In about a month and a half, we’re going to do a CLE or Continuing Legal Education class on class actions. I’m Gary Burger; my firm is Burger Law. For many, many years I’ve represented groups of individuals in class action claims. We’ve had them in Missouri, Illinois, federal court, other places around the United States.
A class action case is when there are a number of individual cases that are caused, or their damages are caused, or the conduct of the defendant is same among all of them. You need requirements under either federal civil practice rules or Missouri or Illinois civil practice rules. There has to be a commonality, numerosity; you have to have the claims all have to be the same, they have to be able to be adjudicated together, it has to be an identifiable class of people.
And, I’ve had cases. For instance, I forced the State of Illinois to provide contraception coverage to women — they’re women employees, about 50,000 women employees — as part of their health care plan. I’ve had fraud cases, fraud class action cases against car dealership that has a uniform fraudulent act or fraudulent conduct that affects a group of people.
We currently are class counseling a case pending in the Circuit Court of Cole County where we represent a group of prison guards, and the State of Missouri requires them to do pre- and post-shift activity, time at work, doing their work to get ready for their shift and after, like picking up keys, walking the shift, going through airlocks, going through security, and they’re really working at that time. It’s called the donning and doffing case. There’s a statute under the Fair Labor Standards Act passed in the 1940s called the Portal-to-Portal Act which tries to prevent employer abuse by requiring people to work before and after, not really paying for it.
So, we have a claim against the State of Missouri saying you should have paid your hardworking prison guards for this time because you require this stuff, and it’s important, necessary and essential to their job, and it truly is. If you listen to the depositions, the testimony, and the stories of these prison guards, it’s amazing, the hard work they do to keep these violent offenders behind bars. It’s a tough job, and we just think they should be paid full pay for full day’s work. So, that’s one of our cases.
So, there are a lot of legal issues and a lot of claims about class action cases. I don’t want to go into all of them on this short video, but if you have a class action claim or class action idea, I get these calls all the time from other lawyers, people, “Hey, someone’s doing this, this and this. Is this a case?” Or, “I was ripped off. Are they doing it to other people?” I answer questions for free at 314-542-2222, or 866-599-2222, or in Illinois at 618-272-2222. I’m always happy to hear your class action ideas. If the cases have legs, we’d run with them. We’re happy and enjoyed getting good relief and get a systemic change to rule violators and people who break the rules, commit fraud, rip off people, and we’re here to stop that.
So, if you have any questions, give us a call. We have our website too, www.burgerlaw.com, that can answer some of those questions. Thank you.