What are Class Actions?

At Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C., our attorneys handle class action lawsuits filed against some of the largest government entities and corporations in the United States. Class action lawsuits can be an effective means of enforcing the law against frequent violators whose practices have harmed a group of plaintiffs.

Prosecuting and defending class action litigation is resource intensive, so the law firm that manages and represents the case should be familiar with the industry and entity implicated in the suit, in addition to having a wealth of experience in class action cases.

Class Action Definition

A class action collects a large number of individualized claims into one representational lawsuit. It allows one person or a small group of people to be represented by a law firm to sue on behalf of a much larger class of plaintiffs or defendants with similar complaints.

Their strength in numbers is a powerful tool used to enforce the law against larger entities with insurmountable resources. The rights or liabilities of the whole can be more efficiently represented as a group than by a series of individual suits.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure include several prerequisites for class action certification in federal court:

  1. Numerosity: The number of people affected by the illegal practice is so numerous that separate lawsuits are impracticable.
  2. Commonality: Questions of law or fact are shared among the affected people.
  3. Typicality: The claims or defenses of parties bringing the suit are typical of the entire class.
  4. Adequacy of representation: The law firm or lawyers representing the parties bringing the suit are willing and able to fairly and adequately protect the interests of the entire class.

If the action meets these requirements, it must then fit into one of three categories:

  1. Individual litigation would have varying results requiring the opposing party to act inconsistently toward the class members or would affect the interests of class members who are not parties to individual action.
  2. The opposing party has acted or refused to act on grounds that are applicable to the class members as a whole and, therefore, injunctive or declaratory relief with respect to the class members as a whole is appropriate.
  3. The questions of law or fact common to the class members outweigh questions that apply to only particular individuals so that a class action is the best method to determine respective rights and liabilities.

A judge will decide if action should be certified as a class action.

Contact Goldenberg Heller & Antognoli, P.C.

If you are considering class action litigation, have had a class action lawsuit filed against you or your client, or think that your client(s) may be served best by a class action lawsuit, our law firm can help you take the appropriate steps. For more than 25 years, our Madison County, Illinois, law firm has successfully implemented strategies to address the complexities of consumer, commercial and environmental class action litigation.

Please contact us today to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about plaintiff and defendant representation. Call us at 618-656-5150 or 800-782-8492 toll free.