The concept of a class action lawsuit may seem relatively straightforward to most in Charleston: a group shares the same cause of action against a single defendant, and thus collectively brings action against said defendant. Yet such matters are rarely that simple, both for those accused of wrongdoing and those doing the accusing. One might indeed feel as though they are a grievance with other parties, yet thorough research should still be devoted to one’s individual claim to ensure that they indeed have a valid cause of action. Failing to verify this could potentially call the entire class’ validity into question.
It is that validity that the lawyers representing Universal Music Group are questioning after one of the groups that had filed a class action lawsuit against them was dropped from the case. The lawsuit stems from a 2008 warehouse fire on the NBC/Universal lot that supposedly destroyed the master recordings of several prominent groups and artists, including Tom Petty, Soundgarden and Tupac Shakur. The group Hole also joined in the lawsuit, but was later told that its masters were not among those destroyed in the fire. Upon learning this, the class agreed to drop Hole from the lawsuit. The teams representing UMG have responded by saying that many of the claims made by plaintiffs in this case were rushed into in the same manner that Hole’s was, and thus are baseless.
This case underscores the complexity that can be involved in class actions, and the importance of those looking to join them in doing their due diligence to ensure that their actions support the class overall. Those researching such information may find an attorney to be a valuable source of assistance during this process.