Class action lawsuits can compensate injured victims, hold wrongdoers accountable, change how an organization operates, affect how a company or an industry does business, and much more. The most famous example of a class action lawsuit that has brought about dramatic changes was Brown v. Board of Education, the case that ended racial segregation in schools.
A class action’s potential costs to the wrongdoer and consequences for the people, businesses or industry that stands accused of wrongdoing, can motivate defendants to act in constructive ways. Class action defendants must spend a lot of money to defend themselves and potentially pay out even larger sums to pay for judgment — sometimes in the billions of dollars. A defendant’s reputation and/or brand can also be permanently damaged by a class action. These costs are likely to motivate how class action defendants will operate in the future.
Class action lawsuits have compelled the government, banks, manufacturers and other organizations to change their practices, policies and behavior. Class action areas include:
- Data Privacy
- Health Care
- Mergers & Acquisition
- Pension & Retirement
- Shareholder Rights
Class actions allow injured individuals to come together and take on the largest adversary, where the expense of litigating a single claim would be prohibitively expensive. The “class” becomes itself a kind of corporate litigant – allowing individuals to band together and equally match the resources of a government or corporate defendant.”