A class action lawsuit is one in which there are a large number of plaintiffs bringing similar claims. These lawsuits are also called representative actions or collective lawsuits. Typically there are only a handful of named plaintiffs, but those plaintiffs are representative of a larger group. Individuals who sign onto class action suits, typically relinquish their rights to independently sue the same entity.
Benefits of Class Action Lawsuits
If you have been wronged by an entity with substantial resources, it can be difficult to fight for your rights. Large companies can afford to hire teams of attorneys and drag a case on for years. Few individuals can withstand the financial cost of such a process. This is not the case with a class action lawsuit, however. Given the large number of plaintiffs and the potential for substantial damage awards, a law firm can work on a class action case on contingency, costing the plaintiffs nothing during the proceedings.
Types of Class Action Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits come in many different types. Some are more commonly seen than others, however. Some of the most common ones include:
- Consumer Protection
- Employment Discrimination
- Environmental and Toxic Exposures
- Product Liability
- Securities and Investment Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Wage and Overtime
- Whistleblower Actions
- Mass Torts
Unsafe pharmaceutical cases, which fall under product liability, are among the most commonly known type of class action lawsuit. Drug companies often face suits for misinforming the public about a drug or for injuries or deaths attributable to a drug.
Damages in Class Action Lawsuits
There are two types of damages available in class action lawsuits. They are:
- Compensatory damages — meant to compensate plaintiffs for direct damages such as medical bills, pain and suffering and wrongful death
- Punitive damages — meant to punish the defendant for intentional or gross wrongdoing
If you have a potential class action lawsuit, the Chicago-based attorneys at Ankin Law Office can help you begin the process. Our attorneys are skilled at evaluating and handling a wide variety of class action suits. Contact us today to discuss your case at a free consultation.