A class action lawsuit can involve hundreds, even thousands, of individuals all seeking damages from a common injustice. All of these individuals are considered members of the class action lawsuit, however a lead plaintiff is appointed to represent the rest of the plaintiffs in court.
How is the lead plaintiff determined?
The court trying the class action lawsuit will appoint a lead plaintiff based on his or her similarity to the other claimants in the case. This individual is the average representation of the class members. In many cases, the lead plaintiff is the individual who initiated the class action lawsuit.
What does the lead plaintiff do?
The lead plaintiff in your class action lawsuit is responsible for the following duties:
- Hiring the Massachusetts class action attorney
- Filing the class action lawsuit
- Acting as consul on the case
- Agreeing on any settlement on behalf of the class members
He or she will be directly consulted in the proceedings of the trial, including the discovery, trial, and settlement phases. This plaintiff may be called upon to testify in court, procure documentation in relation to the case, and attend all court proceedings.
The lead plaintiff is the only member who can agree to a settlement, but all class members have the option to opt-out of the suit if they don’t agree. He or she may also receive a slightly larger settlement compared to the other class members, due to being more involved in the case. This possible extra compensation will be awarded at the discretion of the judge overseeing the trial.
Contacting a Massachusetts Class Action Attorney
If you are considering filing for or have been appointed lead plaintiff in a class action case, contact the experienced Massachusetts class action attorneys at Phillips & Garcia to schedule your free legal consultation today – 508.998.0800. We do not charge our clients any upfront fees and we only get paid if and when we win your case.