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Class Action financial liability

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by Serr, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Serr

    Serr Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Is it possible to get in trouble for participating in a "opt-out" class action? For example to be financially responsible for defendants attorney fees in case of a denied class action? In other words, can be a problem to be legally bound by any Court decision? Even if most of the actions are prosecuted on a contingency basis by the plaintiff lawyers, what about the defendants? Can they also ask for refund?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but this thread is designed to help with real legal concerns in the United States.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    In the abstract anything is possible. You'll have to provide your state and some details about the class action, what part you play and at what level.
     
  4. Serr

    Serr Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the answer. I am talking about a class action against a corporation for defective product throughout the US. At the lowest level of class member who did not start the class but was notified about.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I regularly get notified about pending class action lawsuits requesting I review the information to determine if I qualify to join the lawsuit.

    I answer a few screening queries, abracadabra, I'm a qualified and registered plaintiff.

    Time passes, weeks, sometimes months; I receive a check for "my share" of the lawsuit.

    I received two such checks (one for me, one for my spouse) each amounting to $495.00 last Thursday.

    I have never been asked to contribute one penny to fund the lawsuit.

    The law firm prosecuting the lawsuit gets paid out of the money it receives for the plaintiffs, and that can be billions of dollars.

    The only losers are the entities that end up being unsuccessful in defending against the lawsuit.

    Your results might vary, but I doubt that if the lawsuit fell flat on it's face, that you'd be asked to fork over one US dollar.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    In the abstract, virtually anything is possible. What do you mean by "a[n] 'opt-out' class action," and what is the nature of your participation?

    This is an incomplete sentence. If you're asking whether it's possible for a court to enter an order that makes someone other than the defendants in a class action liable for the defendants' attorneys' fees, the answer is yes.

    Huh?

    What about them?

    Anyone can ask for anything.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    At your level you probably have nothing to worry about.
     
  8. Serr

    Serr Law Topic Starter New Member

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    First, thank you for your answer.

    By an 'opt-out' class action I mean that you receive a notice stating that you are automatically included in the class unless you choose to exclude yourself. Other class actions could be 'opt-in', and you would have to ask to join the class to become a class member.
    Some customers have sued a company because of defective products and any person who has purchased similar products is automatically a class member.

    Thank you for the comment, I am trying to understand if "someone other than the defendants" could be myself, and how likely this is to happen.
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Based on that explanation, the answer to your question is "no".
     
  10. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    For whatever reason, I did not see this post (#4 in this thread) when I responded previously. A person who is merely a member of the plaintiff class and who did not participate in the lawsuit in any way cannot be held liable for the defendant's fees/costs.
     

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