Can I file my own lawsuit after being included in a class action lawsuit without my permission? 17 Answers as of January 31, 2011

I was included in a class action suit without my permission, is that legal? I was also told that I now cannot proceed with my own a suit due to this.

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Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
This depends on the notices you were sent from the class. Those included are usually given an opportunity to "opt out" of the class. Check with the center handling the class action and get the details. Generally if you do not opt out you are bound under the class action. This is a very standard procedure. However, I believe you must be given notice of your inclusion in the class for it to be valid.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 1/31/2011
LT Pepper Law
LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
In class actions, notice is required to class members. If after notice, the class member does not opt out they are bound by the terms of the settlement. Notice is not receiving a letter directly but it can involve a mail out and advertisements in the media. You can always argue that notice is insufficient but most that would be steep climb.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 1/30/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Yes you have the right to opt out of the class action. Buy you must hire your own lawyer and you must pay for the depositions, and expert witnesses on your own.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 1/29/2011
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
If you were a named party in the class action lawsuit, the matter has already been settled, and you cannot have a second bite at the apple, so to speak. However, you have a potential action against the person who included you without your permission. I would start by contacting the lead plaintiff's attorney and asking how it was that you were included. If they truly included you without permission, you may have an action against the lead plaintiff/his attorney.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/28/2011
Allegretti & Associates
Allegretti & Associates | James L. Allegretti
You must opt out of the class to proceed on your own. Usually (but not always) you are better off in the class as the amounts are small.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 1/28/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    Normally, you cannot file your own lawsuit, if you are already part of a calss action which involves the same issues. But you need to look at the terms of the class action. If you were included in the class action, without your permission, the court should allow you to withdraw from the class action.

    But you should also be careful that you do not create other issues, such as a Statute of Limitations by not filing your own lawsuit in time. You need to review the class action paperwork and your risks in filing your own lawsuit, with an attorney, ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Have to know a lot more than is found in the inquiry. Many class actions are brought that exhaust the insurance and the assets of the defendant. Often when the class action is over there aint nothing to fight over.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There are certain ways that plaintiffs can "opt out" of such suits I believe. We do not practice in this area but would be happy to refer you to someone if you wish. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Generally, potential members of a class action are notified and given an opportunity to be included in the action or go on their own. You need to see a qualified attorney who handles the type of action that is involved in. Generally, you should be able to get an initial consultation for free. You might also contact the county bar association and have them find a screened attorney in the appropriate field of law. The service may charge a nominal fee.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    I do not believe that is correct. Ordinarily there is an opt-out provision that allows you to bring your own suit. However, if you were given notice of the opt-out provision and did not timely exercise it, then you would be bound by that and waived your right to sue individually. Look closely at the notice(s) you were provided regarding the class action lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    I would imagine you were given the option of opting out of the class action, and if you didn't elect to opt out, then you cannot proceed now.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    You need to call personal injury attorney so look into.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You are always given an option to 'opt out' of a class action lawsuit. So long as you do so within the time frame required, you can certainly bring your own suit and opt out of the class action suit.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    El Dabe Law Firm
    El Dabe Law Firm | Edmond El Dabe
    In most cases, you are allowed to opt out of the class and file your own lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/28/2011
    Peckar & Abramson, P.C.
    Peckar & Abramson, P.C. | David Scriven-Young
    Typically in a class action, all members of the class are notified of the class action and given an opportunity to opt out. Therefore, if you were given the chance to opt out, and did not opt out, you probably have no right to sue on your own. If you were not notified of the class and were not given the chance to opt out, then you should consult an attorney to see if you can sue on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/28/2011
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