Bringing a lawsuit is expensive, and not every case will result in damages large enough to warrant suing. Class action lawsuits are ideally suited to serve people who have similar claims whose interests might not be served in an individual lawsuit because the size of the claim is too small. For example, multiple employees of a corporation might bring a class action to seek relief for unpaid overtime. In another situation, consumers who suffered minor injuries due to a defective food processor might have grounds to bring a consumer class action based on product liability law. If you are interested in this option, the Grand Rapids and Traverse City class action lawyers at Neumann Law Group can evaluate whether you may have a case and represent you if appropriate. Our principal, Kelly Neumann, can help people who need an employment attorney or guidance in other areas in which class actions may arise.Bringing a Class Action
Class actions may be brought in Michigan state court or in federal court, depending on the claims involved. These courts are governed by different rules and time limits. Usually, it becomes clear early in a case whether it would be appropriate to ask the court to certify a class. MCR 3.501 requires you to move for class certification within 91 days of filing a class action complaint unless you have a very strong reason or the parties have agreed to an extension. In contrast, there is no similar hard deadline under federal law to obtain class certification.
In Michigan, representative plaintiffs may only pursue class action relief if they meet basic requirements. These requirements are almost the same as the federal requirements. The representative plaintiffs may file suit on behalf of all members of a class if:
- There are so many people in the class that individual joinder of each member is not practical;
- There are common questions of law or fact to class members that predominate over individual questions;
- The representative parties' claims and defenses are typical of the entire class' claims and defenses;
- Representatives can fairly and adequately protect and put forward the class' interests; and
- Maintaining the lawsuit as a class action is better than other available adjudication methods in administering justice.
In Michigan, a lawsuit may not go forward as a class action if it satisfies only some of these factors. It needs to meet each of these requirements. Our class action attorneys can help Traverse City and Grand Rapids residents develop a strategy to satisfy them. Although the court will not decide the underlying claims at the class certification phase, it will evaluate the facts, the applicable laws, and any defenses when deciding whether a case should proceed as a class action.
Notice of the lawsuit will need to be provided to all class members. In most cases, identifying the class members and providing notice to them is the responsibility of the representative plaintiffs. A notice under MCR 3.501(C)(5)(b) should include a statement of the right of class members to opt out from the class action by submitting an election asking to be excluded.Consult a Class Action Lawyer in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
Class action lawsuits in either federal or state court require the participation of skilled and knowledgeable attorneys. If you believe that you have grounds to pursue this type of litigation, our Traverse City and Grand Rapids class action attorneys may be able to provide representation. We also assist people in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form for a free consultation with a product liability lawyer or guidance with another potential class action case.