Have you been harmed by a particular action, inaction, or product in South Carolina? If so, you might be eligible for compensation or other remedies. The harm may be physical, emotional, and/or financial, and it may not have only harmed you but others could have experienced the same harm. When there are multiple harmed parties, a class action may be the most effective way to obtain justice.
At Hopkins Law Firm, our legal team in Charleston, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island manages class and collective actions. Whether the scope is statewide, regional, or nationwide, we recognize the critical importance of organization and client communication, and we make it a top priority. Contact us today at (843) 314-4202 to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Class Action Lawsuit?
A class action lawsuit, also known as a collective action, involves a claim filed by one or several plaintiffs representing a larger group of plaintiffs who have all suffered the same wrong as a result of the action or inaction of the same person or organization.
Class action lawsuits can involve hundreds or even thousands of plaintiffs. Both state and federal courts hear class action lawsuits, depending on the relevant law at issue.
The law has developed around class action lawsuits for two reasons:
- Affordability. They are a more practical and affordable way for plaintiffs to pursue a claim. Where a plaintiff has suffered a minor injury (for example, several hundred dollars of incorrectly charged bank fees), the cost of litigation may otherwise deter them from filing a claim. By joining claims in a class action, individuals can share the costs of litigation and access relief. It also addresses the power imbalance between large corporate defendants with vast resources and individual plaintiffs.
- Efficiency. Class actions also streamline the legal process. Rather than tying up the court system with potentially hundreds of individual cases related to the same issue, one court hears from one list of witnesses and considers common issues.
Class actions also act as a deterrent against corporate wrongdoing due to their potential cost and the publicity they can attract.
Common Types of Class Action Lawsuits
Examples of issues that can arise in class action lawsuits include:
- Defective products
- Pharmaceutical and medical device personal injury cases
- Breaches of data and privacy laws
- Employment issues such as misclassification of workers and overtime pay
- Discrimination in mortgage refinancing decisions
Cases must meet certain criteria before they can be heard as a class action.
Prerequisites Necessary to Certify a Class Action Lawsuit in South Carolina
To start a class action, a complaint is filed by at least one class representative. Before the case can proceed, it must be certified by a court.
At the federal level, Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a plaintiff to prove:
- Numerosity. There are so many class members that it's impracticable to join them in one action. If it's not, then a regular civil action may be more appropriate. When deciding this, the court considers factors such as (1) the difficulty in locating potential class members; (2) how complex the individual claims are; and (3) the types of claims and what relief is sought.
- Commonality. The case involves questions of law or fact common to all class members. It does not mean every class member's case must be factually identical, but at least one common question of law or fact must be present.
- Typicality. The claims of the proposed class representative and defenses against the claims are typical of those of all potential class members.
- Adequacy. The proposed class representative has sufficient interest in the case to adequately represent the interests of the entire class. When deciding this, the court looks at issues including whether there are any conflicts of interest or disagreements between the class representative and class members. It also closely examines the lawyers representing the proposed class representative and their experience.
The court also must make one of the following findings:
- Individual claims could result in decisions that are inconsistent with other class members' claims; or
- Based on the defendant's acts or inaction to the class generally, declaratory or injunctive relief is appropriate; or
- Common questions predominate over questions affecting only individual members, and a class action is the best way to decide the matter.
The certification process at a state level varies, although most echo the federal approach.
Do Potential Plaintiffs in South Carolina Have to Join the Class Action?
After a class action has been certified by a court, the parties and the court will try to identify potential class members. These class members will be notified of the action and their rights, typically via a Notice of Class Action in the mail.
If a class member wants to remain in the class action, they can either do nothing or engage their own attorney to represent them in the case. By remaining in a class action, a class member is bound by the outcome. They receive a portion of any judgment or settlement reached but are prevented from bringing a separate action concerning the same facts and issues.
A class member can also choose to opt out of the class action. By doing so, they will not receive any part of a judgment or settlement but are free to file their own lawsuit.
Examples of Class Action Lawsuits in South Carolina
Many class actions exist in the United States, and they are brought for multiple reasons and under multiple categories. Below are examples of pending or past class actions or open investigations.
- Ford Bronco Windshield Wiper Lawsuit
- Ford Explorer Subframe Lawsuit
- Hyundai, Kia Dual-Clutch Transmission Problems
- Telluride, Palisade Headlight Lawsuit
- Tesla Range Lawsuit
- Dishwasher Heating Element Lawsuit
- CPVC Pipe Failure
Data and Privacy
- 23andMe Data Breach Scandal
- Hospital Website Privacy Lawsuits
- Kroger.com Privacy Lawsuit
- McLaren Health Care Data Breach
- MUBI Data Sharing Lawsuit
- Crock-Pot Nonstick Coating Lawsuit
- Eye Shadow Irritation Lawsuits
- Philips Avent Bottle Warmer Overheating Lawsuit
- Skip Hop Baby Gate Lawsuit
Drugs and Supplements
- Artificial Tears Lawsuits
- Baby Formula NEC Lawsuits
- Phenylephrine Lawsuits
- Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit
Employment and Workplace Issues
- Bring Your Own Device Lawsuit
- California Pay Stub Lawsuits
- Corrections Officer Wage Lawsuits
- Day Rate Oil and Gas Workers Overtime Lawsuits
- DHL Delivery Driver Lawsuits
- Employee Misclassification
- Employment Background Checks
- Healthcare COVID Overtime Lawsuits
- Independent Contractor Lawsuits
- Lyft Driver Independent Contractor Lawsuits
- Miscalculating Overtime
- Overtime Pay
- Hair Relaxers, Straighteners Cancer Lawsuits
- Lead-Sheathed Cables Lawsuit
- Mesothelioma Lawsuits
- Military Water Contamination Lawsuits
- Roundup Cancer Lawsuits
- School PCB Exposure Lawsuits
Insurance or Finance
- AMEX Merchant Fee Lawsuit
- Deceased on Credit Report
- FCRA Credit Report Lawsuits
- Total Loss Rental Car Lawsuits
- Visa, Mastercard Merchant Fee Class Action Settlement
- Advanced Bionics Cochlear Implant Lawsuit
- Allergan Breast Implant Lawsuit
- Hernia Mesh Lawsuits
- Philips CPAP Recall Lawsuit
- Port-a-Cath Lawsuits
- Dunkin Non-Dairy Milk Lawsuit
- Excessive Notary Fee Lawsuits
- Foreign Transaction Charges Lawsuit
- HP Printer Ink Lawsuit
- Steam Antitrust Refunds
- Vet Billing Lawsuit
If you believe you are a victim of any one of the above class action lawsuits, contact Hopkins Law Firm today to discuss the matter. We can help identify whether you qualify and what to do moving forward.
