Two Penn Center
1500 JFK Blvd, Suite 320
Philadelphia, PA 19102
phone: 215-814-6750
fax: 215-814-6764

Class Action Litigation

 lawsuit is filed as a class action because the members of the class are so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable. An individual is often at a great disadvantage when in dispute with a large corporation. An individual's time and resources are limited, and the amount by which he or she has been damaged may not justify the expenditure necessary to get compensated. The purpose of class action lawsuits is to give the average person the ability to take on even the largest corporate or private entities and have a chance of redressing the wrong done by these entities. It is important to remember that even though the actual damage or cost to the individual class member may be small, when the same damage is suffered by thousands of other similarly situated individuals, the illicit gain to the corporate entity can be huge. The class action allows many average individuals who have been hurt in a similar way to join together in pursuit of a recovery to redress the damage they have suffered.

For a lawsuit to proceed as a certified class action, several requirements must be met. First is Numerosity - There have to be enough people to justify bringing the suit as a class. Class actions have been brought with as few as 20 or 30 people and as many as millions. Second is Commonality - litigants must be able to demonstrate to the court that there are questions of law or facts common to the class, that is, similar misconduct has occurred and harmed members of the proposed class in a similar way. The next requirement is Typicality - litigants must show that each person in the proposed class is making allegations typical to those made by the other proposed class members. The final requirement is Adequacy - It must be shown that proposed class representatives will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. The legal counsel representing the case must be adequate, and there can be no conflicts of interest in representing class members. The plaintiffs also have to show it makes sense to proceed as a class. The most common way to demonstrate that a class action is the superior avenue is to show that common questions predominate over individual questions. If there are a lot of individualized issues among disgruntled policyholders, a class action may not be the best way to proceed.
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