What are the benefits of a class action?
A class action allows a plaintiff with relatively small injuries to bring a lawsuit on behalf of all others similarly situated, as if filed by one large group. By aggregating their claims into one action, plaintiffs are able to share the costs of litigation, making it worthwhile to defend their legal rights regardless of the amount of harm suffered be each member of the class. In other words, a class action ensures that defendants who engage widespread harm are forced to compensate every individual harmed, particularly when the cost of pursuing an individual action would cost more than the relief sought.
What is a Lead Plaintiff or Representative Plaintiff?
A “class action,” or “representative action,” is a legal action commenced by one or more aggrieved parties on behalf of all similarly situated aggrieved parties known as the “class” of plaintiffs. In the event that more than one action is filed on behalf of the same class and alleging similar claims, the presiding Court will consolidate the actions into one. The Court will then grant the request of one or more members of the purported class to lead the action and represent the interests of all class members throughout the course of the litigation. The selected plaintiffs are referred to as the “Lead Plaintiff[s]” or “Representative Plaintiff[s],” depending on the type of class action and the specific responsibilities of each. In certain circumstances, one may be selected as a Representative Plaintiff on behalf of class members with particular claims, despite not being selected as a Lead Plaintiff, charged with directing the action and overseeing counsel. In order to be selected as a Representative Plaintiff, one must have claims typical of all other class members and have interests that are not adverse to the remaining members of the class.
Is there any cost for participating or leading in a class or representative action?
In most shareholder class actions, there are no direct costs to the parties bringing the action. This is true with all cases brought by Abraham Fruchter & Twersky. We bring cases on what is known as a contingent fee basis. This means that we will advance all of the expenses involved in the case and only seek a fee from any recovery or from the defendants as the court may approve upon a successful resolution of the case. In the absence of a successful recovery, no fee will be charged to any plaintiff.
If a case has already been filed should I still contact you?
Absolutely. If you have suffered losses it is of extreme importance to be represented by the counsel who will best represent your interests and the interests of the class. The knowledgeable attorneys at Abraham Fruchter & Twersky will be able to assess your individual claim and advise you how best to proceed.
Why should I choose Abraham Fruchter & Twersky?
Our expert and experienced attorneys have actively participated in the recovery of billions of dollars on behalf of harmed investors and we consistently earn praise from both our clients and the judges we appear before.
What is a Securities Class Action?
A securities class action is a lawsuit brought by one or more parties on behalf of a large number of investors in a public corporation who have suffered losses in connection with fraud. A class action seeks to recover losses resulting from fraud for the benefit of investors who acquired the securities during the time of wrongdoing, which is referred to as the “class period.”
How do I become a class member?
If you purchased the securities of the company involved in a securities class action during the class period then you are automatically a class member, even if you do not contact or retain an attorney.
What is a Lead Plaintiff in a securities class action?
A lead plaintiff in a securities class action is a class member appointed by the court who will best represent the interests of all the class members. The lead plaintiff in a securities class action is typically the class member with the largest financial interest in the action who timely submits an application with the court. The lead plaintiff has the authority to select and retain the attorneys who will represent the class and directs the litigation.
Will I have to testify?
Generally, only the lead plaintiff will have to testify. In most cases, the lead plaintiff is called upon to attest to how and when he/she purchased the securities at issue in the case and to affirm that they were not personally aware of the fraud at the time those securities were purchased. This often takes place during a deposition at a convenient time and location for the lead plaintiff, with counsel present.
As an institutional investor, why should I participate?
Since institutions often have the largest financial stake in a case it can be important for them to have a direct say in how the case is managed. In fact, several studies have shown that institutional investor participation consistently yields higher settlement amounts. Our expert institutional client team will advise our clients to participate only when we think it will make a difference in the case.
How much of my losses can I recover?
The parties will attempt to establish, through the use of experts, how much investors would have paid for the stock had there not been any fraud. Since there are many factors that determine stock price, recovery amounts may differ from investors’ economic losses.
What if I sold my stock?
As long as you purchased your shares during the class period and suffered losses you are still eligible to participate. If you are still holding your shares you may sell them and still participate. When you sold your shares may be a factor as to how much damages you can recover.
What if live outside of the United States?
Investors who live outside the United States are still eligible to participate.
Can I participate in more than one class action at a time?
Yes, there are no limitations on the number of lawsuits that you can be a class member of.
What is a derivative action?
A derivative action is a representative action brought by a shareholder of a corporation on the corporation’s behalf, usually against an officer or director of the corporation. Claims can include wasting of corporate assets and breach of fiduciary duties such as management self-dealing or negligence. The recovery will go to the corporation, which may have a positive effect on share value and corporate governance.
What if I sold my shares?
Since a derivative action is brought on behalf of the corporation, only current shareholders may bring claims and they must continue to hold their shares for the duration of the lawsuit.
What is consumer fraud?
Consumer fraud cases are typically brought when a consumer or group of consumers have been damaged because of false information or deception involved in the sale of goods or services. For instance, consumer fraud claims may arise in connection with improper advertising or marketing, overcharging for goods or services and form contracts that are unfair to the consumer. However, in order for a claim to be brought under the consumer fraud laws there must be deception or fraud involved, dissatisfaction with the good or service alone will not qualify.
What should I do if I think I may be a victim of consumer fraud?
If you have fraud related damages or feel that your issue may be a problem for many consumers then you should contact an attorney at Abraham Fruchter & Twersky who can assess your claim and advise you of your rights. Remember that it is important to keep your records and document the steps that you have taken to date.
What is ERISA?
ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which was designed to protect the retirement plans that employees participate in through their employer, union or other institutions.
What kind of ERISA violations do Abraham Fruchter & Twersky typically handle?
The most commonly brought private ERISA claims involve securities fraud. Specifically, when corporations encourage employees to invest in company stock through employee stock ownership plans or their 401(k) and the corporation commits fraud that causes the employee to pay too much for the stock, there are protections that are available under ERISA beyond that of the securities fraud laws.