In general, anyone who has suffered a legal tort and believes that others have been similarly affected can initiate a class action lawsuit. The best way to start is to find a class action lawyer who can provide assistance in this process. Class action lawsuits can be filed in state or federal courts, although some states may have additional requirements for cases to be certified as class action lawsuits. If you are considering filing a class action lawsuit, you should meet with an experienced lawyer to discuss the details of your case.
People who have been harmed by a corporation, company, or organization and believe that other people could have been harmed by the same entity in a similar way can file a class action lawsuit. However, additional steps must be taken before these lawsuits are officially certified and become a true consumer class action lawsuit. For example, if the case involves a defective medical product, the class action lawsuit can be divided into subclasses when certain members of the group want different types of redress, such as compensation for one group or medical follow-up for another group. Class action lawsuits can also be filed by a group of people if they have similar lawsuits against the same defendant. However, having too many subclasses can lead the judge to believe that common ground cannot be established and, therefore, not certify the class action lawsuit or annul the certification. If the plaintiff filing the case has suffered greater harm than the average member of the proposed class action, the judge may recommend that they file an individual lawsuit instead of a class action.
If very few people file for a class action lawsuit, it would make more sense for group members to file an individual lawsuit. If there are 20 plaintiffs or fewer, it is likely that the class action lawsuit will not meet the numerosity rule for certifying a class action. Because you don't have to pay a down payment to hire contingency lawyers, filing a class action lawsuit can be an accessible option for many people who believe that companies have harmed them. Almost anyone who has suffered physical or financial harm from a company or other entity and believes that other people have suffered similar harm can file a class action lawsuit. While an exact number is not needed for a class action lawsuit, it is difficult to form a group to receive certification with fewer than 20 members.
Anyone can file a consumer class action lawsuit as long as they have suffered injuries and damages due to the negligent actions or inaction of the defendant against whom they are filing the lawsuit.