MSF Attorneys at Law
MSF Animation

  • Consumer Fraud
  • Medical Devices
  • Dangerous Pharmaceuticals
  • Toxic Exposure
  • Alternatives to Class Actions
  • 215-561-2100
    Eleven Penn Center
    1835 Market Street
    Suite 2600
    Philadelphia, PA 19103


    Class Actions
    A class action is a method for individuals who have similar claims to be joined together to prosecute their claims in a more efficient manner. In order to initiate a class action, someone must agree to serve as the class representative. The class representative must be approved by the court. In order to be a class representative, the claims of the representative must be typical of the claims of the other members of the proposed class. The class representative is proceeding not only on his or her own behalf, but also on behalf of all others who are similarly situated.

    Typically a person who volunteers to serve as a class representative is rewarded by the court for agreeing to take the time to serve. However, serving as a class representative typically does not involve a large investment of time or effort.

    In order for a class action to be certified, the court must find that:

    1. the class action is a superior method of prosecuting the claim
    2. the claims of the class representative are typical
    3. the plaintiffs are so numerous to prevent joinder of all cases in one action, and
    4. the class counsel and class representative will adequately represent the interest of all class members.
    In cases where money damages are sought, in determining whether a class action is a fair and efficient method of adjudicating a controversy courts will consider, among other matters, whether the common questions of law or fact predominate over any questions affecting only individual claims, whether the size of the class will make management of the claim difficult, whether the prosecution of separate claims would create varying adjudications and incompatible standards of conduct or impair the ability of individual members to protect their interests.

    Courts will also consider whether there has already been litigation involving members of the class and whether the forum selected is appropriate for litigation of claims of the class. In addition, the court will analyze the complexity of the issues and the expenses of litigation of separate claims. Finally, courts will consider whether the amount to be recovered by individual class members will be large enough in comparison to the cost of bringing and administering the class action. In cases where equitable (injunctive) or declaratory relief is sought, the courts will also consider whether the party opposing the class action has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class.

    In order to determine if the class will receive fair and adequate representation, the court will generally consider whether the attorney for the class has experience in handling class actions and/or claims similar to those of the proposed class. In addition, the court will determine whether there are any conflicts in the interests of the class members.

    This informational piece was prepared by Monheit, Silverman & Fodera. If you would like more information on this topic, call us at (800) 220-LAW1, or use the "Do I Have A Case?" button on this web site.

    Medical Malpractice | Medical Devices | Consumer Fraud | Toxic Exposures | Defective Products | Dangerous Pharmaceuticals | Worksite Accidents | Automobile Accidents | Class Actions | Site Directory | Attorney Profiles | Practice Groups

    Do I Have A Case? | Verdicts & Settlements | Links | Site Search | Disclaimer | Home