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Terms and Conditions in Class Action Suit

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#1
What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

I recently found out that I may qualify for a current major class action suit, and when looking into it on the Internet and finding out it was a legitimate lawsuit, filled out a basic form to be contacted.

I was contacted via email by a representative from a law firm, and after verifying that this was a legitimate firm, I called and spoke with a paralegal who told me they would have to verify that I qualify.

A few days later, I received a form in email with the proposed Terms and Conditions from the firm. I read it carefully, and it states numerous times that if nothing is recovered, I owe them nothing, so I'm comfortable on that end.

My question stems from the percentage they are asking for. They want 40% of anything I'm awarded, IN ADDITION TO any expenses incurred, which may include, but not limited to travel expenses, postage, fees, etc, etc.

From what I've read, the average percentage charged by a law firm in a Class Action suit is usually 25%-33%, which would make this a bit high. I also know that I don't have to accept the terms they proposed to me.

What options do I have? My wife is of the attitude that even if I wind up with just 50% of my share, that's money I wouldn't have had otherwise. But I'm wondering if I can "shop around"? Isn't there more than one firm involved in a major suit? If so, where can I obtain a list of firms that are involved? Do I have the power to negotiate with the firm that I began with?

Thanks for any help!
 


quincy

Senior Member
#2
You can file a personal lawsuit if you do not like the terms being offered.

Unless you are one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit (what is often referred to as "the face" of the suit), you will probably walk away from the class action with only a nominal amount (assuming the class action is certified and the action is won).

Class actions tend to be less about recovery for the victims of the defendant(s) and more about affecting change in the behavior of the defendant(s) through a sizeable monetary "punishment" and compliance with conditions set in settlement or court order.

You are free to negotiate or shop around for another firm looking for plaintiffs. You might be best off starting with an evaluation of your case by an attorney in your area, to see if you will be better off filing a separate action.

Good luck.
 
#3
Something doesn't make sense here. You started your post by referring to

a current major class action suit
Read the following class action basics:

https://www.classaction.org/learn/lawsuits-overview

That you are being asked to sign an attorney fee agreement leads me to suspect that there is no "current major class action suit" on record and the attorney may just be looking for a lead plaintiff so he can start one.

Before you sign anything I suggest you ask the following:

What is the case name? ______________vs_______________
What is the case number?
What is the name and location of the court in which the case has been filed.

When you have that information, look up the case.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#4
Class action lawsuits start with investigations into complaints made by consumers against X. It appears that this is the stage of the action currently. Information gathering.
 
#5
Well I guess there's no harm in disclosing the case -- it's the Roundup case vs. Monsanto.

After seeing a commercial about it, I searched online for details. I had known nothing about it before the commercial.

At the end of the article I read explaining the suit, there was a simple form (name, address, email, phone) to fill out if you feel you qualify. I was then contacted two days later by a firm. So, yes, I was the one to initiate the contact. I just don't know if this is the only firm handling the case, or if this is a firm that is one of many that I got hooked up with just because of random selection.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#6
Well I guess there's no harm in disclosing the case -- it's the Roundup case vs. Monsanto.

After seeing a commercial about it, I searched online for details. I had known nothing about it before the commercial.

At the end of the article I read explaining the suit, there was a simple form (name, address, email, phone) to fill out if you feel you qualify. I was then contacted two days later by a firm. So, yes, I was the one to initiate the contact. I just don't know if this is the only firm handling the case, or if this is a firm that is one of many that I got hooked up with just because of random selection.
There are currently about 8000 lawsuits filed against Monsanto's Roundup and several firms handling class action suits.

If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or another lymphatic cancer, you probably will benefit more from pursuing a personal lawsuit against the company.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
#7
Have you developed cancer?
What you responded to was a solicitation to open a new lawsuit against Roundup.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#8
Agreed. The firm is searching for plaintiffs - probably more actively now that a plaintiff was awarded $289 million (a decision Monsanto is appealing).
 
#11
Yes, I was diagnosed, and fortunately am now in remission.

My impression (right or wrong) is that since there are people (landscapers & farmers) that are dead or dying as a possible result of exposure to Roundup all day, every day, they would stand to get more than someone who used it residentially like me. Therefore, I feel I might be better off joining the class.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#12
Yes, I was diagnosed, and fortunately am now in remission.

My impression (right or wrong) is that since there are people (landscapers & farmers) that are dead or dying as a possible result of exposure to Roundup all day, every day, they would stand to get more than someone who used it residentially like me. Therefore, I feel I might be better off joining the class.
I disagree. I think you would be better off filing your own claim. But the choice is yours.

I recommend you make an appointment with a product's liability attorney in your area first, though, before making a decision. The consultation should be free.

I am glad you are in remission.

Good luck.
 
#13
After inquiring, I was emailed back from a paralegal:

The lawsuit is a multi-district litigation lawsuit. It is different from a class action in the sense that each case will be looked at individually at the end of litigation. This means that there are other cases with similar injuries, from using RoundUp, filed at the same court, before the same judge. The cases move together in “groups” to consolidate certain issues as a whole. Once the court feels like it has resolved issues that would span across all cases, it will start moving forward with individual cases. The case can end up settling before going to trial, which would result in an amount awarded based on your specific case details. If the cases do not settle and trial is needed, the court will pick cases for trial.
 

quincy

Senior Member
#15
Thank you for the additional information.

If you trust the attorney, the decision is yours to make.

Good luck.
 
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