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Class action lawsuits are notoriously complex. If you are, or are preparing to become a, participant in class action litigation it is normal to have a lot of questions about your rights, your duties, and your legal options. In the Class Action Practice Group of Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C., we want to ensure that you have the information that you need to navigate the process. Here, our class action attorneys provide a comprehensive resource page to help you get a better understanding of your rights and your interests. If you have any specific questions or concerns about a class action matter, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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A class action lawsuit is a legal procedure that enables a group of individuals who have similar claims against a common defendant to pursue their case collectively. This kind of lawsuit is typically employed when the number of claimants is so large that it would be impractical for each person to file a separate lawsuit. A representative plaintiff—often referred to simply as the ‘lead plaintiff’—is the party that files the case on behalf of all the members of the class. To be clear, a class action claim will not be automatically allowed to proceed. The court must certify the class prior to class action litigation. In other words, a judge must determine that all criteria of class action certification are met, including that the plaintiffs’ claims are similar enough to be
resolved in a single lawsuit.


Why are class action lawsuits filed at all? The short answer is that class action litigation serves a dual purpose in our justice system:

1. It helps to ensure that individuals with smaller claims, which may not be feasible to pursue individually due to legal costs, can seek justice collectively;

2. It can be an effective means of holding a defendant accountable for widespread wrongdoing or negligence.

By consolidating multiple claims into one lawsuit, class actions are often a stronger case that has a greater impact, potentially including systemic changes and full and fair compensations for plaintiffs.

The Differences Between

Both class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits aim to seek justice and compensation for wrongdoings. However, these types of legal claims differ in several important ways. To start, class action litigation puts all claims into a single lawsuit. With individual lawsuits, a single plaintiff pursues only their unique claim. While individual lawsuits provide plaintiffs with more control over their claims, the cost of pursuing legal action can be dramatically higher. Class action litigation allows for parties to come together to have collective power while also distributing the costs.


If you believe you have been harmed in a similar way to others by the same defendant, you may have the option to join a class action lawsuit. Often, potential class members are notified via mail, email, or some other form of proactive advertising. Once you are aware of a class action, you may need to complete a form to become an official class member.

Notably, in some cases, a party will automatically be included as a class member. They must opt out if they do not want to participate. It’s crucial to understand the implications of joining a class action lawsuit. In general, joining a class action will, by definition, mean that you must waive your right tofile an individual lawsuit regarding the same issue.

“Mr. Howard’s efforts in obtaining an outstanding recovery for the class in high risk litigation, stating “I will have to say that in this case, I really believe that Mr. Howard did an excellent job of representing the interests [of the class] and doing it efficiently.”
-United States District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello

The Role of Class Action
Attorneys in Litigation

Class action attorneys play a pivotal role in litigation. They represent the interests of the entire class. This involves investigating claims, filing the lawsuit, and navigating complex legal processes. They also communicate with class members, negotiate settlements, and distribute the awarded funds. Their fees are typically a percentage of the settlement or award and are contingent on the success of the case. A class action attorney’s experience and expertise can be critical.

Your Guide to Class Action
Settlements and verdicts

Class action settlements occur when the defendant agrees to resolve the claims without admitting fault. All settlements must be approved by the court to ensure fairness for all class members. When a settlement is reached, the covered class members will receive notice of the settlement terms, including how to claim their share. It is important to follow instructions and comply with any applicable deadlines to ensure that you receive the maximum available compensation.

An Overview of Your Legal Rights
as a Class Member

As a class member in a class action lawsuit, it is absolutely essential that you understand the rights afforded to you under the law. Here is an overview of some of the key things that you need to know about your rights as a class member or potential class member:

Right to Information: You have the right to be informed about the status and progress of the case, including any settlements or court decisions.

Right to Participation: Though the lead plaintiff represents the class, you may have opportunities to provide input or evidence that supports the case.

Right to Opt-Out: You have the right to opt out of the class action lawsuit if you wish to pursue your own individual legal action. Opting out should be done by a specific deadline.

Right to Object: If you disagree with the proposed settlement or how the case is being handled, you have the right to raise objections in court.

Right to Compensation: If the lawsuit is successful or a settlement is reached, you are entitled to your proper share of the compensation, though the amount may vary among class members.

Right to Legal Counsel: While the class is generally represented by a designated attorney, you have the right to consult your own attorney regarding your participation in the class action.



At Saltz, Mongeluzzi, & Bendesky, P.C., our class action litigation lawyers have the specialized skills, experience, and legal expertise that you can rely on. If you have any specific questions or concerns about a class action lawsuit, we can help. To set up your free, no-obligation initial consultation, please contact us today. We provide nationwide legal representation in class action litigation.