Whether you purchased a defective product, have been involved in an investment scheme or are experiencing mistreatment on the job, you may run into other people who have similar experiences. In these situations, a class action lawyer can help. If you and others have been injured or suffered a monetary loss due to an organization’s action, you can use the power of collective action (a class action lawsuit) to earn compensation.
What Is a Class Action?
A class-action lawsuit allows many people with the same claim – both those located in Columbia and nationwide – against an organization to act at the same time. Depending on the action, different people may have experienced different types of harm. They will be sorted into “classes” in the lawsuit.
Because of the size and complexity of class action lawsuits, not every law firm is equipped to handle them. We have assembled a list of law firms that are capable of handling these claims for you and others who have experienced the same type of harm.
Common Reasons For Class Action Lawsuits
Financial crimes – Securities and investment fraud, including Ponzi schemes, are one of the most common reasons people seek collective action. Famous examples include Bernie Madoff and the Wells Fargo account fraud scandals.
Dangerous drugs/health products – Prescription drugs, over the counter medication and medical devices can harm many people due to their widespread use to treat a variety of medical conditions. Examples include lawsuits related to talcum powder and opioids.
Defective products – Many people can purchase a number of goods before they realize something is wrong. In 2010, Toyota was the defendant in a lawsuit related to defective airbags. Class action lawsuits can be an important step in improving product safety for consumers in the future.
Employment actions – Employees may experience widespread discrimination, termination or wage theft. One employee missing a few hundred dollars on their paycheck may not make a viable lawsuit. However, many employees who have experienced the same thing can take action together.
Environmental hazards – Many people can be harmed when an organization does not follow rules the related to the disposal of chemicals and other environmental hazards. For example, people who live along a river may use a class action lawsuit to recover damages due to a company dumping chemicals in the water.
Civil rights violations – Businesses that do not accommodate people with disabilities or police departments that have engaged in racial profiling have been subject to class-action lawsuits in the past.
These and other types of class action claims can be further complicated when they are interwoven with issues such as the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic or other factors that can amplify the harm that people experience.
Not sure what to ask a class action attorney? Here are a few sample questions to get you started:
How long have you been in practice?
How many class action cases have you handled?
How much does a class action case cost?
Where is your law office in Columbia located?
What are the next steps?
It is always a good idea to research your lawyer prior to hiring. Every state has a disciplinary organization that monitors attorneys, their licenses, and consumer complaints. By researching lawyer discipline you can:
Ensure the attorney is currently licensed to practice in your state.
Gain an understanding of his or her historical disciplinary record, if any.
Determine the seriousness of complaints/issues which could range from late bar fees to more serious issues requiring disciplinary action.