A lawsuit is a legal proceeding in which a party requests that the court award them money. The court’s ruling is known as a judgment. Usually, a judgment is accompanied by an order requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff. In contrast, a criminal case typically involves jail time, probation, a fine, or compelled community service.
A lawsuit can be filed by an individual or a group of people. Personal injury and product liability class actions generally occur when a defective product causes harm to a large number of people. A class action may also be filed for pharmaceutical fraud, which results in the manufacture or distribution of a potentially harmful drug. Another type of lawsuit is a mass disaster claim, which can be brought for a wide variety of reasons. Mass disasters can include social work negligence, nursing home negligence, and even sexual abuse. Other types of lawsuits include consumer class actions, which hold businesses accountable for illegal or fraudulent business practices. Similarly, antitrust lawsuits seek to punish business entities for monopolistic practices, including price-fixing and market allocation agreements.
There are also class actions, which aim to level the playing field for plaintiffs by bringing the case on behalf of multiple claimants. For instance, Hagens Berman brings a class action on behalf of investors who were harmed by the securities industry, in which many investors file one claim against a company.