In a traditional legal action, one party is harmed by another and pursues a claim against that party. Even when the accused party is a corporation or group of people, it's a fairly straight-forward action- claimant vs. defendant.
Sometimes, however, things get a little more complicated. In certain situations, the harmed party is, in fact, multiple parties, all of whom report broadly similar harms and claim broadly similar compensation against the same party.
In these cases, courts sometimes will organize multiple suits into one, overriding case, called a "class action." These cases present unique challenges, and our experienced litigator is uniquely positioned to navigate these challenges.
If you need an attorney in South Carolina with ample class action experience, please call the Law Office of Bill Nettles today at (803) 828-6126.
Elements of a Class Action Suit
Class action cases tend to occur when it would be inconvenient or outright impossible for every individual affected to pursue a separate lawsuit against the responsible parties. Class action suits often involve:
- Defective products, including drugs and medical devices
- Securities fraud
- Employment discrimination and other labor violations
Essentially, class action suits allow one or more parties to essentially act as representatives of a larger class of plaintiffs. If they win their case, everyone in the affected class receives part of the verdict or settlement.
It's often much easier for big companies with their massive legal teams to handle individual cases than it is to fight a huge, public class action suit. This is why defendants usually fight against class certification, which is required for a class action to move forward.
In order for a class action suit to win certification, it must have the following elements:
- Numbers: There must be so many potential plaintiffs that it doesn't make sense for each to move forward on their own. There's no specific number that serves as a cut-off point; the judge will determine whether the class has the required numerical weight.
- Similarity: While every single claim doesn't have to be identical, the claims in the class must be broadly similar and raise the same legal issues.
- Representativeness: The claims brought by the representatives of the class must have the same arguments and defenses as those of the class as a whole.
- Adequate protection for the class: Finally, it must be shown that the representatives and their attorneys are prepared and able to represent the best interests of the entire class, not just themselves.
Class action suits are obviously a bit more complicated than traditional cases. Many of them even cross state borders. Bill Nettles has ample experience with class action cases as a result of his decades of work as a South Carolina attorney.
If you're looking for an experienced, capable attorney in South Carolina, please call the Law Office of Bill Nettles today at (803) 828-6126.