CLASS ACTION LAWYER
Class Action Lawsuit Attorneys
When large business entities prioritize making a profit over the well-being of the public, things can go wrong very quickly, leaving many people hurt in the process. When a large enough number of people are negatively impacted by a corporation’s negligence, whether they receive life-altering injuries or lose their job as a result, a class action lawsuit may be appropriate. These lawsuits work to hold companies accountable for their actions and to pay back victims who were affected by these actions.
If you are one of many people who’s suffered injuries or losses from a business’s negligence, consider speaking with a class action attorney who can assist you in receiving the compensation you are entitled to. At Greenwald Law Firm, our Shreveport personal injury lawyers have handled numerous class action cases across a number of different practice areas. We know what it takes to fight for victims of big-business negligence and work to ensure each of our clients is properly paid for their losses.
What is a Class Action?
Individuals who have been physically or financially harmed by a corporation’s carelessness or negligent actions may sue the company as a single entity through what is known as a class action lawsuit. The defendant is frequently a large company with near-infinite resources to fight against a single damage claim. However, class action lawsuits may involve thousands of plaintiffs across various jurisdictions (a federal procedure known as multi-district litigation), which can essentially help the injured plaintiffs level up against these massive corporations. Often, class action cases arise in situations involving things like faulty medications, defective products, and environmental disasters, such as oil spills and plant explosions.
Class action lawsuits generally fall into one of the four categories listed below:
- Personal injury and/or product liability (dangerous pharmaceuticals, chemical plant explosion, defective airbags, etc.)
- Employment law (workplace discrimination, labor law violations, etc.)
- Securities and investment fraud
- Consumer protection (fraudulent late fees, illegal charges, etc.)
Individual Lawsuit vs Class Action
There are benefits and drawbacks for both class action cases and individual lawsuits. It is important that you choose the lawsuit that will benefit you the most based on your specific circumstances.
For instance, say a large corporation is illegally charging its customers unjustified late fees of approximately $100 over a period of several months. A private, individual lawsuit probably won’t have much of an impact, and hiring a lawyer for such a small amount likely wouldn’t be worth the trouble or cost. However, a multidistrict class action with numerous plaintiffs would certainly grab the attention of the liable party and force them to take responsibility for their actions.
A class action also ensures that all plaintiffs receive consistent compensation, whereas in individual proceedings, the defendant may win against one plaintiff but lose against another.
On the other hand, if a plaintiff suffers a serious, life-altering injury, they may be able to settle a private case long before the class action is resolved, especially if it is much easier to prove their specific injury rather than the different injuries among a large group of individuals. Further, members of the class action typically have no individual say in how the class action is handled or what settlement is achieved. As a result, it may be better in such a case to file an individual lawsuit so you have more control over your own case. As we said, which route you choose to take litigation-wise is entirely dependent on your circumstances.
How Many Plaintiffs for a Class Action Lawsuit?
It is important in these cases that enough individuals join together to successfully form a court-certified class action lawsuit. According to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, while no particular number of people is required to launch a class action case, the courts may refuse to certify a class if there are too few members.
Louisiana, along with many other states, uses the same number of required participants as federal courts, which is 40. So, generally speaking, it’s difficult for a class of fewer than 40 people to achieve certification by a judge and often impossible for a class with fewer than 20. Of course, for certification, the participants must also meet the necessary standards, which entails experiencing similar financial losses or injuries.
While there should typically be at least 40 people involved in a class action lawsuit, there is no maximum number of required participants. In fact, some class action cases can accumulate millions of plaintiffs.
Should I Participate in a Class Action Lawsuit?
Participating in a class action lawsuit has many advantages. For example, class actions are far less expensive than individual lawsuits, and they are usually brought by lawyers with extensive experience in this form of litigation. It is also a much easier and more worthwhile way to seek compensation for a small amount of financial loss or injury, as private lawsuits can end up costing more than their worth in these instances. If the claimants are successful in their class suit, they will all be compensated in some way and at no personal cost.
That is not to say, however, that class action lawsuits are always the best route. In cases of severe personal loss and/or injury, it might be more beneficial to seek a private lawsuit where you can ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to. Private lawsuits also tend to move along faster than class actions, so that is another thing you must consider when deciding if you should participate in a class action lawsuit.
Ultimately, the best way to determine whether your claim should be brought forth privately or through a class action is to speak with an experienced Louisiana class action attorney such as Joey Greenwald. The Greenwald Law Firm has handled hundreds of both class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits, and our extensive experience in these areas equips us with the appropriate knowledge to determine which route is best for you based on your unique situation.
Louisiana Class Action Lawsuits
As a coastal state, Louisiana sees its fair share of class action lawsuits, plenty of which regard environmental catastrophes. For example, one of the more notable class actions comes from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill occurring in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Property owners, businesses, wage workers, and other affected parties came together in a class action lawsuit against BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and other defendants as a result of this detrimental oil spill.
In 2014, the Deepwater Horizon Litigation delivered economic and medical assistance to hundreds of thousands of individuals and companies in the Gulf Coast region whose lives were negatively affected by the spill. The case was successful in obtaining over $11.2 billion in compensation for plaintiffs’ damages, as well as a medical settlement of $1 billion from defendant Halliburton.
More recently, a class action lawsuit has been filed in Southeast Louisiana against defendant Entergy after Hurricane Ida left businesses and homeowners without power for weeks. According to plaintiff attorneys, Entergy failed to take the proper precautions to protect their company’s energy distribution and transmission equipment in preparation for the Category 4 storm. By choosing not to strengthen their systems or invest in underground transmission lines, the defendant made it apparent that they chose making a profit over protecting the people they serve, according to court complaints. Of course, no verdict or settlement has been reached, as the case is still unfolding.
Other Common Class Action Lawsuits
Though the aforementioned Deepwater Horizon and Entergy lawsuits are relatively specific to Louisiana, a class action does not need to be condensed to one area or state in particular. As we briefly mentioned before, class action lawsuits are tried in what is known as multi-district litigation, meaning plaintiffs can span over a number of different regions.
Below are some examples of class suits that involve several plaintiffs across many different jurisdictions.
Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder (Talc)
Shower to Shower Talc Powder
How To Choose a Class Action Lawyer
If you are considering bringing a class action lawsuit, obtaining the right attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. There are many ways to go about choosing a lawyer, but the most important thing to look for is someone who prioritizes your needs. In addition, you should find someone with the appropriate experience, resources, and track record for achieving the best possible outcome for you and the rest of the class. It is essential that your class action lawsuit attorney meets all of these standards and has a background in litigating these types of cases.
At the Greenwald Law Firm, our Shreveport law firm has the experience and skill it takes to successfully navigate multi-district litigation procedures. With several successful class action cases under our belt, including Paraquat lawsuits, Zantac lawsuits and Roundup cancer lawsuits, Joey Greenwald is more than willing to apply his considerable experience on behalf of those who have been harmed by large corporations, and he is dedicated to seeing that justice is served.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a class action injury, the Greenwald Law Firm can help explain your options and decide if a class action lawsuit is appropriate for your situation. Please contact the law office of Joey Greenwald at 318-219-7867 or fill out the online submission form to request your free consultation today.