What is a Class Action Law Suit?

Class action law suits are certainly more in the news today than they ever were. There’s always been a lot of public interest in class action, because the nature of the suit does have a kind of sensational nature at its core. But perhaps more importantly, the reason they’re interesting these days is because they serve as a kind of pie in the sky hope for a lot of people. The idea that anyone could have been wronged by a large corporation and entitled to a sizable cash settlement is a dream that’s almost as common as winning the lottery, and it might be as unlikely, too. What exactly is a class action suit, then?

A class action suit is where a large number of people have been wronged by a corporation or business, usually, or some kind of body that is difficult for most ordinary people to contend with. The character of the wrong is usually based in some kind of physical harm. The most commonly referenced class action, for purposes of an example, involves the many suits filed against the asbestos companies, and asbestos mines. In those cases, working people were exposed to a very dangerous chemical over a prolonged period. The risks of exposure to asbestos could lead to sickness and even cancers. The nature of the risks were not unknown to the companies, either, so that when the class actions went to trial, there was very little they could do to deny that they had put their employees at risk.

From this example, then, we can see that a class action is something that’s on a fairly large scale, where the threat to health is very grave. Groups of people will usually file these together, because the defendant in these is never an individual, but a body of people who have been harmed. This also offers a kind of safety in numbers, where it might be possible to have more people come forward when they have a more reasonable suspicion that some good would come out of it, rather than further injustice. Class action suits appeal to the sympathy we all have for the underdog, and they play into all the elements of that classic myth.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 1:34 pm and is filed under Class Action Information. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “What is a Class Action Law Suit?”

  1. euripides labrada Says:

    I was in November 16, 2007 Acomplete Knee reconstruction since then I have other surgery to date Istill in a lot of pain and agony I would appreciate if you could help me get some resolution
    sincerely E Labrada

  2. Dot Jackson Says:

    I see it’s been a year since there was action on this site so I gather it’s not all that serious. I am responding to your contention that people engage in class action suits hoping for personal gain. That’s a pretty short-sighted view, from a clearly jaundiced eye, as the whole site indicates. The fact is that every facet of human life in this country is increasingly at the mercy of huge corporations whose whole purpose in being is to make more and more and more money for their officers and stockholders. The quality of their service is no issue — especially in the case of monopolies and many-armed bandits with a connecting organizational source. AND — some of us are interested mainly in defending ourselves, our businesses and livelihoods against the knowing predations of these behemoths. WE WANT THEM TO BE HONEST! We want them to be TRUSTWORTHY! We want to be CUSTOMERS, not slaves bringing in more gold, and more gold. So I am not keen on your attitude — which comes down as viewing ordinary people as pests that the fat cats have to deal with in order to get fatter. This makes me sick!

 

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