Class Action Lawsuit
A consumer class action is a lawsuit in state or federal court that is brought by one individual, or a few individuals, on behalf of a larger class of people similarly situated. Typically it seeks damages (compensation for harm done) on behalf of the named persons bringing the suit as well as the members of the class. For example, class actions have been brought on behalf of all persons who purchased a certain type of automobile during a particular time period, and have experienced brake or tire failure, etc.
In general, claims involving mass accidents or disasters, certain product defects, or violations of state consumer protection laws may qualify for class action treatment. The classic basis for the use of a class action is to combine the smaller-dollar claims of a large number of people. Each person’s claim individually may be too small to pursue cost-effectively. Combining many relatively small claims, however, may justify the expense of litigation and improve the chances for success, especially against large corporations.