What are Class Action Suits?

Scott Haworth pic

Scott Haworth
Image: hcandglaw.com

Licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey, Scott Haworth is the managing partner of Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC. An experienced litigation attorney, Scott Haworth defends clients in product liability, intentional torts, and class action suits.

Class action suits arise when a group of people with similar injuries received from the same product, medical device, or action sue the same defendant together. A class action has the effect of bringing all plaintiffs together in one case rather than having each of them institute individual civil proceedings against a common defendant. For example, patients who were prescribed the same medication and later suffered unforeseen side effects may bring a suit against the manufacturer together, as can people living in the same neighborhood where a toxic spill contaminated their water system.

Class actions are a very effective means of instituting civil proceedings. On the court’s side, class actions enable it to hear dozens of claims at once and to dispose of them together, rather than having to listen to each of them individually. On the plaintiff’s side, class actions bring down litigation costs. By suing as a class, the plaintiffs consolidate their attorneys, evidence, and witnesses, bringing down the cost of the suit. Class action suits ensure that all injured plaintiffs receive a portion of awarded damages.

Differentiating Negligent and Intentional Torts

 

Scott Haworth pic

Scott Haworth
Image: hcandglaw.com

After earning his JD from the New York University School of Law, Scott Haworth worked as an associate at Quirck & Bakalor, PC, and McCarter & English, before joining Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer LLP as a partner. Now managing partner at Haworth Coleman & Gerstman, LLC, Scott Haworth defends matters of product liability, negligent torts, and intentional torts.

Tort claims essentially arise out of injury caused by one person to another. These injuries may have been caused negligently or intentionally, hence a tort can either be a negligent tort or an intentional tort. What determines the nature of a tort is the mindset of the person who committed the tort.

In negligent torts, the person who caused the injury did not willfully intend to do it. It only happened as a result of his or her carelessness. Consider a car accident where a person takes his eyes off the road for a minute and accidentally strikes a pedestrian. The driver did not intend to run over the victim, the accident only happened because of careless driving.

Intentional torts arise from the willful act of one person to cause harm to another. Here, the act causing injury is not committed by accident or carelessness but rather on purpose. Intentional torts include assault, battery, and trespass. Because of their willful nature, many intentional torts are also crimes.