Class action lawsuits involve four key components: Numerosity, commonality, typicality and adequacy. When a large group of people collectively sues a particular defendant or class of defendant over similar injuries or losses, that’s a class action suit. A well-known example is the suit brought by people who had taken the drug combination fenfluramine/phentermine, commonly called fen-phen and marketed by American Home Products. The biggest diet pill craze of the 1990s was shown to cause potentially fatal pulmonary hypertension and heart valve problems and a class action lawsuit led to American Home Products agreeing to pay victims $3.75 billion. Products liability attorneys with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell explain the four key components in a class action lawsuit:
- Numerosity: Plaintiffs must show that the class of victims is numerous enough to make a class action suit the most practicable way to try the case. While not set minimum number of class members exists, most courts will require at least 100 members. Plaintiffs also must show that class members are identifiable via a specific criteria or information.
- Commonality: Plaintiffs seeking to file a class action suit must show that there exist questions of law and fact that are common to each class members’ claims and that the opposing party has engaged in some course of conduct that caused losses to the class members.
- Typicality: Plaintiff class members must show that losses are similar and arise from the same event or course of conduct by the defendant or defendant class, and that their individual claims all are based on the same legal theory.
- Adequacy: Finally, the plaintiffs must show that they and their attorneys are willing and able to fairly and adequately protect the interests of the full class of plaintiffs, including absentee members who may number in the tens or hundreds.
If you’ve been injured by a defendant’s product, service or course of action, contact a personal injury attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.