A class action lawsuit is one in which multiple consumers work together to start a lawsuit, striving toward a common goal that they all share. Even if the lawsuit is initiated by one individual, it can be brought on behalf of many -- potentially thousands -- of other consumers.
This is sometimes done with defective products or products that have been falsely advertised. A few examples of companies that have been targeted include the tobacco industry, breast implant manufacturers, asbestos manufacturers, gun makers and even insurance companies.
One of the advantages of a class action is that it can make it realistic for people to seek compensation for small losses.
For example, perhaps you bought a defective child's bicycle. You feel ripped off, and you're not the only one, but it only cost $100. Your child was never injured.
Are you really going to start a lawsuit over $100 if the company won't refund the product? Probably not. However, if the company sold a million bikes, making a huge profit on these defective products, consumers have been taken advantage of to a significant degree. By banning together, everyone who bought a bike can seek compensation, making a lawsuit much more realistic and financially feasible.
This is just one of the advantages to starting a class action lawsuit. As you can see, it is very important to know all of the legal options that you have. Do not assume that your case is too small or that there is nothing that can be done to make things right.
Source: FindLaw, "Litigation Issues: What is a Class Action?," accessed Feb. 03, 2017