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Class action suits

Class action suits
A class action suit is a type of lawsuit where one person, acting as representative, takes legal action on behalf of a group of people or companies who have sustained harm from the same source.

Participation
The members of the group identified in a class action suit do not have to take any specific steps to be involved—they are automatically implicated because their situation matches the one described in the suit. If you believe you have an interest in a class action suit, it is best to contact the law firm handling the suit.

Process
For the suit to proceed correctly, the representative must contact a law firm to take the case. There are two steps in a class action suit. A superior court judge must first rule whether the suit is reasonable and either authorize or deny it. Once this step has been completed, the judge will decide on the merits of the suit and, as the case may be, determine the amount of damage attributable to each member.

Cost
In the case of out-of-court settlements, or when rulings are handed down, group members’ legal fees are calculated as on a percentage of the amount paid to members. The law firm absorbs the financial loss if it loses the case, forfeiting its fees. In some cases the representative may receive financial aid from the Fonds d’aide aux actions collectives to take legal action.