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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below are some of the common questions we receive regarding TopClassActions.com. If you have any other questions, please email Staff@topclassactions.com for assistance.
Q: Can you tell me about (insert random class action lawsuit settlement here)? I don't see it on your site.
Q: I want to participate in class action lawsuit settlement but it's not open anymore. How can I make a claim in a closed settlement?
Q: I looked all over your site but I can't find the class action I'm looking for. How can I find the class action about product/service?
A: Try using the Google Search box. It is on the top right hand corner of every page on this site. Enter in the product or service name you are looking for and hit Enter. That will search Top Class Actions and give you a link to the lawsuit you are looking for if we covered it. If you can't find it that way we probably didn't cover it yet or there may not be a class action for the specific product or service you are searching for.
A: The United States Congress and courts have long recognized that in certain circumstances, groups of injured persons should be allowed to combine their claims and pursue them together, in "a class action". This is true for several reasons. First, a sole individual may not be able to pursue his own claims because he simply cannot afford to hire an attorney and pay for the costs that a lawsuit would require. The costs alone may be too high for one person to pay, or the attorneys' fees and costs of the case could exceed the value of the individual's claim. Certainly no attorney will take such a case on a contingency, because it would not pay enough for his efforts. In those circumstances, the individual might never be able to pursue his claim, and a class action litigation may be the only avenue to compensate victims of wrongdoing. By creating a group or class, individuals join to fight defendants, who often have more substantial resources.
In addition, when a group of individuals asserts claims that present common issues about the facts or the law -- for example, as the individuals were the victims of the same illegal practice, or bought the same defective product, or were treated similarly by the defendant -- the class-action device saves the resources of both the courts and the parties. It allows for actions to go forward more economically because the claims of many persons are combined and ruled on in one case, in one court, and through one trial. Hundreds or thousands of trials, in dozens of courts or more, can be avoided.
Thus, the central purpose of the procedural device of a class action to advance the efficiency and economy of litigation, and enforce the rights of many people. Class certification is often the best mechanism to determine whether a company practiced and is liable for illegal practices, and if liability is determined, the best procedure to put an end to the alleged illegal practices and also to compensate the class members.
Please note that this is only a summary on class actions, their purpose and some of their requirements. In addition, please recognize there are several technical legal requirements for a class action to be allowed, and many questions that must be proven through long and detailed procedures. Success is never a given: Many courts have found that certain cases should not be allowed to go forward as class actions. There never can be an assurance or assumption that any case -- no matter how valid its claims, or how strong its allegations may seem -- will be certified for the class procedure, or will be allowed to proceed under the substantive law.
A: This is when defendants in the class action lawsuit have made an agreement with the plaintiffs in the case and the court and are looking for those people who may be impacted by the settlement (those who purchased the product or service.) When a class action lawsuit is in the Pending Settlement phase affected customers can file their claim during the registration period. Once that registration period is over you can no longer file a claim and get your part of the settlement. That’s why it’s important to sign up for our email list and check back at Top Class Actions often or you may risk missing a BIG settlement. Don’t let something like the McGee v Ross Stores Settlement pass you by.
A: Typically there are no costs to join a class action lawsuit or a class action lawsuit settlement. The attorneys don't get paid unless they win or settlement. Their payment typically comes out of the settlement fund.
Q: Is the information I submit to Top Class Actions or the Settlement Administrator websites confidential?
A: All information submitted to Top Class Actions is kept confidential and will only be viewed by Top Class Actions Staff or attorneys advertising on Top Class Actions . It's not sold, leased or otherwise shared with any outside parties unless specifically noted in the article or area you submit your information. You will always be notified PRIOR to submitting any information that would be shared with an entity outside of Top Class Actions LLC. At this time the only outside entity that has access to your email address is the vendor managing our email distribution (YMLP.com.) They aren't allowed to sell, lease, rent or in any way distribute your email address to anyone other than Top Class Actions LLC. If you submit a complaint via the complaint form or one of the requested settlements attorneys in our network will have the ability to see your personal data and you may be contacted for additional information or for assistance in filing your case.
Settlement Administrators across the country manage the actual record keeping of Class Action Settlements. In all ways possible they strive to maintain the confidentiality of all data and claims processing information submitted by claimants and affected class participants. For more information on Claims Administrators please see the relevant section below.
A: This is a very brief discussion of the role of a Named Plaintiff. Please contact a class action attorney for more details. A Named Plaintiff agrees to represent and protect the interests of the class, and to act with the highest degree of fidelity, honesty and loyalty and in the best interests of the class as a whole. Part of the Named Plaintiff's responsibilities may include monitoring the progress of the case, reviewing pleadings, being called upon to give testimony in a deposition, responding to written discovery, answering questions Class Counsel have as the litigation progresses, appearing for trial, etc. There is more to being a Named Plaintiff, but Plaintiffs' Counsel will explain this in depth to potential clients. Check out the Requested Settlements Section to express your interest in becoming a Lead Plaintiff in a class action lawsuit.
