What if someone has already filed a class action, may I file my own lawsuit?
Generally, yes. A case “filed” as a class action is NOT a class action until the court certifies it as one. And sometimes an action which was certified as a class action is decertified by the trial or appellate court. That means it is no longer a class action and you must bring your own action to pursue your rights. In some circumstances a class action may be settled for plaintiffs in only one state.
Also, some states may require that you bring a class action in their own court system to protect your rights in the event a case is not certified in a different court system or even if it is later decertified. This is one reason you may hear of there being a number of class actions filed around the country.