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How to File a Class Action Lawsuit in Texas

how to file a class action lawsuit

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When a group of people are all harmed by the same negligent or wrongful action, all of the victims deserve justice. However, when there are a lot of victims, it can be difficult for each and every one of them to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for their losses.

That’s why many of these situations end in class action lawsuits. A class action lawsuit allows a group of people to seek compensation from one entity, usually a business or corporation.

While they can be incredibly beneficial in certain situations, filing a class action lawsuit can be a complex and daunting process. However, with the right legal guidance, a class action lawsuit can be an effective way for a large number of victims to seek justice.

In this blog, we’ll explore how to file a class action lawsuit, what requirements exist for class action litigation in the U.S., and how attorneys can help guide clients through the process, ensuring the best possible outcome for class members.

If you have been harmed by an entity or individual, the Houston personal injury lawyers at Reich & Binstock are here to help. Whether you’re looking to file a class action lawsuit, want to join a class action lawsuit, or are just looking to file a personal injury lawsuit, we’re here to stand by your side and provide you with the dedicated legal representation you deserve.

Call us at (713) 622-7271 to schedule a free consultation with us regarding your case.

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a form of legal action taken by a group of individuals who were all harmed in a similar way by the same party, usually a corporation or organization. This allows a large number of victims to consolidate their claims and join forces against a common defendant. Speaking with an attorney can help you better understand how to sue a company or organization.

Class actions are commonly used in cases involving things like defective products, consumer fraud, environmental disasters, and employment disputes, among others. By combining these claims into a single lawsuit, class actions help expedite the legal process and ensure that victims who may not have the resources to pursue individual claims can still seek compensation or other remedies for their losses.

How Do Class Action Lawsuits Work in Texas?

On both the state and the national level, class action lawsuits operate on the principle of collective action, which is when a group of people who have suffered similar harm or injustice come together and sue a common defendant.

When it’s discovered that multiple people have been harmed or wronged by the same company or organization, one or more people from that group, or “class,” can file a lawsuit as the lead plaintiff or plaintiffs in the case. Lead plaintiffs are usually those with the strongest claims against the defendant, and they are there to act as representatives for themselves as well as the other victims.

In order for the class action lawsuit to move forward, the court has to certify that the proposed class actually meets the requirements for a class action lawsuit. Once that’s done, the case will move forward, either going to court or ending in a settlement.

These lawsuits can be tried in either state or federal court, depending on the circumstances surrounding the claim. Texas law outlines the requirements and guidelines for class action lawsuits in Tex. R. Civ. P. 42.

What Are the Benefits of Class Action Lawsuits?

Class action lawsuits offer several benefits for those who have been wronged or harmed by a common entity. Class action lawsuits benefit victims by:

  • Providing them with accessible legal resources
  • Streamlining the legal process
  • Making claims more legitimate through sheer numbers
  • Ensuring they receive fair and equitable compensation
  • Allowing victims to opt out and pursue their own claims

They also serve to promote justice and deter corporations and organizations from fraud, negligence, and wrongdoing. One class action complaint could enact broader, systematic change, ensuring that the general public is protected from future mistreatment. They also serve as an educational tool, raising public awareness on certain issues and educating the population on their rights as consumers and citizens.

What Are Common Examples of Class Action Cases?

There are a few massive class actions that have been brought to light in the past few decades, some of which are incredibly recent. Below are some examples of class action lawsuits in the U.S.

  • Tobacco Injuries: In the 1990s, the four largest tobacco companies in the US were inundated with class action cases from more than 40 states due to the public health crisis caused by tobacco products. This resulted in the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), which placed stringent regulations on tobacco products, as well as a settlement payment of $365.5 billion.
  • Environmental Contamination: In the 1950s and 60s, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) contaminated the water in Hinkley, California, with a rust-suppressing compound, which had been linked to cancer, without informing the local water board. In 1996, the class action case was settled outside of court for $333 million.
  • Defective Medical Products: Between 2005 and 2019, the Food and Drug Administration had to recall over 200,000 hernia mesh products, which are medical devices designed to support herniated tissue and prevent further damage. This case is still ongoing, but hernia mesh manufacturer Bard has agreed to a $184 million settlement for claimants.
  • Consumer Fraud: During the COVID-19 pandemic, fast food chain Chick-fil-A claimed to provide customers with lower delivery fees through their website and app, but it’s speculated that they increased their menu prices for online delivery orders by up to 30%. This class action case is still ongoing but Chick-fil-A has agreed to a $4.4 million settlement.

Other class action lawsuits can be filed over things like defective products, wage and labor violations, pharmaceutical injuries, and data breaches.

What Are the Requirements for Class Action Lawsuits?

In order for class actions to proceed, they have to meet certain requirements. While these requirements can vary slightly depending on jurisdiction, they generally include things like controversy, commonality, typicality, numerosity, and adequate representation.

