Close Menu

Here’s the Truth About Class Action Lawsuits


Class action lawsuits have become so well known, and so common, that they are almost joked about. People say they will “file a class action,” and “get millions of dollars,” as if class action lawsuits are a joke. They probably get that reputation because class action lawsuits tend to yield large recovery amounts, and thus, make the news.

But as you will see, there’s a reason why that is the case, and class action lawsuits are nothing to laugh about.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

In a class action lawsuit, someone has been wronged or injured. That part is not any different than any other kind of lawsuit. What is different, is that there are a lot of people—perhaps thousands, or more—who have been injured by the same defendant and in the same way, as the victim. All of the injured may even have the same kind of injury.

Because of that, all the victims join together as a class, in one giant lawsuit, against the negligent defendants.

Why a Class?

So why not have all of the injured victims just file their own lawsuits? Why all join together?

The first reason is to avoid the risk of inconsistent verdicts. In a case where everybody’s facts and injuries are the same, the determination of whether the Defendant is liable, should also be the same. It is not good for a legal system to have 100 cases, all almost identical, but to have 50 victims recover from a liable defendant, and 50 not recover from the exact same Defendant, even though everything else about their case is exactly the same.

The other reason is simply judicial economy. If 50,000 victims were injured by a defective product, the court system doesn’t want 50,000 cases in its system, when all of those cases are the same, and could just be heard by one judge.

Righting Wrongs

But there is another reason why class actions make sense. If a victim were injured—but only a little injury, or a minor injury—it may not be worth bringing a lawsuit. So, most victims just wouldn’t. That means that the wrongdoer would get away with the offending behavior, over and over again, against thousands of people, just because no one victim’s injuries make it worth bringing a lawsuit for.

In this way, class actions allow victims without major injury or damages, to band together, and prevent big companies from taking advantage of them.

That’s also why people often say, seriously or not, that victims in a class action may get little or nothing.

That’s not always true—many class actions involve people who have contracted cancer or other serious illness, injury or disease, because of the negligence or carelessness of others. And each class member gets significant damages, as they would in an individual case.

But sometimes, each class member’s injury or damage is relatively minor. And that’s OK—because now through the class action lawsuit, victims still can get recovery and hold a careless defendant liable.

Major or minor injury we can help. Contact our Tampa personal injury lawyers at Barbas, Nunez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian and schedule a consultation today.


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2018 - 2024 Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian, Attorneys and Counselors at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website & legal marketing is managed by MileMark Media.