What Are The Legal Requirements For Filing A Class Action Lawsuit?
The staggering awards recovered in class action lawsuits have captured the imagination of the press and the media. On almost a daily basis, newspaper headlines trumpet the results of the latest class action victory. Movies have been made championing the cause of the little guy taking on corporate behemoths in class action lawsuits designed to right societal ills. With such glamour and prestige, one would think that the process of filing a class action lawsuit would be equally dramatic. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
At the most basic level, class action lawsuits are governed by a simple procedural rule that has four parts:
- Adequacy of Representation
Numerosity refers to the concept that the class must be “so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.” Joinder refers to the legal practice that allows multiple parties in the same situation to bring an action together. Many class action lawsuits involve hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs, which would make joinder impractical if not impossible. The second factor, commonality, refers to the principle that there must be “questions of law or fact that are common to the class.” You may bring a class action lawsuit only if your claims or defenses are typical of everyone in the class and if those claims “fairly and adequately protect the interests” of everyone in the class.
Beyond the basic requirements, class action lawsuits can be complex. An experienced West Virginia class action lawyer can help you determine if you have the grounds to file or be a member of a class action lawsuit.
Please call one of the experienced attorneys at The Calwell Practice at 304-400-6558 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.