You may have received a notice that you’re included in a class action lawsuit and requesting a response to be eligible for recovering damages. Or you’ve heard class action lawsuits mentioned on daytime or late-night TV. These are the usual ways people learn about class action lawsuits but what exactly are they?
A class is a group of people with comparable legal issues against the provider of a product or service who has caused them some form of harm. There are many reasons that people may prefer filing these cases jointly rather than individually:
- Class action lawsuits empower the consumer. Taking on a corporation alone could feel intimidating. The beauty of a class action lawsuit is that a group with a similar legal issue stand up to larger companies together. This strength in numbers can help level the playing field.
- Class action lawsuits save time and money. Imagine if every consumer with similar issues did file individual lawsuits. Many people would have a difficult time affording the legal fees and missed time from work to make court appearances. A class action lawsuit names a spokesperson for the lawsuit who handles court responsibilities.
- Class action lawsuits increase chances for recovering damages. If a court awarded hundreds or thousands of people damages from a company, the business might have a difficulty paying. Damages in a class action can safeguard consumers from the business potentially filing bankruptcy by having damages paid out from a single case instead.
Filing or joining a class action lawsuit is a simpler way for groups of consumers of to recover damages from the same entity than filing individual lawsuits. This reduces the chances for powerful companies to financially overpower consumers and level the playing field.