Class action lawsuits represent one of the worst abuses of the legal system. Intended to be an efficient way to speed access to justice and keep our courts from being clogged with hundreds of lawsuits, class action lawsuits have instead become a favored weapon of personal injury lawyers.
It works like this: personal injury lawyers compile a class of plaintiffs, many of whom didn’t know they had been harmed. They then file a lawsuit alleging damages for every plaintiff in the class to drive up the size of the lawsuit award and the amount of fees they can collect. Personal injury lawyers walk away with millions, while consumers, many of whom didn’t realize they were part of a class action suit, receive a few dollars or coupons.
Why it Matters
Just the threat of a huge class action lawsuit is enough to force many businesses to settle the lawsuit rather than risking a trial, whether or not they did anything wrong. This isn’t justice.
Justice is diluted for people who truly have been injured. Personal injury lawyers often use a few genuinely injured plaintiffs to help win a class action. The award is then divided among all of the plaintiffs, including those who were not injured, meaning less of the award goes to those who most deserve compensation.
We all pay the price. Class action settlements and jury awards cost hundreds of millions of dollars, costs that must be recovered through higher prices for goods and services.
Stop the Abuse
Help CALA put a spotlight on class action lawsuit abuse. Have you been informed that you’re part of a class action lawsuit you never joined? Are you the lucky recipient of coupons or a check for a few dollars? Let CALA know.
Join CALA in supporting common sense reforms. There have been several attempts at reforms, including allowing a defendant to appeal a class action certification (currently only a plaintiff can), capping the percentage of the award lawyers can receive and tying attorney fees to the amount of members in the class who actually collect their awards.