Individuals who do not wish to be subject to a court's decision in a class action lawsuit may want to consider completely excluding themselves from the case. This means that they will retain the right to file a separate individual lawsuit against the defendants and seek an amount of damages that they consider fair. In most cases, you will have to notify the attorneys handling the case in writing of your decision to opt out before the court certifies the case as a class action lawsuit. When a class action lawsuit is filed, potential members of the group are notified and given an opportunity to opt out.
If a person does not take any action, they are automatically included in the lawsuit. Opting out of a class action lawsuit allows an individual plaintiff to file a smaller lawsuit without having to take full responsibility for things like filing fees and other costs of litigation. A class action notice is sent to all consumers who have purchased the product during the past four years and are informed of their right to opt out of the case. It is important to note that class action lawsuits are “opt-out” lawsuits, meaning that, once you've been notified that you're part of the class, you'll be automatically included in the lawsuit, unless you decide to affirmatively refuse to participate.
Even if you were harmed more than the average class member, you may also want to stay in the class action if you don't want to spend time and money hiring an attorney to file your own lawsuit. A class action lawsuit can offer a viable way to seek damages when your claim is relatively small and may not be worth it on its own. All parties potentially involved in a class action lawsuit must decide whether or not they want to participate in the lawsuit. If you choose not to participate, you will retain the right to file your own individual lawsuit against the defendants and seek an amount of damages that you consider fair.