Readers of legal/suspense novelist, John Grisham, are probably familiar with the term class action lawsuit as these cases have often been the subject of his popular novels. In his 2011 novel, The Litigators, Grisham, writes about a two-partner Chicago law firm attempting to strike it rich in a class action suit against a giant pharmaceutical company.
For many victims involved in a class action lawsuit, this is the only meaningful way for them to hold a major corporation accountable for a wrong doing. A class action results when a group of individuals, sometimes hundreds (or even thousands) of people band together in one lawsuit.
While the outcome of any legal case is uncertain, those involved in a class-action should not expect a quick resolution. In many cases, a class-action can go on for 1 to 3 years, or longer (In rarer instances, the case could be over in less than a year).
Even the simplest class action case must follow a series of incremental steps, including: filing an original complaint, a petitioning the court to certify the case as a class action, notifying eligible class members, evidence gathering, witness interviews, and settlement talks. If a settlement is not reached, the case, then proceeds to trial.
In the event that the case is settled, class members are notified, claims are processed, recoveries are calculated, and settlement funds are distributed evenly to all members.
Even under ideal circumstances (i.e., a simple case involving a smaller number of class members, an uncrowded court docket, and few procedural delays), the process can take a while. Of course, the more complex the case is and the more plaintiff’s involved, the longer it takes. Thus, it is unlikely that an individual could afford the time or financial investment necessary to take on a giant corporation without the help of an attorney.
From an attorney’s perspective, class action litigation provides an efficient way to settle similar or identical legal issues and react to a single set of court decisions rather than having to refer to several rulings across different courts. From the plaintiff’s side, each member of the class action will receive equitable treatment and reward.
Over the years, the law firm of MichieHamlett have been involved in a number of class action cases. Currently, our attorneys Greg Webb and Lisa Brook are representing both drivers and passengers who have been cut by Takata airbags in a class action against the airbag manufacturer and automakers like Nissan, Toyota, and Honda.
Other class action litigation cases relating to auto manufacturers include:
- Acura hands-free link technology
- Honda recurring battery drains
- Voltswagen Diesel Engine Emissions Defeat Devise (2.0L and 3.0L)
If you have questions about a class action case, please contact Lisa Brook.