For years, I have been P.O.ed about how my deodorant ran out so quickly. I kept thinking of every reason other than the obvious.
Now I read that a class action has been filed against the maker of the deodorant I have been buying and I see what has been being done.
I know that class actions take forever to settle and the attorneys can get millions of dollars in fees while those in the class may get no more than a few dollars or a certificate for a free stick or two.
Can I file my own individual lawsuit to get my money back and maybe even get some changes made, or can the deodorant company defendant force me to join the class action or put my lawsuit on hold until the class action is finished?
My brother is an attorney and will do it for me but I need to get information.
(i) The filing of a class action lawsuit, alone, does not preclude you from filing an individual action. This seems to be your actual question (or at least the primary one).
(ii) The filing of a class action does not mean that there is actually any class to "opt out" of. In order for there to be anything to opt out of, a judge must first certify a class--which often does not happen at all.
(iii) You might want to do yourself and (especially) you brother a favor and re-think you determination to file an individual action (and to opt out of any class in the other action)--for the economic reasons listed by the other attorneys answering this question. After all--the virtually impossible economics of individual lawsuits in cases like this are a chief reason for the existence of class actions in the first place. And, based on what you say, you should be *applauding* the lawyers who brought the class action (of course, I have no idea whether your claim has any merit--but you think it does, and so do they). In other words, why not reach out to them and see whether they might be willing to include you in their lawsuit as an additional "named plaintiff." Clearly you are motivated--which is a good thing. And if you're expectations are not too pie-in-the-sky re. what can be accomplished, you might even been modestly compensated for your trouble (e.g., it is not uncommon for named plaintiffs in successful cases to get a $1,000 payment for serving in that role--in addition to whatever they receive as class members). And if the lawyers truely make a bad settlement, you do not forfeit your right to object by being a named plaintiff.
I predict your brother will thank me if you follow this advise. And you can call him if/when you think there's a bad settlement to help you out then . . . .
My answer to your question does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney/client relationship. Please contact a lawyer directly for advice on your specific situation. Many local, county, and state bar associations provide a free lawyer referral service (check directory assistance or try an internet search for their contact information). Delay contacting a lawyer might prejudice your rights. I am licensed in Michigan but may not practice in all areas of law implicated by your question.
Since your brother is an attorney, he should be the one you ask.
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I agree. You need to really get your brother to commit that he will pay the filing fees, court costs, travel time, exerts, depositions, etc. Since he is offering, you really need to talk to him more. Good Luck!
It is difficult to imagine your inquiry is real, which is why you are receiving the responses above. In the event you do have a real question about how to opt-out or exclude yourself from a class action lawsuit, then you need look no further than the class action notice for that particular suit. You will have either received in the mail, via email, or you can Google to find the settlement website that typically is set up under the preliminary approval order. It will spell out all the details and deadlines for claims, objections and exclusions.
Also, in the unlikely event your question is real, what more than "a few dollars or a certificate for a free stick or two" do you think you would get in an individual suit? As mentioned before, the filing fee alone--much less the attorney fees--could buy you several year's worth of your favorite deodorant. Unless there is some misrepresentation in relation to the product that you believe should be brought to light and forced to change (which you allude to), I am not sure what more in damages you would identify.
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