When it comes to who can bring a consumer class action lawsuit, the answer is relatively simple. Anyone can start this type of civil action as long as they have a valid case. It only takes one individual to suffer injuries or damages to begin the class action process. Of course, there are additional steps necessary before these lawsuits are officially certified and become a true consumer class action suit.
For example, imagine you bought a product that turned out to be defective, and you suffered injuries when you used it. If you believe others likely suffered similar injuries from the product, you may be able to:
- File a consumer class action suit
- Meet the qualifications for class certification
- Act as a representative for others who had a similar issue
In some cases, the defendant in these cases could also face criminal or regulatory issues. The Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) is the agency tasked with protecting consumers from a regulatory standpoint.
Why Consumer Class Action Lawsuits Are Important
Class action lawsuits allow individuals to hold large, powerful companies responsible for their actions. The outcome of a consumer class action civil suit can affect the entire industry, regulatory procedures, and more.
It may also allow victims to take action based on a relatively minor injury when this would not make financial sense in a typical personal injury case. You may want to hold a company responsible not because you need compensation to cover your damages but rather based on principle. Corporations should pay for their bad behavior, even if the resulting injuries are not necessarily severe.
For example, it may not make sense to file a lawsuit for a few stitches after a defective product injury. However, when 1,000 people all file for compensation for similar damages, the investment makes sense.
Understanding Class Certification and Moving Forward with a Consumer Class Action Claim
While one person can file the initial paperwork to begin a consumer class action lawsuit, they do this on behalf of a group of people who suffered injuries or damages in the same way. This group is referred to as the “class.”
Before this case can move forward, the court will need to certify the class. This is what officially makes it a class action lawsuit. As affirmed by the American Bar Association (ABA), class certification requires the following:
- The class must consist of a large enough group, usually more than 40 members, who all suffered harm because of the defendant.
- Everyone in the group must have common questions related to what happened, who caused their injuries, and other facts of their cases.
- The class representative who began the case must have a “typical” case, or another representative must be identified.
- The counsel must be adequate to handle this type of claim.
If you begin a case and seek class certification, an attorney from our team can manage all aspects of this process.
There May Already Be a Case Underway Against the Liable Party
If you suffered injuries because a corporation failed to uphold its duties when making a product or providing a service, a class action may already be underway. When the incident involves a popular product or company, there could be hundreds of thousands or even millions of victims.
For example, the Takata class action claim involved 50 million airbag inflators in approximately 37 million vehicles in the United States. This means that there could be at least 25+ million class members in this case.
Discussing your options with our law firm can help you determine if there is already a class action taking place that you can join. You can also check online resources for similar cases.
Let Morelli Law Firm Review Your Case for Free Today
Morelli Law Firm represents class representatives and others in consumer class action lawsuits. If you believe you may have a class action case, reach out to our team. We provide free consultations and handle these cases based on contingency.
Our team generally serves areas that include New York City, Long Island, New York State up to Albany, Northern New Jersey, and Philadelphia. However, the appropriate jurisdiction for consumer class action mass torts is not always clear cut. Our team will review your case to determine if we can help.
Call (212) 751-9800 now for a free review of your case and learn if you may be able to bring or join a consumer class action lawsuit based on your injuries.