Pros and Cons of a Class Action Lawsuit in South Carolina
Class action lawsuits can be a great way for a group of plaintiffs to collectively seek justice for injuries caused by a defendant's actions or negligence. However, like any legal recourse, there are both advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these factors is crucial for potential class members to make informed decisions about protecting their rights.
Advantages of Class Action Lawsuits
- Resource Optimization. Hiring a class action attorney allows you to pool resources with other victims, reducing individual legal costs and litigation expenses. This shared financial burden makes pursuing justice more feasible for those who might not have the resources for individual litigation.
- Access to Collective Strength. By joining a class action, you gain the collective strength of a group, increasing the impact of your case. This unity often encourages defendants to take the claims more seriously.
- Access to Technology and Resources. Class action attorneys leverage advanced legal technology to organize and manage large volumes of data, making it easier to build a compelling case. They also have access to extensive legal resources to strengthen their arguments.
- Relief for Small Amounts. Lower costs make it feasible for plaintiffs to seek compensation for smaller amounts, which might be impractical in individual lawsuits.
- Greater Judicial Efficiency. Class action lawsuits are handled by one judge in one court, streamlining the legal process and saving both time and resources.
- Uniformity of Recoveries. A single decision or settlement ensures consistent recoveries for similar plaintiffs, providing fairness and predictability.
- Uniformity for Defendants. Defendants benefit from a single, clear resolution, avoiding confusion on how to comply with various judgments.
- Equal Opportunity for Damages. All plaintiffs have an equal chance to receive damages, avoiding disparities in compensation based on when a lawsuit is filed.
Disadvantages of Class Action Lawsuits
- Lack of Decision-Making Control. Representatives of the affected class make critical decisions, leaving individual plaintiffs without direct influence on settlement negotiations or litigation choices.
- Limited Compensation Types. Class actions often settle for financial compensation, coupons, or rebates, posing challenges for plaintiffs seeking non-monetary relief.
- Risk of Weak Representation. If class representatives or their attorneys fail to present strong claims, legitimate class members may not receive fair compensation.
- Inability to Bring Individual Lawsuits. Unsuccessful class actions may prevent individual class members from pursuing independent lawsuits in the future.
After weighing the pros and cons of a class action lawsuit with our attorney, we can determine what is best in your unique situation and develop a legal strategy accordingly.
Why Choose Our Class Action Attorney in South Carolina
By choosing our class action lawyer at Hopkins Law Firm, we can help you in many ways. Some of the main reasons you should choose us include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Legal Expertise. We know how to navigate complex legal frameworks related to class actions. Our expertise ensures a thorough understanding of the intricacies involved in your case.
- Individualized Assessment. We will assess your situation to determine whether joining a class action is the most appropriate course of action or if an individual lawsuit is more suitable for your specific circumstances
- Efficient Case Management. We manage complex cases involving numerous plaintiffs. We streamline the legal process, ensuring efficient case management and avoiding redundant efforts.
- Expert Negotiation Skills. Our class action attorney is a skilled negotiator who can advocate for fair settlements on behalf of the entire class. We help ensure that victims receive just compensation for their losses.
- Navigating Multi Jurisdictional Challenges. In cases where the harm spans multiple jurisdictions, our class action attorney can efficiently navigate the legal challenges associated with diverse legal landscapes.
- Transparent Communication. We facilitate clear communication between the legal team and class members. We also keep clients informed about case developments, ensuring transparency throughout the litigation process.
- Trial Preparedness. In the event the case goes to trial, our class action attorney works diligently to prepare a strong case.
- Timely Resolution. We aim for efficient resolutions, striving to bring closure to victims within a reasonable timeframe. Our approach to managing class actions contributes to a smoother and more expedited legal process.
In addition to the above, we work diligently to preserve your rights. We are dedicated and will work towards securing the best possible outcome for your case.
Contact a Class Action Lawyer in Charleston, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island Today
Deciding whether to participate in a class action lawsuit in South Carolina requires careful consideration of the facts and circumstances. Potential class members should weigh the potential outcomes and implications before joining a class action to ensure a realistic understanding of the situation.
At Hopkins Law Firm, we believe that when our clients are well-informed, it empowers them to make smart decisions that lead to favorable outcomes. Contact our class action attorney in South Carolina by using the online form or calling us at (843) 314-4202 to schedule a free consultation.