Dispute or Controversy

In order to file a class action complaint, there has to be some question of fact or law to base the case off of. The victims have to have suffered harm or other losses as a result of this legal issue.

Ability to Determine the Class Members

There has to be a way to determine the eligibility of class members. The court must be able to define the boundaries of the class clearly to ensure that all victims are made aware of the lawsuit, giving them the opportunity to participate or opt out if they choose.


All members of the class must have suffered harm as a result of the same dispute of fact or law. This ensures that the class members’ claims are similar enough to be addressed by the court all at once.


The claims of the lead plaintiffs must be typical of those of the class members. This ensures that the interests of the class representatives align with the interests of the entire class.


There must be a sufficiently large number of individuals in the class to justify class action.

How Many People Are Needed for a Class Action Lawsuit?

There’s no universally accepted threshold for class members, but generally, classes should consist of at least 20 people at a minimum. It can be hard to obtain class certification for smaller groups of people, but in certain circumstances, it’s possible.

Adequate Representation

The lead plaintiffs must adequately represent the interests of the rest of the class members. This involves ensuring that the attorneys representing the class are competent and capable enough to handle the case, and that they have no conflicts of interest with the class members.

What Are the Stages of a Class Action Lawsuit?

In order to reach a fair and equitable outcome for everyone involved, a class action lawsuit must go through several stages. Below are the stages a class action lawsuit must go through to reach a settlement or judgment.

  • Initial investigation – one or more individuals (lead plaintiffs or class representatives) consult with attorneys to investigate potential claims that may warrant a class action.
  • Filing – if the attorneys determine that there is a viable case, they file a complaint on behalf of the lead plaintiffs.
  • Class certification – the court determines whether the case meets the requirements for class action status. If the court certifies the class, the lawsuit can proceed.
  • Notify class members – victims are notified of the lawsuit and given the opportunity to opt in or opt out of the class action complaint.
  • Discovery – both sides gather and exchange relevant information and evidence on the case.
  • Settlement negotiations – the parties engage in settlement negotiations to resolve the case without going to trial. If a settlement is reached, it must be approved by the court as fair, reasonable, and adequate.
  • Trial – if no settlement is reached, the case proceeds to trial, where the parties present their evidence and arguments before a judge or jury. The ultimate goal of the trial is to obtain a favorable judgment for the class.
  • Settlement/judgment distribution – if a settlement or judgment is rendered in favor of the class members, the money is distributed to the class representative or representatives, as well as the other members of the class.

How to Start a Class Action Lawsuit

In order to start the class action lawsuit process, one or more people from a group of individuals must seek legal representation from a class action lawsuit attorney. They can help assess the situation and ensure that they are eligible to take legal action through a class action lawsuit.

Certain situations may be more suited for other legal avenues, like a mass tort lawsuit or individual claims. An attorney will have the knowledge necessary to evaluate the facts of the situation and determine whether or not class action is appropriate. They will also be able to file a complaint and seek class certification, if a class action lawsuit is possible.

How to Join a Class Action Lawsuit

Joining an existing class action lawsuit typically begins when individuals become aware of the lawsuit. They must determine whether they qualify as class members based on the facts of the case.

Once identified, potential class members may need to take specific actions to participate in the lawsuit. In many cases, class members are automatically included in the lawsuit unless they choose to opt out. However, some class actions may require class members to take certain steps to join the lawsuit, like submitting a claim form or providing documentation to verify their eligibility.

Once they’ve joined the class, it’s important that they stay informed on the progress of the case to ensure they are able to receive any potential benefits or compensation.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Class Action Claim?

Yes, it’s important for victims to seek legal representation from an experienced class action attorney when filing a class action claim. They will have the expertise and resources necessary to file the initial legal claim, seek class certification, conduct discovery, negotiate settlements, and advocate for the rights of class members in court.

Attorneys will also have the knowledge necessary to ensure the case is filed within the Texas personal injury statute of limitations, ensuring members have the best chance of success. Additionally, having legal representation can help ensure that class members receive fair and just compensation for their claims, guaranteeing their rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Class action attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if the lawsuit is successful, alleviating financial burdens for class members. Overall, one of the best decisions a potential class can make is the choice to seek representation from a skilled and experienced attorney regarding their case.

Contact a Class Action Lawsuit Lawyer at Reich & Binstock Today

If you believe you may have a claim for a class action lawsuit, it’s essential to seek legal representation from an experienced class action lawsuit attorney. At Reich & Binstock, our class action lawsuit lawyers have a proven track record of advocating for the rights of individuals who have been wronged by large corporations or organizations.

With our depth of experience and dedication to pursuing justice, we are committed to helping you understand your rights, evaluate your options, and pursue the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait to assert your rights–reach out to us to learn how we can assist you in your class action claim.

Call our law firm at (713) 622-7271 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a legal professional on our team.

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