Class Actions

A class action is a lawsuit brought by one or several persons on behalf of a group of people who have been similarly harmed. Class actions allow individuals to challenge illegal practices when they may not have been brought otherwise. The purpose of a class action lawsuit is to combine numerous claims of individuals into one action brought before a single judge to seek a legal remedy for all members of the class.

Particularly in consumer cases, an individual’s damages are often too small of an amount for the individual to bring a lawsuit, so the case is brought as a class action. Consumer class actions seek justice for consumers who have been defrauded or exposed to false advertising. For example, consumers who have been illegally charged overdraft fees by their bank may file a class action lawsuit to recover unjust charges. Even if the amount of the charge was small, a class action lawsuit may make litigation possible. Other examples of consumer class actions involve fraudulent charges, false or misleading advertisements for products or services, food products not having accurate nutritional value advertised, junk faxes, and defective products.

The class action instrument allows an individual’s claims, as well as that of a larger group, to be represented in court when their claims may otherwise not have been heard at all. Class actions are based on the idea of strength in numbers. While a class action may seem overwhelming to a single individual, this type of lawsuit can successfully bring about reform or stop unfair practices more successfully than can an individual claim. Often, it is the possibility or eventuality of a class action that helps the government enforce laws, makes business practices safer, keeps unfair business practices regulated and compensates consumers for wrongdoing that harmed them.

A class action is a filed by one individual seeking to represent a class of people similarly injured by the same defendant. While the class size needs to be large enough to meet the class action requirements, only one person is needed to file the case. Thereafter, he/she will move to have the case certified as a class action. If there is a class action settlement, the class representative generally is provided an enhancement payment to reward that representative for having filed the case. The enhancement payment is usually in addition to the settlement amount the class representative will receive as a class member.

Various laws are in place to protect your rights to prevent businesses or other entities from injuring or treating you unfairly. The government, however, does not have resources to monitor every action a business takes. An entity may violate a law or act in a way that it is unfair, illegal or unsafe for the public. It may be on such a small scale at the individual level that the violation goes unchecked, but the same violation is taking place over and over again, affecting thousands or even millions of people. This situation leads to a class action lawsuit. In bringing a class-action, you are seeking to end an illegal activity and obtain compensation for the class.

If you have been injured or otherwise wronged by a company, you might not be alone. Willett & Willett, LLP will know if your complaint is grounds for a class action suit. If you think you have a potential class action case, contact us today at (310) 601-7120.



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