Koester & Bradley is actively involved in class action litigation. Through working relationships with other firms throughout the country, the firm is and has been involved in class actions in the courts of numerous states from Florida to Oregon. A class action is a lawsuit by one or a few plaintiffs on behalf of a large group that has been similarly mistreated by a defendant. Through a class action, it becomes economical to bring a suit that otherwise could not be brought. Where a defendant has improperly obtained a small sum of money from a large number of people, a class action allows a method by which all of the people may receive their money back.
A lawsuit, under either the Federal or State Class Action Laws, is started by the first few plaintiffs filing a claim against someone (the “defendant”) for a “common” injury or damage suffered by all members of the proposed class.
Once the court allows, the first few plaintiffs, commonly known as the “putative class” also file a motion for class certification. This means that the Court, whether Illinois state or federal, acknowledges that there are many “similarly situated” people and that the best way to handle the case is by a class action.
In some cases, the court requires full discovery in order to determine the size of the proposed class and whether the requirements are met for class certification.
Even though the defendants may object to the motion for class certification, the defendants have the option to object to the motion for class certification.
In order for the class to be able to be certified, it must meet the following three requirements:
It should include so many people with the same problem that it is simply unreasonable to handle individual cases;
That the claims, or even the defenses to the claims are typical among all of the class; and
That the “class representatives” and their lawyers are the right people for the job of representing the entire class. This final requirement is why many law firms are simply not equipped to handle a class action lawsuit.
The party seeking certification must prove that they will be subjected to common issues rather than individual fact-specific conflicts, which are resolved in a class action rather than individual litigation. This means that the first few individuals speaking on behalf of the class action lawsuit must put their best foot forward along with their attorneys.
In such cases, there is no fee if there is no recovery. If there is a recovery, the court determines the amount of the attorney’s fee and orders that it be paid from the recovery or as an additional payment by the defendant. Further, the plaintiffs who serve as class representatives may be awarded a class representative’s fee as determined by the court. The class representatives also receive the same money and other relief that all of the members of the class receive.
If you would like to be contacted by a member of the firm concerning a potential new class action or concerning any of the firm’s pending class actions please send an e-mail or phone the firm’s office.
Examples of class action litigation where members of the firm are or have been involved include the following:
- Shareholders’ Actions – class actions by shareholders of corporations in regard to losses suffered by shareholders as a result of corporate malfeasance seeking damages for loss in stock value and seeking orders directing the corporation to adopt measures to minimize losses in the future.
- Motor Vehicle Insurance – class actions against various insurance carriers concerning such conduct as the companies’ specification of non-original equipment body parts in repairing their insureds’ vehicles and the failure to pay for the diminished value of their insureds’ vehicles after repair.
- Telephone Service Provider Practices – class actions against various telephone service providers concerning conduct such as “cramming” (improperly billing customers for services that have not been ordered), unrequested in line wire maintenance programs, “slamming” (unauthorized changing of long distance service providers) and “bait and switch” (deceptive offers to obtain new customers).
- Health Insurance Co-Pay Litigation – class actions against certain health insurance carriers concerning deceptive and improper practices involving, among other things, the calculation of their insureds’ co-payment obligations. Several of these cases have been completed resulting in millions of dollars in refunds to consumers.
- Force Placed Insurance Litigation – class actions against lenders concerning deceptive practices in the placement of collateral protection insurance (property insurance). Several cases have been concluded resulting in millions of dollars in refunds.
- Motor Vehicles – the firm is presently involved in the litigation against Ford Motor Company concerning the design of the Explorer Sport Utility and against Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone in regard to the tires used on the Explorer.
- Truck Bedliners – the firm was lead counsel in litigation compelling truck bedliner manufacturers to give warnings and fund an educational campaign concerning the dangers of static electricity causing a fire when flammable liquids are handled under certain circumstances in a truck equipped with a bedliner.
- Insurance Practices – class actions against insurance carriers concerning sales, underwriting, reinsurance and advertising practices.
- Improper Billing Practices – involving the intentional adding on of false or improper charges or overcharging for goods or services.
- Cruise Line Litigation – class actions against large cruise lines alleging deceptive practices in the course of billing of passengers for “port charges.”
- Deceptive Sales Practices – class actions against various businesses alleging deceptive trade practices in regard to the sale of such products as gasoline and pharmaceuticals.
- Collection Practices – class actions against lenders and collection agencies concerning improper collection activities including violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Illinois Class Action Law Firm
According to the Illinois Compiled Statues (the group of codes that govern all laws in Illinois), a class action lawsuit is one in which a large number of plaintiffs are bringing similar claims against the defendant(s). Many of the largest class actions are governed by federal law due to the fact that many plaintiffs are involved in the case. However, Koester & Bradley also has experience with Illinois state lass action lawsuits at a smaller scale.
Koester & Bradley also works to help clients that are plaintiffs for class actions are governed by federal law. In particular, The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23 and 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332 (d) –provide that a class action may be filed in federal court if the claim arises under federal law or if the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 and one of the following conditions is met: (1) any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a State different from any defendant; (2) any member of a class of plaintiffs is a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state and any defendant is a citizen of a State; or (3) any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a State and any defendant is a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state. – The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23 and 28 U.S.C.A. § 1332
If you would like to be contacted by a representative of the firm, please send an e-mail or phone the office.
Koester & Bradley, LLP handles class action cases on a contingent fee basis with the fee being a percentage of the recovery. There is no fee if there is no recovery.