A consumer class action lawsuit is a class action suit initiated by one or more purchasers of consumer goods or services on behalf of a class of similar purchasers. A consumer class action lawsuit allows the claims of each harmed consumer to be resolved in one case, rather than every consumer filing their lawsuit against the company separately.
These cases are often, but not necessarily, filed under state consumer protection statutes. The most common suits allege that the manufacturer or seller company committed fraud in the marketing or sale of the goods or services. In some cases, the goods or service was defective or in violation of a warranty. Some examples of consumer class actions include automobiles with defective brakes or airbags, data breaches or false food or cosmetic labels.
Like other types of class action suits, the group is represented by one or more consumers, called a class representative, also known as the lead plaintiff. The class representative and their legal counsel carries on the case on behalf of the group, who have given up their right to sue to the class representative. Other than the fact that it is carried out by consumers, there is very little difference between the process of filing a consumer class action lawsuit and other types of class actions lawsuits.