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Why did I not get any money from the class action I was a part of?

San Mateo, CA |

I was part of a class action lawsuit settlement that payed out in 2008, but I never received any money. Do individuals always get some money as part of a class action lawsuit?

This class action involved an illegal strip search in an assault charge for slapping my ex-boyfriend, I am thinking this a misdemeanor.

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Attorney answers 3


What individual class members receive in a class action settlement depends entirely on the terms of that settlement. Often the settlement terms provide from a coupon, gift certificate or other form of payment other than cash.

You should review the notices you received regarding the class action to figure out what you can receive and what steps you need to take in order to collect.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer is for informational purposes, does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on because the evaluation of a legal issue requires a full review of all facts and laws at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


You may be able to find the terms of the class settlement from that case to determine what benefits the class members receive. The benefits to the class are not always in cash, coupons, or discounts. Sometimes it is the benefit of the company following the law in future transactions and correcting past practices, also known as an injunction or declaratory relief.

If the settlement provides for cash benefits to be paid to each member of the class, perhaps they did not have your correct mailing address or there was a requirement that you submit a proof of claim to receive such benefits by a certain date.

In civil court proceedings, the word "always" never applies.


It is unusual that there would be a class action based on the facts you indicated. It may well be that any relief afforded victims of illegal strip searches was not monetary. You will need to review the terms of the settlement agreement or the notices sent to class members to determine whether any payment of cash was available.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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