When asked what constitutes a class action lawsuit, most in Charleston would correctly cite the fact that such action involves multiple plaintiffs pursuing a similar claim against a single defendant. That may be the reason why many are confused when such actions are initiated by a single person. In the case of a class action, every plaintiff need not be present during court proceedings. The purpose of this type of action, in fact, is to save them from having to go through all the rigors required with a traditional lawsuit. A single representative is chosen to represent the class, and it is that person that becomes the face and voice of that group during proceedings.
A woman has stepped forward to be such a representative in action recently filed against a California-based fertility clinic. The lawsuit was prompted by a storage tank malfunction, which exposed several thousand eggs and embryos to high temperatures that could compromise their viability. According to the woman's representatives, this failure is an example of how the clinic was grossly negligent in maintaining their equipment. In all, nearly 15 percent of the reproductive elements stored at the facility were affected by the problem, which represented the fertility hopes of nearly 500 people.
To be certified as a class action, a judge must determine that each of the plaintiffs involved has a common question of the law and that a single claim of the group is typical with all of the others. Furthermore, it must be shown that the group is sufficiently numerous to be designated as a class, and that the class representative can adequately serve the interests of the group. Those needing assistance in proving these elements may find it in the form of an attorney.
Source: Becker's Hospital Review "San Francisco fertility clinic faces class action lawsuit, accusations over damages embryos: 5 things to know" Paavola, Alia, Mar. 15, 2018