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Tips on Starting a Consumer Class Action

Have you and your friends wanted to sue a shady business, producer, or manufacturer of goods, products, and services? Do you know of others who share the same stories of hurt and betrayal caused by the dangers of capitalistic entities? Well, then you probably know that a class action lawsuit would be the best course of action to take. Remember that a class action lawsuit is several lawsuits by multiple individuals combined into one. Any group of individuals can file a class action lawsuit if they are harmed, injured, or had their rights violated by the wrongdoings of another entity or organization.

However, the lawsuit that the group files must fulfill certain criteria before what they filed officially becomes a class action lawsuit. For a group to be considered a “class,” the individual members of the group must meet specific legal requirements. The class then designates an individual or two to be their lead plaintiff or plaintiffs to work with their lawyers and represent them in court. It must be specified that in a consumer class action lawsuit the lead plaintiff/s must be the consumer/s.

If you know how to start a class action lawsuit, then you have it in you to apply the necessary tips & tricks to get through a consumer class action lawsuit smoothly so that justice may be truly served.

Consumer Class Action Starter Tips

1. Know your consumer rights!

Before filing a consumer class action against a bad business or consumeristic corporation, it is of utmost importance to know what you and your fellows are fighting for. Knowing your rights is essential to making a stand. To know them is to be responsible for properly exercising and upholding them.

Your rights are as follows (as standardized by international consumer groups and government organizations):

  • The right to safe goods, products, and services
  • The right to complete and factual information from businesses, sellers, and manufacturers to make informed consumer choices
  • The right to choose from a variety of goods, products, and services at fair prices
  • The right to have your complaints heard and addressed
  • The right to be remedied or compensated by businesses, sellers, or manufacturers if they are found guilty of harming you and other consumers
  • The right to basic necessities (food, water, clothing, and shelter)
  • The right to a safe and healthy environment

Consult with a lawyer if you believe that one or more of the universal rights mentioned were violated.

2. Learn more about what was done to you and others

Some consumer rights law violations can be plainly described as unfair business practices, while other violations are just outright consumer fraud. The shadiest kinds of business practices occur when consumers are in particularly vulnerable circumstances. For example, when people fall behind on their bills, or when they’re in the dark with regard to the nature of the good, product, or service they have availed.

Some of these shady activities are:

  • Consumer fraud

– occurs when an entity or individual willfully deceives consumers for monetary gain (examples include: false or misleading advertising, selling of faulty products, and identity theft)

  • Negligence (medical or pharmaceutical)

– happens when a medical or pharmaceutical company neglects to warn consumers of a good or product’s side effects, or when said company’s research into the potential side effects and dangers of their good or product is misinterpreted

  • Predatory lending

– covers a wide range of misconduct, such as overcharging interest rates on credit cards, giving unfair loan terms to consumers, and hiding fees & penalties in the fine print of agreements and warranties

3. Get those receipts

Supporting documents like receipts, policies, or warranties will be invaluable should you find yourself in a situation wherein a defective product was given or a service rendered wasn’t up to par. If you’ve lost the physical copies of these documents, digital copies or photocopies will do (depending on the leniency of the company or organization involved). However, consumer fraud cases require photographic evidence of the fraudulent activity or faulty item/s dealt with by the consumer. Writing down all the details of a problematic purchase and organizing the necessary documents involved will help you plan how to start a class action lawsuit.

4. Have your own lawyer present

You can remain a part of a consumer class action lawsuit, and be part of the class, even with a separate lawyer solely representing your interests. This ensures that the consumer class action moves forward in a fair and just manner for everyone.

5. Send notice

Before filing a claim, you must send a notice to the court. In the legal notice, state what you believe the business, producer, or manufacturer did wrong and how it affected you and others. You may also give the amount of damages wanted. Send the notice sixty (60) days in advance via certified mail.

Seeking justice as a consumer collective will put you on the path to filing a consumer class action lawsuit. A consumer class action enables the legal process to proceed more swiftly and economically, particularly in cases against large businesses and companies. Filing one is less costly for the plaintiffs and can provide the only means for some individuals to pursue matters legally. Without people complaining about goods, products, or services, it would have been impossible for leaders of nations and global organizations to come up with rules and regulations that protect us from various forms of misconduct done by malicious capitalistic entities. So, dear consumers, do not be afraid to take a stand and fight for your rights. It could change someone’s life.

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