It can be hard being the little guy. Even if you make a good salary every year,
odds are at some point that you have become aware of how very little you can
do when wrong comes your way. You may have become sick after eating some bad
food in a restaurant, or you may have been disappointed in a service you were
contracting. Manufacturing, companies and other big businesses just seem to
have no fear of the little guy, and that is largely due to the fact that they
know you can't afford to fight the small injustice in court.
Enter the class action lawsuit. You personally might not be able to foot the
lawyer's bill after you find out that there were lead particles in your
baby's diaper (making you switch to an organic swim diaper). However,
you do know that if they were present in your diaper, it is more than likely
they are in other diapers as well. You have the makings of a class action lawsuit
on your hands, and we are going to take a look at ways to start one.
We have already touched on the topic above. The very first step in launching
a class action lawsuit is to identify the fact that your problem probably has
a lot more than just one victim. A malfunctioning slurry mixer could have resulted
in a pollution of the water supply in your neighbourhood; therefore, all your
neighbours are victims as well. It's time to find a lawyer, the second
step in starting a class action.
They may be hard to find in real life, living in fancy King west condos with
lifestyle far removed from most of us, but when it comes to business you will
find there are more lawyers out there than you can shake a stick at. You want
to start your search centered on those lawyers who specialize in class action.
Then, narrow the list down to lawyers who have specific experience pursuing
suits similar to yours.
What constitutes a similar suit? Well, a lawyer that has a history of going
after big industry would be ideal in the case of our slurry mixer, above. A
lawyer who has tried cases stemming from human rights violations would be contacted
for similar cases, and so on.
Once you find that lawyer, let him or her know that you want to launch a class
action suit. Remember that currently, only eight of the ten provinces allow
class action suits. They are BC, Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland/Labrador,
Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and New Brunswick. That means you won't find any
lawyers practicing this type of suit in PEI or Nova Scotia.
Many times, lawyers who take on class action suits do so at no base fee, claiming
a percentage if they win the case. That means you have to expect the legal eagle
you contact to be discerning; if you have no case she will let you know.
Whether you are seeking justice for falling prey to an Internet scam ("This
is the best home based business EVER!") or an illness resulting from malpractice,
a class action suit may be your best shot at seeing justice. Starting one is
relatively simple, as long as your lawyer believes you have a case!