The Benefits of Class Action Lawsuits

courthouse.jpgSome lawmakers are attempting to limit to the point of practical extinction a very important legal right we Americans enjoy: the right to file a class action lawsuit.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

What is a class action lawsuit? It’s an efficient method for a court to resolve similar claims of a large number of persons who have suffered damages due to the wrongful conduct of others, usually corporations. In many cases, the damages suffered by any one individual are too small to litigate individually, but when combined with other similar claims, through a class action, all persons who have been victimized can seek redress through the court system.

Class action lawsuits efficiently pursue just compensation for all victims while also seeking to end the dangerous corporate actions so no one else suffers in the future.

However, members of the U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced a bill known as the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act.” It is anything but what its name implies.

If this bill becomes law, those who bring a class action lawsuit must suffer the exact same damages for the lawsuit to be heard. Rarely, if ever, could this standard be met.

Rice Farmers Awarded $750 Million for Economic Damages

For example, Gray, Ritter & Graham attorney Don Downing filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all Missourians who purchased Vioxx before it was pulled from market, claiming the drug’s manufacturer concealed known safety risks. This led to a $220 million settlement for Missouri consumers as reimbursement for their drug purchases. Under the proposed law, such justice may not have been achieved, as all Missourians would have had to suffer the exact same financial loss for them to have their collective day in court.

So let’s call the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act” for what it really is: an effort to protect big business and limit the rights of the “little guy.”

If you or a family member has been hurt by the wrongful conduct of a large corporation, you don’t have to take it. You may consult with a class action lawsuit attorney, who can review your case and stand up on your behalf against today’s large companies.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.