Class Actions

Get Out While You Still Can

Did you know that you could be a part of a class action, and not even know it?

You may be entitled to receive a refund, and if you are to submit a claim as an individual, the refunds can be in excess of 70%!

If there is a class action case in the works where you are identified as a potential Group Member, you are automatically opted in to the class action lawsuit without requiring your consent.

Law firms would love to convince you to join a class action instead of pursuing personal claims. They will attempt to drive you right into their arms by telling you of the “high risk” and “high cost” of pursuing a claim on your own. Using the “strength in numbers” tactic, they will have you believe that you will always be stronger as one, and that you will have a better chance of winning your claim as a group, with lower personal risk, under their guidance of course. It is necessary to research how class actions work, and the lengthy and complex process they would drag you through, along with the rest of the group who were unfortunately duped by their poorly rehearsed Robin Hood routine.

Here's what they don't tell you:

  • Class actions are commenced, regardless of whether all group members are aware or not
  • Class actions are run on an “opt-out” basis
  • They can take years to settle
  • They usually settle on much lower amounts than the total of the group members purchased individual premiums
  • Their legal fees will reduce the (negotiated lower) settlement amounts

And if this wasn't enough...

  • If you were not aware you were a group member and the case settles, even if you receive no settlement amount, you are still bound by the outcome and cannot complain as an individual and receive nothing.
  • From when the opt out is available to sign, deadlines to receive are usually only two months!
  • All the terms are different for each class action. Some class actions terms suggest your refund only being paid out if deemed fair by the courts.
  • If your bank details are incorrect that they have on file you may not receive the funds, and once the deadline is finished you cannot then request these funds.

Do we go on?

The terms for every class action are all available online. We do not offer legal advice and we suggest you read what the actual group member MAY or MAY NOT receive, or obtain legal advice before making these decisions.

What is a class action

A class action (formally known as a representative proceeding) is a legal proceeding where one person (the applicant or plaintiff) initiates a legal claim, suing a single party on behalf of a group of people who have similarly been affected by the same conduct. The lawyer will first need to determine whether the lawsuit can be filed, by evaluating the facts and gathering further information regarding:

  • Other people who have been similarly affected
  • Previous outcomes of similar claims and lawsuits
  • Whether a lawsuit has already been filed with the same allegations
  • If they can still within the legal time frame for filing lawsuits
  • Whether the potential defendant is shielded from any liability

The applicant/plaintiff will usually receive a large amount of money out of the group settlement.

Alongside the company who funded it, expenses for that company and the lawyer's expenses and fees, witnesses that are used may also receive a payment.

Once the lawyer has determined the eligibility of the lawsuit, they will draft a complaint outlining the facts of the case and damages being sought. Unfortunately, this does not officially become a class action until the judge has given the lawsuit “class action status”. The lawsuit must satisfy certain requirements before a judge will declare it a class action:

  • A large number of people must have been negatively affected by the party being sued
  • The lawsuit must involve the same factual and legal issues across all class members
  • The plaintiff and class members bringing the lawsuit should have all been negatively affected to typically the same degree, with no significant differences
  • The plaintiff and lawyer representing the class action should have adequate interest in the case, and the lawyer also needs to have sufficient experience in handling class actions and complex litigation

As soon as the requirements have been satisfied, and details of the dispute and class action are defined and confirmed, the court will order “opt-out notices”. These notices are to be publicly announced, and sent to all group members, and provides the opportunity to opt out of the class action. If they have your correct details and manage to contact you, many of our clients have had no contact for any of the class actions they were in, meaning they did not get a chance to opt in or out.

On most occasions, this may even be the first time they are hearing about the class action that they have been opted in to, if you are lucky enough to receive a notification the information can be confusing if you are new to this and if an opt-out response isn’t received, the group member will continue to be represented in the class action, and therefore, bound by the outcome.

The next step in the process is Discovery. This involves an investigatory phase where the lawyers working on the case request documents from the party that is being sued, which may be used to prove the allegations against them. They may also conduct depositions of individuals who have knowledge of the circumstances involved in the lawsuit. Following discovery, the case will be taken to court in front of a jury if it doesn’t settle prior. The plaintiff may be asked to testify, and other witnesses may be called upon to offer testimony. If the case has still not settled by this point, it will be handed over to the jury to rule in favour of the plaintiff and class members, or the defendants.

How do I opt-out?

You are able to opt-out of any class action by filling out a Class Action Opt-Out notice, and returning it to the Federal Court of Australia. This will need to be completed before a deadline set by the class notice you originally received when you were notified of the class action you were opted into. You can also contact the law firm or the court handling the proceeding of the case to request a copy of the opt-out form if you no longer have the original.

By opting out of the class action, you are removing yourself from the outcome of the lawsuit entirely, and will then be free to pursue your own personal claim.

Can you help me? This is all too difficult!

We understand this can be not only time consuming, but also confusing and hard work. We are here to help!

We work in the best interest of our clients. We have seen over 70% more $$$ for our consumers in total amounts paid IF we can opt you out within the time periods they allow.

The courts have allowed us to opt out on some cases many months after opt out deadlines.

Why is this? The maximum refund is Premiums paid, plus interest paid, less any rebates you may have received. The class actions do not take interest in to consideration, and they are deducting millions of dollars out of the settlement amount.

If you decide to opt in or out, we manage the entire process for you, also whether you are in legal proceedings or not, to work towards winning the maximum refund for you.

Get My Refund is an authorised representative of Sphere Insurance Group ABN 95605842117 AFSL 478959 Agent number 1279752
2/23 Foster Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia | (02) 9156 1000
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