Class Action Insights

Types of Class Action Lawsuits: Class Actions 101

The United States permits class action lawsuits to enhance the performance of the judicial system. Class action brings together plaintiffs that have similar claims against an organization, which typically is a large multinational corporation or multi-unit national chain. In a class action lawsuit one or more plaintiffs (class members) represent the rest of the plaintiffs that fall into the class action member eligibility category.

This is one of the textbook explanations of class action lawsuits presented during the first year of law school. However, as attorney Sara Enos emphasizes, the nuts and bolts of class lawsuits include knowing the types of class action lawsuits.

“Class action is not a free for all courtroom battle,” said the Colorado attorney. “Lawyers must follow strict rules for all types of class action lawsuits.”

Types of Class Action Lawsuits

Product liability tops the list of the types of class action lawsuits filed in the United States. A serious defect in the way a product is designed or manufactured prompts lawsuits to recover the money lost from injury. Pharmaceutical companies know class action litigation very well, which is why you see side effect disclaimers on the side of prescription bottles, as well as during television advertisements. However, class action includes other types of litigation that often goes unmentioned by the mainstream media.

Consumer Protection

Companies can cause harm to consumers that never see or touch one of their products. Consumer protection class action lawsuits claim unfair or deceptive business practices. The misleading business practices can involve the classic bait and switch scheme, but you are more likely to need consumer protection legal assistance because of false advertising and/or breach of a legally binding business contract. Companies that refuse to honor legally binding warranties can face class action by a large group of plaintiffs.

Labor Violations

The United States legal system has clear statutes that protect employees against employer abuse and manipulation. Class action lawsuits filed because of workplace violations include discrimination and sexual harassment. You can also organize a class action against an employer for failing to pay overtime and refusing to offer breaks that follow federal law standards. Organizations that force employees to work off the clock can expect to receive a summons to litigate a class action lawsuit.

Toxic Waste Exposure

Once known as Mallinckrodt Chemical Works, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals has faced numerous class action lawsuits. Most of the class action claims have involved large groups of workers and nearby residents that were exposed to prolonged periods of toxic waste. Mercury, radiation, and asbestos lead the list of toxic materials that fall under the toxic waste class action category. The key to proving toxic exposure is to keep meticulous medical records of the injuries ad illnesses sustained during employment or the period in which you lived near a chemical plant.

Securities Fraud

The financial meltdown of 2007-08 opened the legal door for the filing of class action lawsuits that cover securities and investment fraud. Class action groups that lose money because of securities fraud or a violation of one or more securities laws have the legal right to seek financial redress by filing class action lawsuits. Many banks failed to follow full disclosure statutes, which led to investors holding an empty money bag at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008.

If your legal case falls within one of the types of class action lawsuits, you should contact a licensed attorney that specializes in class action law. A free initial consultation will provide you with the information you need to move forward and collect what you deserve for your financial loss.

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