Class action lawsuits. Most of us have heard this term before or gotten a postcard in the mail stating we may be entitled to a settlement from one. But what are they exactly?
A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit filed by a number of defendants who suffered the same or similar injury and then sue a defendant. While you could be generally considered a plaintiff, you may never even know about it. This can involve large corporations and organizations as well as very large groups of plaintiffs. Many times, the damages aren’t large enough individually to warrant one person suing and paying fees associated, but because of the amount of people affected, it has a larger impact and makes legal action more reasonable when they sue as a group. In these cases, the companies can be required to pay large amounts of money, even if each individual receives a small portion of that.
According to classaction.org,
“ When a class action lawsuit settles, people who could collect part of the settlement may receive a letter in the mail or an e-mail that contains instructions on how to claim their money or refunds. In some cases, however, attorneys working on the case have no way of gathering the contact information of people who could claim part of a final settlement.”
When there is money left over that has not been claimed in the settlement, it could be referred back to the company that was sued among other options.
So how do you know what class action lawsuits are happening and if you may be involved? Websites like classaction.org have lists and links to many of the current suits that you can check out and see if you may be entitled to a portion of the settlement. Part of being a responsible consumer is staying informed. Here are some of the more well-known suits to keep an eye on now:
- Vizio Smart TV class action Lawsuit: If you connected your Vizio Smart TV to the internet between February 1st, 2014 and February 6th, 2017, you may be entitled to some cash settlement. This lawsuit stems from the company collecting your viewing habit data, violating consumer privacy laws. The deadline to get in is coming soon on April 29th, so if this involves you, get your claim filled in quick.
- Lumber Liquidators: Lumber Liquidators landed in hot water over their Chinese laminate flooring. Claims were made against the level of formaldehyde emitted and the durability of the product. According to classaction.org, if you were involved in this case you will likely be contacted and don’t need to take any action as of now.
- Mislabeled dog food lawsuit: If you purchase any of these dog foods (Iams Proactive Health Sensitive Skin and Stomach (grain-free recipe with chicken and peas), ( Freshpet Select Slice and Serve Roll (Chicken recipe with spinach and potato), or Nature’s Recipe Grain Free (salmon, sweet potato and pumpkin recipe) you may be entitled to participate in a class action lawsuit. These recipes were labeled either “grain free” or “corn free” and this wasn’t found to be the case.
- Samsung Top-Load Washing Machine Settlement: If you purchased a Samsung top loading washer manufactured between March of 2011 and October of 2016, you may be eligible to receive benefits such as a rebate, refund or reimbursement of some costs. You can check to see if your washing machine serial number is included in the range covered under this lawsuit.
There are a ton of lawsuits and potential lawsuits happening now that may be worth checking out. Class action lawsuits can serve to protect consumers and keep large corporations accountable for negligence or intentional wrongdoing. You can research current lawsuits to see if you are included and can recoup some of your losses. Check out sites like www.classaction.org for more details.