CLASS ACTION CASES
In cases involving small individual damages, there will never be a recovery for anyone in absence of a class action.
Without class actions, an individual or company can obtain a sizeable windfall by wrongfully stealing small sums of money from a large group of people and continue to do business as it has. Class actions address the unlikelihood that people will pursue small claims by aggregating relatively small sums into a total amount worth an attorney’s time and effort.
Even if small individual claims are filed, a company may treat small cases as the cost of doing business and continue to engage in illegal conduct because there is no economic disincentive to stop if a profit can be made. A company will, however, take much more seriously a class-wide judgment, especially if statutory damages, actual damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees are recovered.
Class actions often result in a large proportion of people harmed by a particular practice receiving a financial recovery. Class actions also disgorge wrongfully obtained funds and create a financial disincentive for that company to engage in wrongful conduct. Class actions also send a message to other companies in the same industry that wrongful practices are not ultimately financially lucrative.
Consumer class actions are often the most suitable method for resolving suits to force compliance with consumer protection laws. Instead of sending a potential client to small claims court on their own, an attorney can bring a class action, which protects not only the individual client, but numerous other consumers victimized by the same practice.