Avery T. “Sandy” Waterman, Jr., Esq. recently settled collective actions in Newport News and Norfolk federal courts on behalf of primarily Hampton Roads residents, one involving 115 workers. He also is handling a multi-party lawsuit in Hampton state court.
The Virginia Multiple Claimant Litigation Act allows six or more similarly situated victims to join together in a single lawsuit against the same defendant in state court. See, Va. Code Ann. §8.01-267.1, et. seq.. In federal court in Virginia similarly situated victims likewise together can file a single collective action against a defendant. See, e.g., 29 U.S.C. §216(b). Also in Virginia federal court similarly situation victims can file a single class action against a defendant for themselves individually and as representatives of like victims not named in the lawsuit. See, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.
Multi-Claimant personal injury lawsuits in Virginia frequently involve recalled prescription drugs or mass accidents involving airplanes, trains, buses, subways, ships, boats, and other watercrafts and vehicles; poisonings, contaminating water, food or products; and even amusement rides. Virginia multi-claimant lawsuits also may involve widespread employment practices, such as failure to pay overtime, sexual harassment, and other discrimination. Almost any sort of common misconduct can result in a multi-claimant lawsuit, the key simply being that the victims were damaged similarly by the same defendant.
There are many benefits to similarly situated victims being represented jointly in the same lawsuit by a common lawyer. Benefits include substantial efficiencies of time and money, consistency of outcomes, and safety and power in numbers. Such complex litigation is a veritable legal minefield for the inexperienced.