The following guide on class action lawsuits is designed to provide clarity and insight for those considering or participating in a class action. At our firm, we understand the complexities involved in these legal proceedings and are committed to offering expert guidance every step of the way. Following are the top ten questions our clients frequently ask about class action lawsuits. For more information on the process, or if you’re considering an action in the Camp Lejeune class action suit, or any other active suit, contact us directly at 1-800-ACCIDENT.

1. What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A: A class action lawsuit is a legal action taken by a group of people collectively against a defendant for similar grievances. This type of lawsuit allows individuals—often with smaller claims that wouldn’t be feasible to pursue individually—to band together and seek justice and compensation for their common issues.

2. How Do I Know If I’m Eligible to Join a Class Action Lawsuit?

A: Eligibility depends on the specific criteria set out in the lawsuit, which typically revolves around having suffered harm in a similar manner as the other class members. If you’ve received a notification about a class action lawsuit, it’s likely you meet the preliminary criteria. Otherwise, consulting with a legal professional experienced in class action suits can help determine your eligibility.

3. What Are the Benefits of Joining a Class Action Lawsuit?

A: Joining a class action lawsuit can provide several benefits, including the ability to share legal costs, access to justice for smaller claims, and the strength in numbers that can lead to larger settlements or judgments. It also reduces the burden on courts by consolidating numerous similar cases.

4. What Types of Cases Are Typically Handled as Class Actions?

A: Class action lawsuits can arise from a variety of situations, including consumer fraud, defective products, corporate misconduct, environmental disasters, and employment practices. Essentially, any scenario where a large number of individuals are harmed in a similar way by the same entity could lead to a class action. Examples of current class action cases we’re handling at Kellum Law Firm include the Camp Lejeune toxic water class action lawsuit, Elmiron Lawsuit, Valsartan Lawsuit, and more here

5. How Long Does a Class Action Lawsuit Take?

A: The duration of a class action lawsuit can vary widely, often taking several years to resolve. Factors that influence the timeline include the complexity of the case, the number of class members, and whether the case settles or goes to trial.

6. What Are the Steps Involved in Filing a Class Action Lawsuit?

A: Filing a class action lawsuit involves several key steps: identifying the harmed individuals (class members), determining commonality in their grievances, selecting a lead plaintiff (class representative), filing the lawsuit, and seeking class certification from the court. From there, the case may proceed to discovery, settlement negotiations, or trial.

7. Who Pays for the Legal Costs in a Class Action Lawsuit?

A: Typically, class action lawsuits operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning the attorneys are only paid if the lawsuit is successful in securing a settlement or judgment. The legal fees are then deducted from the settlement or judgment awarded to the class members.

8. How Will I Be Notified If I’m Part of a Class Action Lawsuit?

A: Class members are usually notified through direct mail, email, or public notices, depending on the contact information available and the size of the class. These notifications provide details on the lawsuit, the claims involved, and instructions on how to participate or opt-out.

9. Can I Opt Out of a Class Action Lawsuit?

A: Yes, class members have the right to opt out of a class action lawsuit, usually by following specific instructions provided in the notification. Opting out allows you to pursue individual legal action, but you will no longer be eligible for any settlement or judgment from the class action.

10. What Happens If the Class Action Lawsuit Is Successful?

A: If a class action lawsuit is successful, either through settlement or a court judgment, the compensation awarded is divided among the class members according to a plan approved by the court. This plan takes into account the extent of each member’s harm and how many individuals are in the class. Class members will receive notification on how to claim their share of the compensation.


Case Study: The Camp Lejeune Class Action Lawsuit

The Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit is a significant legal case that underscores the complexity and importance of class action litigation in seeking justice for widespread harm. Located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps base where, from the 1950s through the 1980s, service members, their families, and civilian workers were exposed to contaminated drinking water.

Background: The contamination was the result of leaking underground storage tanks, industrial spills, and an off-base dry cleaning establishment. The water was found to be contaminated with hazardous chemicals at concentrations 240 to 3400 times permitted by safety standards. These chemicals included trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride, among others. It is estimated that as many as one million people may have been exposed to the tainted water over the three decades.

Health Impacts: Studies conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and other organizations have identified associations between contaminated water and the development of several serious health conditions. These include various types of cancer (such as bladder, kidney, and breast cancer), leukemia, infertility, miscarriage, and neurobehavioral effects.

Legal Journey: The road to justice for victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination has been long and fraught with challenges. For years, affected individuals sought to hold the government accountable, but faced obstacles such as governmental immunity and statutes of limitations. However, persistent efforts by veterans’ groups, affected families, and their legal representatives led to significant breakthroughs.

In 2012, the U.S. government passed the Janey Ensminger Act, providing medical care for affected veterans. Further progress came in 2021 when the Camp Lejeune Justice Act was introduced, aiming to grant affected individuals the right to sue for damages. This legislation, part of the broader Honoring Our PACT Act, was signed into law in 2022, marking a pivotal moment in the pursuit of justice for Camp Lejeune victims. It allows those who were exposed to the contaminated water and suffered health consequences to file claims against the federal government.

Settlement and Compensation: The settlement process for the Camp Lejeune class action lawsuit involves the evaluation of individual claims to determine eligibility for compensation based on the extent of exposure and the severity of health impacts. Due to the large number of potential claimants and the variety of illnesses linked to the contamination, the process is expected to be complex and ongoing.

The Camp Lejeune class action case is emblematic of the challenges and triumphs associated with class action lawsuits, especially those involving environmental contamination and government liability. It highlights the importance of perseverance, legal expertise, and legislative advocacy in achieving justice for widespread harm. For individuals and families affected by the Camp Lejeune water contamination, the class action lawsuit represents a path to acknowledgment, compensation, and closure.

Class action lawsuits offer a powerful avenue for addressing widespread harm and holding corporations or entities accountable for their actions. Understanding the ins and outs of this legal process is crucial for those affected by such issues. Our firm is dedicated to guiding you through every aspect of class action litigation, from determining your eligibility to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have further questions or need personalized advice on a potential class action lawsuit, don’t hesitate to contact us for expert legal support.

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