Law Statue

The U.S. legal system provides recourse for consumers who have been injured or lost money due to malfeasance or negligence by an institution or corporation. While traditional lawsuits require all the parties (defendants and plaintiffs) to be present for the court proceedings, a class action allows a large group of defendants, usually consumers, to collectively sue a legal entity such as a corporation in a single case. 

The concept of class action is originally found in medieval British common law, although it was called “group litigation” at the time. In the United States, the practice of class-action lawsuits was instituted in the early 19th century by Joseph Story, a member of the Supreme Court. Class-action lawsuits can be filed either at the federal or state level. Today, several class-action lawsuits are ongoing in the United States. Here a few of the most important ones.

Volaris

This class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of customers who spoke with a representative of Volaris on the phone at any point between June 2016 and June 2017 and did not consent to be recorded but were recorded anyway. California state law prohibits companies from recording phone conversations without express permission granted by both parties. The company recently reached a $3.2 million settlement, paving the way for consumers who meet the criteria to collect.

Simple Habit Inc

This case involves the automatic renewal of memberships and/or subscriptions. Many groups offer consumers an automatic renewal for their goods or services, which they may sometimes be unaware of. Often, consumers do not realize they have a contractual obligation to pay these groups until it is too late to cancel without encountering significant cost. For example, a membership to a fitness club may mention automatic renewal in the fine print of their contract. After the initial contract period has passed, the consumer may still be liable for continuing payments due to these renewal clauses. Many states have taken legal measures to prevent automatic renewals without the acknowledgment of the consumer. Companies who wish to renew their customers automatically are required to make contact via email, phone or some other method to get permission from them for the renewal. There is a statute of limitations in California for filing a claim, so joining this class action suit quickly is important.

Checkers

Checkers, a well-known fast-food chain, is facing legal punishment in Florida for its failure to protect consumers’ personal data at its point-of-sale systems. Hackers penetrated the company’s security systems to obtain important financial data of customers paying at these restaurants with a credit card. Hackers successfully stole cardholders’ names and their credit card numbers, expiration dates and verification codes. Companies that are deemed negligent in their security protocols are often liable for consumers’ losses incurred when their personal information is stolen.

These are just a few of the many class-action lawsuits currently underway in both federal and state courts. These legal actions are an effective way for wronged consumers to recoup their losses caused by the negligence or malfeasance of legal entities. If you own a business, make sure that you are obeying the law so your business doesn’t get mixed up in a lawsuit like the ones above.

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