What is a class action?
Simply put, a class action is a civil lawsuit where a single person or entity prosecutes a claim on behalf of a group of individuals, which is called a class. Ranging from dozens of people to groups numbering in the thousands, a class is made up of individuals who have experienced similar hardships, such as a financial loss or injuries with a common cause.
A class action lawsuit can end up going to jury trial or bench trial, during which a jury or judge, respectively, will decide whether to compensate class members for what they have endured. When a settlement is reached in a class action, a common fund is created to compensate class members.
For example, FeganScott represents a group of women sexually assaulted, abused or harassed by former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. These women make up the class in a class action lawsuit against Weinstein and his companies and have a goal of establishing a confidential victims fund.
Another example is the class action brought against American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company for locking senior citizens into long-term annuities under the guise they would pay for living and medical expenses, when the annuities did not mature until the seniors were 110 years old. Senior citizens joined a class action lawsuit led by attorney Beth Fegan. American Equity settled the lawsuit for $129 million and the seniors were able to access promised benefits for necessary housing and medical care.
Why file a class action?
Many individuals do not have the resources to fight well-financed wrongdoers. Consolidating similar cases into a single class action maximizes the resources to be used to fight for aggregate damages for the class, rather than a smaller amount on behalf of each individual. Alone, each member of the class would have to fend for themselves, often at the expense of their own time and money. Through a class action lawsuit, each class member is united by a shared mission and is represented by the same attorney or team of attorneys. Joining a class allows the individual to share in the resources that are necessary to fight global wrongdoers. There is truly strength in numbers.
FeganScott is dedicated to seeking justice for victims of sexual offenses, discrimination, consumer fraud, antitrust violations and more. Our attorneys will work to make sure your voice is heard through a commitment to truth, integrity and legal excellence, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions.