A class-action lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought on behalf of a group of people or business entities who have suffered common injuries as a result of the defendants’ conduct, with at least one individual or entity acting as a representative of that group. While the issues of a class action can differ, the issues in dispute are common to all class members.
There are a number of benefits for plaintiffs who wish to pursue a class action rather than litigate their claims separately. Here are a few advantages of class action:
1. Lower Costs to Litigate
The legal costs to litigate the claims will be spread across many plaintiffs, so it is more feasible for them to be able to afford to litigate the case. Many class actions are handled on a contingency fee basis, meaning that the plaintiffs do not pay for legal fees unless they win the case.
2. Opportunity to Litigate
Even if each individual claim is not for that much money, a class action lawsuit allows plaintiffs to pursue a worthy cause. For example, A group of buyers pursue their right to claim against the property developer for Liquidated Ascertained Damages (LAD) or Guaranteed Rental Return (GRR). The more plaintiffs join a class action lawsuit, the less legal costs will be borne by each plaintiff, a class action allows such plaintiffs to seek justice.
3. A Greater Degree of Uniformity
For plaintiffs, class action lawsuits allow similarly-situated plaintiffs to recover in a similar manner. Additionally, defendants benefit from class action lawsuits in that they know that many similar claims have been resolved at the end of a trial or settlement.
4. Higher Likelihood of Financial Recovery
Another advantage to a class action lawsuit is that a judgment against the defendant may mean that the plaintiffs will actually see the money that they are awarded. If many plaintiffs sue the defendant around the same time, the earlier plaintiffs may be the only ones who receive damages if the defendant or business goes bankrupt. Class actions help ensure that damages are spread amongst plaintiffs.
5. More Experienced Legal Representation
It is no small feat for a lawyer to take on a class action lawsuit. The case may involve thousands of pages of documents, expensive expert witness fees and years of time to develop the case. Class action lawsuits may be handled by more experienced and competent lawyers who have gone through similar cases in the past. This allows plaintiffs to be able to have such representation that they may not have had if they pursued the claim on their own.
6. Greater Efficiency
Class actions also benefit the judicial system. The case is determined by one judge in one court, so inconsistent verdicts do not become an issue. One claim will generally take less time than many similar claims tried at different times. The alternative would be to clog up court schedules, making it harder for other individuals to receive their day in court.