The Law Offices of Brandee J.K. Faria, LLLC
What is a class action lawsuit?
What is a class action lawsuit?

What is a class action lawsuit?

Jan 23, 2024 | Class Actions

If you are traveling by car in Hawaii and another vehicle hits you, causing injury, you have the right to seek compensation for damages. To do so, you would file a personal injury claim in civil court. You may also file such a claim in other circumstances as well, such as if you suffer injury at the fault of a property owner or because of a defective product. When numerous people have suffered injuries because of the same product or issue, they can join efforts to file a legal claim. This is known as a class action lawsuit.  

The “class” in a class action lawsuit is comprised of anyone who attests to having suffered injury because of the issues listed in the claim. All members of the class (especially if it is a large group) do not appear in court as plaintiffs. There are typically one or several people designated as the lead plaintiffs who act on behalf of the class during proceedings.  

Rule 23 lists the legal requirements for a class action lawsuit 

The criteria regarding jurisdiction and other requirements for a class action lawsuit are in a legal document known as Rule 23. One criterion is that the group that comprises the class must contain enough members to make individual lawsuits impractical or inequitable. The court must issue certification for a class action lawsuit to take place.  

If you are part of a class action claim, legal expenses associated with the case may be less for you as an individual than they might have been if you were to file a lawsuit as a sole plaintiff. Many settle class action lawsuits before they go to trial. If you are a member of the class, you receive a portion of the settlement, or a portion of the award demanded by the court through litigation. 

Attorneys take many class action claims on a contingency basis 

If you are part of a group considering filing a class action lawsuit in Hawaii, it would not be uncommon for a personal injury attorney to try the case for your class on a contingent basis. This means that the attorney receives payment with a percentage of the settlement or judgment.  

In some circumstances, the law may prevent you from filing a class action lawsuit. For example, many large corporations incorporate class action waivers into their employee or customer contracts. Such waivers protect an employer or company against class action claims.