A case filed by a group of people who are affected by a similar action or product against one defendant is categorized as a class lawsuit. Multi-district litigation and mass tort litigation are other names used to refer to cases brought by groups of individuals who have experienced similar losses. People choose to pursue justice in class action suits when faulty products have caused the damages. These consumer goods include motor vehicles and pharmaceutical medicines.
Victims can also choose to seek justice against conduct such as corporate misconduct, employment practices, consumer, and security fraud. There is another type of class lawsuits called mass tort action. A mass tort action is when a multi-party lawsuit is filed due to an accident that involves an entire group of people. Examples of such accidents include a plane crash in which a lot of people sustain injuries, or worse, death. There were two hundred and thirty-four class action cases filed in federal courts in the year 2015 alone.
The Purpose of a Class Action Lawsuit
When a sizable number of people are involved in an event that caused the same or similar injuries, more often than not, they do not seek legal redress as individuals. If they, however, decide to stick together, the value of the claims adds up. Filling a lawsuit as a class necessitates merging all pieces of the litigation process including evidence, defendants, witnesses, as well as attorneys. Sometimes, when the number of victims affected by the conduct or product is too high, it might become unreasonable or even impossible for them to file lawsuits as individuals. After being given the go-ahead, they file the suit with a representative who is referred to as a lead plaintiff or a named plaintiff. There are numerous instances of class action lawsuits, some of which are discussed below.
CITGO Unwanted Text TCPA Class Action Settlement
Case summary: The suit asserts that the accused sent text messages to the plaintiff’s wireless phone numbers without written consent, which violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act47. This lawsuit seeks damages under the TCPA in support of the lead plaintiff and all the affected individuals in the USA.
Kenneth Cole Unpaid Internship Class Action Settlement
Qualified class members are those who did not receive payment from Kenneth Cole Consumer Direct, LLC or Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. during the 2 December 2008 through 31 July 2017.
Case Summary: This class action lawsuit was filed by one of the unpaid interns, alleging that the accused failed to pay minimum wages, which violated the New York labor law. Oluseyi Awogbile, the current lead plaintiff, on behalf of himself and others who are in the same situation, as he declares, seeks to recover unpaid minimum wages, interest, costs, and attorney’s fees.
The defendants have denied any violation of the law or owing any wages to the interns. The accused also denied any liability, maintaining that they have acted by the law. They have however suggested that to avoid expenses, the uncertainty of the case and inconveniences, it would be better to enter into a settlement agreement. The case is yet to conclude.
New Hawaii Sea Restaurant Hepatitis Class Action Settlement
The class members of this case included anyone who took a beverage or consumed food at the New Hawaii Sea Restaurant located at 1475 Williamsbridge Road between 7th of September 2013 through the 19th of September 2013. It also included anyone who was in proximity to someone who had consumed a drink and/or food where they later obtained a blood test, immune globulin, or a vaccination shot for hepatitis A vaccine (HAV) within thirty days of dining at the restaurant. Those who developed HAV infections after eating or drinking in the restaurant during the class period were not eligible to participate in this class lawsuit.
Case Summary: New Hawaii Restaurant settled the class action suit that alleged that customers were exposed to the hepatitis A virus. The goal of the lawsuit was to obtain compensation for time lost, medical expenses, and anxiety that was associated with the incident. The restaurant agreed to settle despite denying any wrongdoing.
HSBC Overdraft Fee Class Action Settlement
The members of this class action lawsuit include all U.S HSBC customers who suffered overdraft fees on their accounts as a result of any transaction that included a debit card on sale transactions from the lowest to the highest dollar amount. The class period of the suit ranges between the 7th of December 2004 through the 13th of June 2010 for consumer accounts, while that of business accounts ranges between the 7th of December 2004 through the 11th of November 2011.
Case Summary: The case claims that the bank allowed the customers to purchase items via their debit cards despite their accounts being insufficient in order to charge thirty-five dollars as an overdraft fee. With that said, the bank used a software program to reorder transactions that lead to extra overdraft fees automatically. The ruling given was to the effect that the individuals affected after thirtieth June 2007 would automatically receive compensation.
Sony Mobile Devices Xperia Water Damage Class Action Settlement
Members of the settlement included those who at any time before the 3rd of August 2017 owned, purchased, or was gifted as a customer service exchange any mobile devices that are sold, distributed, marketed, or manufactured by Sony Mobile Communications in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or any of the US fifty states.
Case Summary: This suit alleged that Sony sold devices that were advertised as waterproof while they were not. The action claimed that among other things, Sony violated various consumer protection laws. The defendant denied claims of any wrongdoing and that the devices were defective. Both parties decided to settle the matter out of court.
In a class action lawsuit, the final decision made by the court applies to everyone who opted to be included. Every person who qualified as a class member is bound to the court’s decision, whether they attended the court sessions or not. The compensation for everyone in the class action usually follows a well laid out distribution plan, and the amount distributed is typically lessened by the litigation costs and the attorney’s fees.