Often, the plaintiff’s lawyers gather a group of people together into a class and file a class-action lawsuit. This is generally because the damages to one individual are not significant, but when you group together many individuals who were in the same situation and faced the same problem, the damages add up and become significant. The court allows this when all the individuals were allegedly harmed by the same situation. For businesses, class action lawsuits can be found in employment actions, billing disputes, product liability, and shareholder lawsuits.
Understanding the Complaint
Your first step should be fulling understanding what the lawsuit is about. This will be important not only for your defense, but it’s likely that you may have to make statements to the media. Understanding the contentions of the plaintiff’s, as well as your company’s position, and your defense strategy is key. Gather all relevant information and get as good a picture of the facts and legal issues as possible. This will happen during the discovery process, but as much as you can do early helps you form a strong defense.
You’ll also want to get to know the players, the primary parties on the complaint, the opposing counsel, and any relevant experts. While this will evolve over time, understanding the parties can help you form your strategy. Hiring your own experts, if necessary, will also help in forming your case. They might be able to help you narrow the class
Making a Plan
Once you have the basic facts and issues understood and the players identified, you want to make a litigation plan. This plan should be designed in conjunction with a business litigation attorney who knows what issues are likely to try well, what you want to settle, and what legal issues might need to go up on appeal. You want to have a clear goal in mind and plan towards that goal. Depending on the facts, a “victory” for your business could be a complete dismissal or it could be a reasonable settlement. Likely, your strategy will involve trying to limit the class of plaintiffs, narrowing the scope of the complaint, or ending the case as quickly as possible.
Your plan should also consider media strategies, especially in product liability cases, so that you can appropriately address questions and assuage the concerns of future customers. If your business has internal or external marketing and public relations assistance, they’ll need to help you craft the response that the on-brand and reasonable, but doesn’t violate any legal protections. A poorly-thought-out response from a company regarding the lawsuit can do significant damage to your brand.
Because our litigation work focuses primarily on business issues, our lawyers are familiar with handling a wide range of business issues, large groups and plaintiffs, and different resolution methods. Each business and trial is unique and we make sure we learn as much as we can to best defend you and your company. To learn more, reach out to the Dunn Law Firm by calling (435) 628-5405 and set up a free consultation today.