Class Action vs. Private Lawsuits

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Class action lawsuits and private lawsuits are comparable in some ways but differ in how the lawsuit is brought against another person or entity. A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit filed by a group of people on behalf of a larger group of individuals against another person or entity that has harmed the people filing the lawsuit in one way or another. On the other hand, a private lawsuit is when one person files a lawsuit against another person or entity. A private lawsuit involves only one plaintiff, not a group of plaintiffs. Class action lawsuits are not the proper lawsuit to file in all instances. An attorney will be able to help a plaintiff decide which type of lawsuit is better to file when suing another person or an entity. For instance, if a bank is charging its customers illegal fees of $100, one person filing a private lawsuit will not get much notice. But, if a group of the bank’s customers file a class action lawsuit then the amount of money the group is seeking, in the millions, will surely get the attention of the bank. A class action lawsuit brings so much risk with it that a defendant will more than likely do whatever it takes to try and settle the case out of court. Another advantage of class action lawsuits is that they help to keep the court system moving freely. If everyone that has been injured in a class action suit decided to file their own private lawsuit, the court system of this country would be extremely backlogged.

Contact an experienced litigation and lawsuit attorney regarding your legal rights and options about your case today.

The majority of class action lawsuits settle out of court and do not reach a trial but it depends on the severity of the suit as to how quickly the suit is actually settled. Class action lawsuits and private lawsuits may settle within a couple of months or they may drag on for years before a settlement agreement is reached by all parties involved. One of the biggest disadvantages of filing a class action lawsuit is that the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit do not have any control over how the lawsuit is handled or what the settlement reached turns out to be. It might be better for someone in a class action suit that has suffered a different injury than the group or has lost a lot more money than the rest of the group to file their own private lawsuit. The following is a list of class action lawsuits that are filed regularly:

  • Dangerous consumer products
  • Unauthorized telephone charges
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Unauthorized web loyalty charges
  • Unauthorized disclosure of credit card information
  • Illegal debt collection practices
  • Predatory lending practices
  • Excessive loan servicing charges
  • Unfair credit reporting
  • Pharmaceutical liability
  • Product liability

Class action lawsuits have ended unhappily for a lot of plaintiffs in the past. In some instances the attorney and the lead plaintiff will arrange for an exuberant amount of money from the settlement to go to them and then the remainder of the plaintiffs will get practically nothing from the settlement.

Contact an experienced litigation and lawsuit attorney regarding your legal rights and options about your case today.
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