A lawsuit comes about when one party believes they were wronged in some way by another party and they seek a remedy for those damages. In the case of a class-action lawsuit, a large group of people have suffered a similar grievance and one lawsuit is filed against the defendant on behalf of all of these people. Common examples include complaints brought against pharmaceutical companies for similar symptoms caused by a particular drug, such as a certain brand of birth control causing blood clots.
Class-action lawsuits typically come about as a result of an initial person or small group of people seeking redress for some sort of problem. It may go ignored by the entity being accused of wrong-doing. Attorneys will gather information from a number of people and request that the court certify the case as a ‘’class-action’’ lawsuit, where everyone affected will get similar compensation.
Typically, anyone in similar circumstances for the designated amount of time will receive several notices in the mail over the course of the case; there may also be publications notifying the public of the lawsuit, You will be given an option to opt out from being represented and you forfeit your right to any damages won in the case; at this point, you can decide to pursue your own individual case with your own representation or just forget the matter altogether. If you opt-in, you are bound by any settlement agreements and you cannot take individual action. If you want to be part of the case,make sure to read the notice carefully to determine if you are automatically opted-in, unless you formally opt-out, or if you need to formally opt-in with some sort of official notice.
Unfortunately, if you do not receive the notification or never see any publications about the class-action suit and the opt-out date passes, you will lose the right to bring your own action against the defendant should you ever decide you want to pursue legal action; if you are automatically opted-in, you will be bound by any decision. If a formal opt-in was required to be part of the proceedings and you never were entered as a plaintiff, you will not be entitled to any compensation.
In most instances, a settlement is reached through negotiation by the parties, which involves some give and take on both sides. If the court happens to decide in favor of the defendant any members of the lawsuit are not permitted to make any claims against the company for the same issue. There are two types of damages that the defendant may be required to pay: compensatory and punitive damages. The former is money awarded to compensate for what the plaintiff lost due to the harm caused by the defendant while the latter is intended to punish the defendant for their wrong-doing and to discourage other parties from acting in a similar manner in the future.
If the courts have decided to award money for damages, all claimants will receive notification about the settlement. A claims administrator will be listed, as well as, a phone number or website that will provide information on the claim. Because these types of suits can involve hundreds ,or often thousands of people, it can take several months for everyone to be compensated. The claims administrator will typically provide updates regarding the status through a phone number or website.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics. If you received a hip replacement with a recently recalled Stryker Rejuvenate or ABG II implants, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Visit www.stryker-rejuvenate-hip-recall-lawsuit.com/ for more info.