case is suitable, they file a lawsuit on behalf of one or several named plaintiffs representing the entire class. This filing includes detailed information about the case, the parties involved, and the legal grounds for the lawsuit.
  • Class Certification – Next, the court must decide if the case is appropriate for class-action treatment. This involves proving that enough similarities exist among the class members’ situations to justify handling their cases collectively.
  • Notification of Class Members – Potential class members receive notifications about the lawsuit after class certification. These notifications allow plaintiffs to choose whether to participate in the class action or pursue individual claims.
  • Discovery Phase – Next, both sides exchange information in a process called discovery to better understand the facts of the case. This phase involves gathering documents, taking depositions, and compiling evidence to support each party’s claims or defenses.
  • Settlement or Trial – Many class actions settle out of court. If the plaintiffs can settle, the court must approve its fairness for all class members. If the case does not settle, it goes to trial, where attorneys present the facts and the court renders a decision.
  • Distribution of Settlement or Award – If the class-action lawsuit is successful, either through a settlement or a court decision, the final step involves distributing the compensation to all class members according to the terms set by the court.