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An Overview Of Class Action Civil RICO Claims


Through a civil RICO claim, a plaintiff has the right to hold a defendant (business, organization, or other enterprise) legally liable for losses caused by racketeering activity. In some circumstances, a civil RICO claim may be pursued as a class action lawsuit. In this article, our West Palm Beach RICO claims lawyer highlights the key things to know about class action litigation in RICO cases.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

As defined by the Cornell Legal Information Institute, a class action lawsuit is “procedural device that permits one or more plaintiffs to file and prosecute a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group.” Put another way, a class action lawsuit is a comprehensive case that allows multiple plaintiffs to bring their claim simultaneously against a defendant, acting as one larger party. Class action can be filed in a wide range of different circumstances, including civil RICO claims. 

Class Action Litigation Offers Some Key Benefits to Plaintiffs 

When available as an option, a class action lawsuit offers some important advantages to plaintiffs. As a starting point, a class action claim may be especially useful for plaintiffs with mild or moderate damages. A class action claim may make it cost-effective to provide a legal remedy. Class action lawsuits can also be more efficient. Finally, there can be strength in numbers with a class action claim. 

Four Requirements for Class Action Certification in a Civil RICO Case 

You cannot file a class action lawsuit simply because you want to do so. Even if another unrelated party sustained similar losses due to the defendant’s racketeering activity, you might still not be eligible to pursue class action litigation. Federal and state courts will only approve a class certification if certain strict procedural requirements are satisfied. Here are three key requirements that must be satisfied to obtain class action certification in a federal or state civil RICO case:

  1. Class Size; The proposed class in the civil RICO claim must be large enough that it would be impractical for all parties to pursue individual cases.
  2. Commonality: Class members must have similar underlying claims. You can only join a class action with another party if your civil RICO claim against the defendant(s) is truly similar to their claim.
  3. Best Interests: Finally, the party seeking to serve as the representative for the class must be able to adequately and fairly represent the best interests of all class members. Otherwise, the class may be denied certification by the court.   

Contact Our Florida Civil RICO Lawyers for Guidance and Support

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida civil RICO lawyers have the professional experience that you can rely on in a complicated case. If you have any questions about RICO class action litigation, we can help. Call us now for a fully private review and evaluation of your case. Our commercial litigation attorneys handle civil RICO claims all around Southeast Florida, including in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Hialeah, Boca Raton, Miami, Miami Beach, and Homestead.

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