Class Actions

Nationwide Class Action Services
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Consumers who have suffered from fraud, scams, or other violations of consumer protection laws may feel helpless against the business that defrauded them. Many, if not most, consumers lack the resources to pursue litigation against a large and well-funded opponent. Businesses know this and use it to their advantage when consumers try to assert their rights. The law provides a remedy for people in this situation, through class action lawsuits. Multiple claimants with similar claims may join together in a single class action suit. The Illinois Supreme Court called class actions the “last barricade of consumer protection” in Eshaghi v. Hanley Dawson Cadillac Co., 574 N.E.2d 760, 766 (Ill. 1991). Class action lawsuits force businesses to pay attention to consumers, and our Chicago class action lawyers have had great success in protecting consumers’ rights.

Size of Individual Consumer Rights Claims

In most cases of consumer fraud, a single claim might involve hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars in losses and damages. This may be a significant sum for an individual consumer, but bringing a claim through the court system could prove more expensive than it is worth. Businesses may see an incentive to make individual consumer fraud lawsuits as difficult as possible to deter further litigation. Class action procedures make recovering damages possible for consumers in this situation.

Limited Judicial Resources

Our court systems may also lack the resources to hear numerous individual consumer fraud lawsuits. A lawsuit can be a complicated process stretching months or even years, straining the courts’ ability to manage their caseloads without significant backlogs.

Class Action Efficiency

Class action lawsuits allow plaintiffs to join together in a “class” of people with similar claims against a common defendant or set of defendants. The Illinois Supreme Court noted in Eshaghi that, while the losses to any one consumer might seem small, the advantages to the defendant of a large number of similar acts could be quite large. Class action lawsuits allow consumers with similar types of losses to pool their complaints, resulting in a substantial claim that a defendant cannot ignore, and presenting courts with a single lawsuit rather than hundreds or thousands of new files.

Class Action Procedures

Illinois law establishes a four-part test for certifying a lawsuit as a class action:

  1. The number of class members must be so large that it would not be practical to join each one individually;
  2. The class members’ primary claims have questions of law or fact in common;
  3. The proposed class representatives, who would act as the main plaintiffs before the court, will protect the class’ interests; and
  4. Certifying the case as a class action will allow “fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.”

Based in the Chicago area, the class action lawyers at Nationwide Consumer Rights bring decades of experience with consumer rights litigation and class actions. We have dedicated our practice to exposing rip-offs and frauds and protecting the rights of consumers around the country. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our Chicago class action attorneys, please contact us online or at (877) 990-4990.

Chicago Business Litigation Lawyer Blog - Class Actions