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Class Actions

When a person suffers some kind of financial loss as the result of another party's wrongdoing, it may not always be for significant enough of a figure to justify taking legal action. Class action lawsuits (also referred to as class suits or representative actions) allow groups of people who have individually experience similar types of financial harm to collectively pursue legal action against the wrongdoer. 

Generally, the person who files a class action lawsuit is called the class representative (also known as a lead, named, or representative plaintiff). A court needs to certify a class action lawsuit and ensure that the class representative will adequately represent the best interests of all class members.

Attorney for Class Action Lawsuits in West Chester, PA

If you think that you were the victim of a financial scheme or other unlawful practices that may have affected other people, you will want to seek legal representation for assistance filing a class action lawsuit. Ciccarelli Law Offices represents clients in communities all over Chester County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, and the greater Philadelphia area. 

Our West Chester class action lawyers handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, so our firm does not charge you any fee unless you receive a financial award. Call (610) 719-3190 today to have our attorneys provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Chester County Class Actions Information Center


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When Class Actions Can Be Filed in Pennsylvania

Rule 23(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure establishes that one or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all members only if: 

  • the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable; 
  • there are questions of law or fact common to the class; 
  • the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and 
  • the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. 

Similarly, Rule 1702 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure establishes one or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all members in a class action only if: 

  • the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable; 
  • there are questions of law or fact common to the class; 
  • the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class; 
  • the representative parties will fairly and adequately assert and protect the interests of the class under the criteria set forth in Rule 1709; and 
  • a class action provides a fair and efficient method for adjudication of the controversy under the criteria set forth in Rule 1708. 

Class action lawsuits may be filed in state or federal courts, but 28 U.S. Code § 1332(d)(2) states that federal courts have original jurisdiction of any civil action in which the matter in controversy exceeds $5 million, exclusive of interest and costs, and is a class action in which: 

  • any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a State different from any defendant; 
  • any member of a class of plaintiffs is a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state and any defendant is a citizen of a State; or 
  • any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a State and any defendant is a foreign state or a citizen or subject of a foreign state. 

After a complaint is filed and the judge certifies the class action, all members of the class need to be notified. Class members are automatically included in class action cases, but notification allows them the opportunity to opt out of the lawsuits if they want to pursue individual legal actions. 

The class action case will then move toward a trial if attorneys cannot get the defendants to agree to a satisfactory settlement. Judgments in such cases may be appealed.


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Types of Class Actions in West Chester, PA

Both state and federal law in Pennsylvania require plaintiffs in class action lawsuits to have questions of law or fact common to the class, and several different kinds of issues may be grounds for class action litigation. In general, many different kinds of harm that may have similarly affected a large group of people could be the basis for a class action lawsuit. 

Some of the most common subjects of class action complaints in Pennsylvania include, but are not limited to: 

  • Antitrust violations; 
  • Auto defects; 
  • Bank fraud; 
  • Civil rights issues; 
  • Employment discrimination; 
  • Environmental issues; 
  • Financial harm; and 
  • Insurance claims.

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Class Action Resources in Pennsylvania

Chapter 1700. Class Actions | Pennsylvania Code — View the full text of Pennsylvania state laws relating to class action lawsuits. You can read about prerequisites to a class action, commencement of action and assignment to a judge, and the form of the complaint. Also find information about judgment, compromise, settlement, and discontinuance. 

Rule 23. Class Actions | Federal Rules of Civil Procedure — View the full text of the section of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule governing class action lawsuits. Learn more about types of class actions, notice to class members, and issues classes. The notes section also includes several changes made to this section of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as part of amendments made over the years.


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Find a Class Action Lawyer in West Chester, PA

Do you think you were the victim of an unlawful activity that may have affected other victims? You should speak to Ciccarelli Law Offices as soon as possible about possibly filing a class action lawsuit. 

Our experienced class action attorneys in West Chester have office locations in Radnor, Kennett Square, Philadelphia, Springfield, Malvern, King of Prussia, Plymouth Square, and Lancaster. You can have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (610) 719-3190 or complete an online contact form to receive a free, no obligation consultation. 


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