New Jersey & New York Class Action Attorneys
Class actions are lawsuits in which a large number of people with similar injuries file a combined suit against a defendant who has caused all of them harm. The defendant in a class action suit may be an individual, a group of people, a corporation or another type of entity. At Nagel Rice LLP, as a comprehensive medical malpractice and personal injury law firm, we have class action lawsuits as one of our special practice areas. We have the distinction of having won some of the largest class action suits in New York and New Jersey. In total, we have won over $1 billion for our clients so far.
The Reason Behind Class Action Lawsuits
The concept of a class action arises out of circumstances in which so many people have been personally injured by the same party that filing individual lawsuits is impractical and not cost-effective. By having one or a few “representative plaintiffs” file the suit on behalf of the whole “class,” the attorney and court costs are limited to a single trial and all the plaintiffs receive their deserved portion of the damages awarded. When class action suits are undertaken, all potential plaintiffs are contacted so they have the opportunity be included in the class grouping and sharing in the damages award, or to opt out.
Types of Class Action Lawsuits
There are many types of class action suits, generally defined by the nature of the defendant being targeted. The following are representative of some of the class action cases Nagel Rice has taken on:
Product liability involves a defective device, pharmaceutical, or another consumer product that has caused harm to many of those who purchased and used it.
Insurance litigation involves disputes regarding inadequate or flawed healthcare reimbursements and/or deceptive behavior on the part of insurance adjusters and executives.
Consumer Class Action
Consumer class action involves deceptive advertising, credit card fraud, charging illegally exorbitant interest or membership rates and other misconduct designed to defraud customers.
Brokerage Class Action
Brokerage class action involves improper marketing, sales practices and investment manipulations that have resulted in inappropriate losses (or diminished gains) to investors and similarly deceptive practices that have negatively affected brokers.
Track Record of Success
Our talented, diligent attorneys at Nagel Rice, LLP, have obtained over $250 million in settlements or verdicts of class-action suits. We have won substantial damages for our class-action clients against brokerage firms, credit card companies, banking institutions, and health insurance companies. Our practice has the resources to fully investigate every class- action case in terms of evidence, relevant interviews, and accumulated statistics. Moreover, we have the skills to negotiate shrewdly in order to win large settlements. If negotiations break down, we are fully prepared to go to court, using our unparalleled litigation know-how to make sure you win the maximum recovery possible. Among the substantial cases we’ve won for our class action clients are the following:
- $200 Million class action settlement with Horizon involving out-of-network providers. NJ Law Journal 10/25/2010**
- $98 Million class action settlement against major brokerage firm
- $50 Million class action settlement against major brokerage firm
- $23.5 million – class action settlement against HSBC for improper marketing and sales practices
- $20 million – class action settlement against Bank of America for improper marketing and sales practices
- $10.5 million – class action settlement against Discover Card for improper marketing and sales practices
- $9 million – class action judgment, reversed on appeal
- $2.4 million – class action settlement involving eating disorder coverage by Aetna
- $2.1 million – class action settlement in Medieval Times litigation
- Settlement with Blue Cross over flawed health plan reimbursements
Our experience ranges from class actions concerning defective products to class actions against health insurers who have failed to make proper payment to surgical centers. In our representation of class actions, we commit our wide-ranging resources to developing cases and litigating claims to ensure the maximum possible recovery for our clients.
How Damages Won in Class Action Lawsuits Are Divided
When we win a class action case against a defendant, everyone who has participated as part of the “class” category is entitled to a percentage of the damages. At times, it is too difficult to identify and/or contact every single person who may have suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions. In such cases, we make a fund available to anyone who can demonstrate that they have suffered harm because of the defendant’s actions.
Unusual and Inventive Class Action Settlements
On occasion, particularly when “injuries” were minor and/or simple cases of deception or collusion and no plaintiffs were physically or emotionally harmed, the defendant is sometimes able to negotiate a legal arrangement that seems more like a gift than a settlement. An example of this occurred when several department stores agreed to give away free make-up for a limited period in order to reimburse customers they had defrauded by secretly agreeing with one another to keep the prices of their cosmetics artificially inflated.
How Class Action Cases Proceed
Unlike other civil cases, class action suits have to be certified before they can proceed. Though requirements to certify the “class” vary from one state to another, they typically involve presenting evidence that all members of the class suffered similar alleged injuries, and that the class can be clearly differentiated from those who are not part of it. Also, the court usually requires that the class is large enough to make separate lawsuits impractical. In most cases, the court accepts a count of 25 to 40 or more class members.
Because the judge who will certify the class is given a fair amount of discretion, it is difficult to predict whether a particular case will be certified or not, and obtaining the certification may be a prolonged and complicated process. If the class is not legally certified, the case is dismissed. If a class is certified, it can be moved on to pretrial procedures. Having an experienced, highly capable attorney is crucial to having a class action suit make it over this first big hurdle.
Why It Is Important to Have A Powerful Class Action Attorney on Your Team
When you are filing a class action lawsuit, you should remember that you are typically engaging in a David and Goliath confrontation. Although there may be a great many Davids on your side, the defendant in a class action suit is most likely a giant of wealth and power, often well-connected to other titans of industry and political clout. The defendant has almost certainly retained prominent legal counsel.
At Nagel Rice, we have our own well-earned reputation for outstanding credentials and effective skills. We can therefore ensure you and your class that the playing field has been leveled. If you believe you have a viable class action suit, or even suspect you may be part of a large group of people who have been harmed by the same defendant, please get in touch with Nagel Rice so we can evaluate the situation and guide you. Remember, there is no fee to any of the plaintiffs unless we win your case. You can be in touch with us by phone or by filling out the contact form on our website.
** Preliminary settlement reached. Settlement terminated by defendant.