Lake Class Action Case
Case No: Gaston: 12-CVS-1547

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  What is a class action?

Answer:  A class action is a legal procedure used to prosecute a lawsuit efficiently in which a large number of people have been injured by a common act or set of actions.  In this case, 26 named plaintiffs stand in for the entire group of similarly aggrieved persons during the course of the litigation (the “Plaintiff Class”).  In this lawsuit, 26 plaintiffs sued the State of North Carolina and related entities on April 20, 2012.  The Honorable Judge Edwin Wilson certified the case as a Class Action on September 2, 2016.

Question:  What is an Opt-Out Class Action?

Answer:  Potential class members have the option of, after receiving notice, excluding themselves from a class action, and pursuing the case on their own.  This is referred to as Opt-Out Class Action Litigation.This case, I. Beverly Lake, et al, is an opt-out Class action lawsuit, meaning that unless a Class Member opts out, the Class Member will be included as a Plaintiff in the Lawsuit.

Question:  If I choose to be involved in a class action, is there risk or expense for me?

Answer:  You do not need to take steps of your own to join the class action.  Only those who wish to exclude themselves from a class need to do anything.  If you do not want to be involved in the Class Action you must opt-out using the process described on the Opt-Out page.  By participating in the case, you accomplish several objectives.  First, you may receive damages you have sustained.  Secondly, as a member of a class of similarly harmed persons, you help to demonstrate to the Court that the alleged harm done was substantial and affected a large number of people, increasing both the likelihood of a recovery and its size. Moreover, the only cost to you will be drawn from any settlement or judgment upon successful resolution of the matter.

Question:  How are attorneys paid in class action cases?

Answer:  The Plaintiffs’ attorneys are usually paid pursuant to an order from the Court overseeing the case.  The judge responsible for the class action reviews a submission made by the attorneys, called a “fee petition.”  This petition sets forth in detail the work the attorneys have done on behalf of the class.  After consideration, the court enters an order fixing the amount of the fees to be paid to the attorneys from the case’s judgment or settlement fund.  The amount of the fees awarded is based on a number of factors, including the quality of the work, the difficulty of the case, the nature of the result, the amount of time spent on the case, and the risks involved.  As a percentage of the gross settlement or recovery, the fee amount can vary greatly within a wide range depending on the factors the court takes into account and the weight it attaches to each of them.

Question:  What are my responsibilities?

Answer:  Individual class members involved in a class action are obligated to tell the truth.They are not responsible for paying any fees or costs associated with the lawsuit.  Generally, class members are not called upon to assist in any way.  However, some class members, including the 26 named Plaintiffs, may provide information that can help with the case.

Question:  How can I receive updates regarding the class action?

Answer:  The website at was designed for this purpose.  Also, you may contact Class Counsel at (704) 790-6030.

Question:  How long will it be until there is a significant development in the class action?

Answer: Following the entry of summary judgment and the appeal by Defendants, the trial court and appellate court will take several months to more than one year to determine and make the major decisions in the case. In the meantime, the attorneys will be preparing documents and briefs for the appeal and potentially conducting proceedings before the trial court.

Question:  If I have specific evidence or concerns regarding the class action, what should I do?

Answer:  Call the Lake Class case telephone number at (704) 790-6030 and continue to check the website for updates.  If you have specific evidence that you think may be helpful in prosecuting the case on behalf of the Class, you should direct that information and documentation to the attention of Class Counsel as soon as possible.

Question:  Who are the class action lawyers?

Answer:  The primary attorneys handling the case on behalf of the class are Michael L. CarpenterMarcus R. CarpenterChristopher M. Whelchel, and Marshall P. Walker of the law firm of Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr & Smith, P.A.Gary W. Jackson of The Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, and Sam McGee of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC.  Click their names for links to their biographical information and click the firm names for more information about the law firms.

Question:  How can I get more information about the class action?

Answer: Call the Lake Class case telephone number at (704) 790-6030 and continue to check the website for updates.

Question:  What must I do to participate in the class action?

Answer:  You do not need to take any action because you are automatically included in the Plaintiff Class.

Important Dates

October 17, 2016
Summary Judgment Response Briefs Due

October 31, 2016
Deadline to Opt-out of Class

November 7, 2016
Summary Judgment Reply Briefs Due

November 14, 2016
Summary Judgment Hearing in Forsyth County

May 19, 2017
Partial Summary Judgment Order Issued in Favor of Plaintiffs

June 2, 2017
Defendants File Notice of Appeal

December 5, 2017
Defendants and Plaintiffs File Joint Petition for Discretionary Review to the NC Supreme Court

April 23, 2018
Defendant's Brief filed

June 22, 2018
Plaintiff's Response Brief filed

August 1, 2018
Defendant's Reply Brief filed

November 29, 2018
Oral Argument before the North Carolina Court of Appeals

October 4, 2021
NC Supreme Court Oral Arguments



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