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What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

Written by Ankin Law Office

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit in which a large number of plaintiffs bring similar claims against the same defendant. A class action lawsuit begins when one or more named plaintiffs files a claim against the defendant(s) on behalf of a proposed class, all of whom have suffered a common injury or damages.

Once the complaint is filed, the named plaintiff(s) must obtain class certification.  In order for class certification to be granted, the size of the proposed class must be determined and the proposed class must be evaluated for commonality of claims, among other factors. Generally, in order for the proposed class to be certified it must meet the following requirements:

  • The class is so large that individual suits are impractical;
  • Common legal or factual claims exist;
  • The claims or defenses are typical of the plaintiffs or defendants; and
  • The representative parties adequately protect the interests of the class.

Oftentimes the plaintiff(s) must also show that common issues, rather than individual fact-specific conflicts, will dominate the litigation such that a class action is a better method for resolving the dispute.

Class actions strive to hold defendants accountable for any wrongdoing, with minimal burden on the plaintiffs. Class action lawsuits often benefit plaintiffs because they are more cost-effective and efficient. Class action lawsuits may also save plaintiffs in upfront legal costs associated with litigation because law firms frequently represent plaintiffs on a contingency basis, with plaintiffs paying their lawyers a percentage of the recovery upon conclusion of the case.

Common Types of Class Action Lawsuits

Some of the more common types of class action lawsuits involve the following types of claims:

  • Antitrust Violations
  • Aviation Accidents
  • Consumer Protection Laws
  • Employment Claims, such as wage and hour claims or employment discrimination allegations
  • Environmental Hazards and Toxic Torts
  • Product Liability
  • Unsafe Pharmaceuticals

Because class actions are complex legal matters, the legal representation of a skilled class action attorney is crucial. The Chicago class action attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC have considerable experienced representing plaintiffs in class action lawsuits involving automobile defects, consumer product liability claims, unsafe pharmaceuticals, employment disputes, and toxic tort matters.

Contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys to learn more about how we can help you collect your share of a class action damage award.