A: Named or lead plaintiffs in class action lawsuits typically receive an award once the case settles (or you win) which is usually unique from the award given to the rest of the class. In re Mego Financial Corp. Securities Litigation, the court affirmed the trial court’s award of an incentive award to the class representatives. 213 F.3d 454, 463 (9th Cir. 2000).
According to Van Vranken v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 901 F.Supp. 294, 299 (N.D.Cal. 1995) the criteria courts may consider in determining whether to make an incentive award include:
1) the risk to the class representative in commencing suit, both financial and otherwise
2) the notoriety and personal difficulties encountered by the class representative
3) the amount of time and effort spent by the class representative
4) the duration of the litigation
5) the personal benefit (or lack thereof) enjoyed by the class representative as a result of the litigation.
This award is only given at the discretion of the Court, and only if the Named Plaintiff has satisfied his or her duties and responsibilities to those they represent and has given time and effort in that representation. It is not a given that such a reward will be sought or granted. In fact, there are a number of considerations to the granting of such an award. Ultimately, the decision about whether to grant an award is up to the Court. The availability of such an award should not play any role in a person's decision to serve as a Named Plaintiff.
You can view examples of awards in almost all of the class action settlements listed in the Open Settlements and Closed Settlements sections of Top Class Actions. The awards are listed in the "Class Action Lawsuit Settlement Amount(s)" section of each article.
A: We're not asking for much, just your location, so we hope you'll provide it. It's not required. The reason we ask is that the more information we have, the more targeted we can be in selecting lawsuits which help our viewers. In addition, we'll have the ability to send you specific information for your area. For example, there was a recent class action settlement in Michigan regarding litigation against a local utility company. We want to make sure those notifications are only going to those affected, and not everyone.
A: Settlement Administrators are those who have been chosen by the courts to monitor the settlement process, accept claims, and pay them out after the acceptance period ends and the settlement closes. Typically, their websites include a form so you can submit your claim electronically. They're vital to the class action lawsuit settlement claim process. Links to the Settlement Administrator websites are included on almost all of the individual class actions settlement pages. Top Class Actions is NOT a Settlement Administrator or law firm. We have no access to your claim and can't give you any updates about your individual claim. We typically post an update once we receive word that checks are going out. Check out McGee v Ross Stores for an example.
Q: Can you tell me about (insert random class action lawsuit settlement here)? I don't see it on your site.
A: We only discuss the class action lawsuit settlements listed on our site. We cannot tell you about the status of your claim. We do not process claims. We are not a settlement administrator. We write about lawsuits but can't send you a claim form or tell if your claim has been processed. If you're asking about an old or closed class action lawsuit settlement which isn't listed we may not be able to offer assistance. If you're looking to take part in or start a new lawsuit please fill out our Complaint Form so the attorneys in our network can review it and contact you if they deem your complaint actionable. If you know about an open class action lawsuit settlement which isn't listed on our site please email it to us. We'll review it and post it if we feel it's a "Top Class Action."
Q: I want to participate in a class action lawsuit settlement but it's not open anymore. How can I make a claim in a closed settlement?
A: Unfortunately once a class action lawsuit settlement closes it's extremely unlikely for the case to be filed again. A similar case may be filed but new criteria must be in place. Please make sure to join our newsletter list so you won't miss out next time.
A: The key word to remember when making a claim on a class action settlement is PATIENCE. Once you make your claim, you still have to wait for the settlement period to end. Once the settlement closes, the judge reviews the case and approves it for payment processing. After that point (typically 3 - 6 months after the settlement closes) all of the claims submitted are formally reviewed by the claims administrator for validity. Once THAT'S done, the payments start going out. The entire process typically takes 1 - 2 years. Often Class Action Lawsuit Settlements are challenged by attorneys looking to change the terms of the settlement agreement or include themselves in it. When they are that delays payment as payments can't go out until the challenges are resolved. We encourage you to join our mailing list (below) and keep submitting claims.
A: We do not process claims. We are not a settlement administrator. We write about lawsuits but can't send you a claim form or tell if your claim has been processed. You must reach out to the Settlement Administrator for assistance. If it's not posted on our site we don't have any information about it..
LEGAL INFORMATION IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE
This site provides information about the law and class action lawsuit settlements designed to help users safely cope with their own legal needs. Legal information is NOT the same as legal advice - the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation. You should consider all postings or writings at TopClassActions.com by staff or others as personal opinion only and NOT the advice of a lawyer. Top Class Actions Legal Statement
Please note that there is no attorney-client relationship created until you have signed a retainer agreement and your case has been accepted.
Top Class Actions is not a law firm or attorney referral service.
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|Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 11:09|