Why Do We Need Class Action Lawsuits?
To the general public, class action lawsuits are shrouded in mystery. The news reports on when some of them are filed. Some don’t seem to make much sense. Often, there are reports of large verdicts or settlements. But what are class action lawsuits, and why do we need them to help us file lawsuits when there are defective drugs, defective products, or other consumer problems?
When One Case Doesn’t Work
The theory behind the class action lawsuit is that it puts power in the hands of consumers as a whole, as opposed to one individual plaintiff.
Let’s assume that a drug maker made a drug that as a side effect, damaged people’s spleen. One damaged or injured plaintiff could file a lawsuit. But it may be hard to file a lawsuit. The damaged spleen may have a settlement or verdict value, but compared to what it would cost to prove that the drug maker was guilty, many law firms may opt not to file the case.
And then, assume that you did find a mass torts law firm that would handle just your case. What about the thousands, possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of other people? Who represents them?
You may win your case and get paid through your lawsuit, but every other damaged consumer has to start from square one, litigating their case from the start. In some cases the drug maker would be found liable, but in others, it may not. Now there are inconsistent verdicts.
Because there are inconsistent verdicts, there is no incentive for the drug maker to pull the drug off the shelves, or to put a warning on the medicine. It is cheaper for the drug manufacturer to pay out a few verdicts than make wholesale changes to its product.
The Benefits of Class Actions
But now imagine a class action. Now, it doesn’t matter what one individual plaintiff’s case is worth. It’s what all plaintiff’s cases are worth, combined, that the manufacturer must consider. The drug manufacturer’s risk of losing the case is so high, that the manufacturer is more likely to put warning labels on the drug, or to pull it from shelves.
With class action lawsuits, if you have been injured by the drug, and there are no qualified class action injury lawyers where you live, that’s okay. The class—and thus you—are being represented by a qualified class action drug defect law firm. You get the benefit of the best lawyers no matter where you are.
Winning Class Actions
Winning class action lawsuits isn’t easy. You need to both prove the case—that someone is liable for your damages—but you have to prove that there should even be a class action. Why can’t the case be brought individually?
The law has requirements to see if something can be brought as a class action—called “certifying the class.” That hurdle must be met before the issue of liability or damages is even dealt with by the Court.
If you have a defective drug case, or have been injured by a product, call the Clinton personal injury attorneys at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, today to schedule a free consultation.