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What is a Business Lawsuit?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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When a person sues a business, company, or another person related to business matters, the result is a business lawsuit. This is a legal action brought to court involving two parties: the suing party that is called the plaintiff, and the sued party dubbed as the defendant. Note that either the plaintiff or the defendant may be individual people, groups, companies, corporations, or even institutions.

Typically, a business lawsuit is brought to court because the suer is asking for money or property as damages. This is comparable to a payment that the suer believes is due to them as a result of an injury or harm that was done to them by the defendant, either directly or indirectly. Very frequently, business lawsuits involve accidents in the workplace or in the course of delivering business merchandise. They too can involve sexual harassment claims and complaints coming from disgruntled employees. Breach of contract is another common ground for business lawsuits. In recent years, many business lawsuits have been filed against companies that allegedly polluted the environment and caused health problems to people living in the affected communities.

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Sometimes, a business lawsuit may also arise from a dispute or conflict. At other times, the business lawsuit seeks to “enjoin” — meaning to restrain or stop — a party from carrying out a certain activity. Examples of this are when a corporation wishes to stop someone from revealing confidential information, or from trespassing onto a property. It is much more common to have individuals suing a business rather than a business suing an individual.

The process by which a business lawsuit is conducted is much the same as that of an ordinary lawsuit. It begins with the filing of a complaint in court by the plaintiff. In the complaint, they state the names of the defendants and the damages that they are seeking from them. Next, the summons is served to the named defendants, which includes a copy of the complaint.

The defendant is given a specific amount of time to file a response. In this response, they can state their defense and include any counterclaims that they wish to file against the suer. They may either admit to the accusation made or deny it, or they can also choose to state that they do not have sufficient information to either admit or deny the allegation. All this falls under the process called “pleading” in legal terms.

A pretrial usually follows pleading. Simply put, this is the presentation by both parties of their evidences and statements. They do so to have all relevant facts or claims revealed, eliminating any surprises. This also clarifies what the business lawsuit is all about.

The pretrial is completed with the decision to have either a trial by jury or a bench trial that does not involve a jury. Then the actual trial comes next, at the end of which a judgment is passed. After the final decision has been announced, one or both parties can choose to file an appeal.

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