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In a class-action suit, how much, if any input, does the lead plaintiff have in deciding how much to sue for?

Elmhurst, NY |

I am contemplating such an action and have come up with a very conservative amount, based upon my accounting degree and financials available to me. Of course, I wouldn't object if it was for a lot more.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Very little usually in my experience. Many times once the suit is certified, a settlement agreement is reached that is ultimately approved by the judge. Why do you think your cause of action would be certified as a class?

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Asker

Posted

There are thousands of of plaintiffs and massive fraud is involved.

Sean Michael Patrick

Sean Michael Patrick

Posted

I would be interested in hearing more about it.

Asker

Posted

Sorry; can't divulge anything right now.

Posted

Compensation in a class action is distributed to the class members based on the injuries that they have suffered. The lead plaintiff is compensated based on the injury that they have sustained. Often the lead plaintiff(s) may also receive some additional compensation for the extra involvement that they have had in the case.

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Posted

It sounds to me as if you are talking about the fundamental theory of the case and as if you are a sophisticated potential party. Often times that kind of input can be very helpful to the attorneys with whom you consult regarding the case. However, in almost every jurisdiction you not have to state a specific dollar amount when filing the suit, beyond a very insignificant jurisdictional amount (e.g. "More than $10,000), so your analysis of where it all might lead could be invaluable to your attorneys.
Good luck!

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Asker

Posted

Thank you very much. While a "specific dollar amount when filing the suit" might not be required, eventually, we'll have to "talk turkey." At that time, how much impact could I have? If the defendant goes to trial on this, they will be truly decimated, so when all the "cards are laid on the table", they'll see that discretion is the better part of valor and agree to a settlement. When this happens, are the specifics kept confidential, i.e., the amount of the settlement, and no wrongdoing admitted to by the defendant?

Don Springmeyer

Don Springmeyer

Posted

Almost nothing can be kept confidential in the settlement of a class action. This is because court approval is required for a class action to become binding and enforceable. And the extensive documents that are filed with the court in order to obtain court approval are accessible to the public, especially with the electronic PACER system. In general, these documents describe all material terms of the settlement, as well as the attorneys' fees and litigation expenses, which also must be approved by the court. The defendants never admit liability and always require a specific statement in settlement documents that they deny all liability or wrongdoing.