Class actions are lawsuits where one person can bring a claim on behalf of many similarly situated people. Class action lawsuits are a effective tool to help people recover money they are owed because of fraud, unfair business practices, bad conduct, or personal injury.
When one person’s loss is relatively small, it might not make financial sense for that person to bring a claim on their own. Class actions provide a solution because you can have hundreds or thousands, or even millions of people in one case.
One person, the class representative, brings a claim on behalf of all similar people, and the class action combines all of their claims into one case. That makes the case more efficient and cost-effective, meaning it saves money for you and other class members. It also makes sure that all class members have the same ruling. That way, if one person wins, all the class members should be able to recover.
Due to their complexity, class action lawsuits are usually defended by attorneys who specialize in those types of cases. We know this, because we have previously defended corporations in class action lawsuits. That means we understand their strategy for defeating these types of claims and can use that knowledge to get you justice.
Oftentimes, companies think they will not have to pay for minor fees that are charged or minor failures to make disclosures. But if we bring the claim as a class action, we can leverage a much better result for you and the class.
Filing an unfair business practices lawsuit does not have to be difficult. The most important step is finding the right unfair business practices lawyer to bring the suit to court. At Mase Seitz Briggs, we’ve spent more than 20 years trying unfair business practices, and we plan on doing so for many years to come. If you’ve been harmed by unfair business practices, contact one of our attorneys today.
We have successfully brought class actions to court for consumers in South Florida and defended class actions for corporations over the last 20 years. These include a claim in the BP oil spill class action, Telephone Consumer Protection Act class actions, unpaid commissions claims, and Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act class actions involving businesses’ failure to disclose hidden costs and other important consumer information.
If you’ve been harmed by a company’s unfair business practices, our lawyers have the experience and understanding to bring a class action on your behalf. Over the years, we’ve seen a number of commonly asked questions arise during class action lawsuits:
Many different claims can be brought as a class action. Claims can be based on violations of consumer protection statutes, including statutes that prevent unfair business practices. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act provides a remedy for consumers who are affected by unfair or deceptive business practices.
Claims can also be based on personal injuries, product defects, securities violations, and other unfair business practices. Even if you think you have no proof, reach out to one of our Florida consumer protection attorneys today about your situation to see if there is a potential class action lawsuit that you can bring as a class representative.
As the class representative, you are able to recover your portion of the class award or settlement. You may also qualify for a class representative fee for your time and effort helping the class. There is also the benefit of knowing you helped out other people who might not have been able to bring their claim if it wasn’t for you.
If you are a potential class member, you will likely get a notice in the mail or email. You will normally be automatically included in a class unless you opt out. However, you will often need to file paperwork to get your benefit from being part of the class, or you will need to object to being included within a certain period of time.
Many businesses settle class actions because they do not think people will fill out the required paperwork and claim their benefit. For example, Equifax Inc. settled its data breach class action for a reported $700 million. However, if you are part of that class, you do not automatically get your money. You need to fill out paperwork or an online form to get your money.
Sometimes, you may get notice that you are part of a class settlement, but you do not like the result. You oftentimes have the ability to object or opt out of the class. There is usually a timeline to do so, or you are barred from doing it in the future. If you opt out, then you can bring your claim individually and negotiate directly with the defendant to resolve your claim. Depending on your claim, you may be able to recover more by opting out than being part of the class.
A class action usually has one plaintiff as the class representative against one defendant in one lawsuit. Like a class action, multidistrict litigation (MDL) may involve similar claims against one defendant, but there may be many lawsuits located all over the country instead of just one. This usually happens when there are similar claims of liability but different issues about the damages each plaintiff is claiming. The MDL is created to promote efficiency and save costs.
The liability issues may be litigated at the same time to avoid putting on the same liability case again and again, but then the damages will be presented separately for each plaintiff. These consumer protection lawsuits frequently involve defective products or medical devices. These can be complicated cases, and it is generally best to have a law firm with unfair business practices attorneys like ours, who have familiarity with these types of suits.
Many of the requirements for Florida class action lawsuits are the same as federal class actions. However, some claims may be brought only in federal court, while some other claims can bring about a greater recovery in Florida court because of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and other Florida-specific laws that allow class action lawsuits.