Securities and Antitrust Class Actions
The business world is an ocean of big and little fish, with minnows looking for a way to thrive in the presence of sharks. While such an environment can be cutthroat and merciless, the minnows, which in this analogy are the small business owners, investors, and consumers, have legal protections that keep the sharks, i.e. the big businesses, from swallowing them whole. Securities laws prohibits majority shareholders, corporate boards of directors, and executives from misleading minority shareholders, inducing investors to buy into a company with false pretenses, and other acts that confer an unfair advantage. Antitrust laws protect smaller businesses from actions by their competitors intended to stifle competition or otherwise push them out of their market. When an unlawful practice affects a significantly large number of shareholders, investors, small businesses, or consumers, they may wish to pool their resources to assert their rights. The Chicago securities lawyers at Nationwide Consumer Rights have extensive experience in securities and antitrust class action litigation.Securities Litigation
Numerous state and federal laws regulate the offering, sale, purchase, and transfer of ownership interests in business entities and operations, generally known as “securities.” Federal law has imposed restrictions and procedural requirements on how shareholders may bring lawsuits based on allegations of misconduct by corporate directors or management. Lawsuits related to securities may include:
- Derivative actions brought by shareholders, who sue managers or officers on behalf of the company, asserting claims such as breach of fiduciary duty; and
- Securities fraud lawsuits brought by investors or shareholders, alleging, for example that a company fraudulently induced them to purchase or retain stock.
Antitrust laws target monopolies and unfair business practices that favor one or more businesses over others. The government has authority to pursue companies for antitrust violations, but private lawsuits are also possible for competitors and consumers alleging violations, including:
- Exclusive dealing or collusion;
- Restrictions on supply; and
When a company’s violation of securities or antitrust laws affects a large number of people, whether they are shareholders, consumers, or other interested parties, those individuals may benefit from class action litigation. A class action lawsuit allows a large group of people with similar claims against a defendant to consolidate their claims into a single suit. Instead of numerous small lawsuits, any one of which might be beyond the means of an individual plaintiff to pursue, a company will face a large class action with significant potential damages. This type of suit is easier for individual plaintiffs to maintain, as a small group of plaintiffs represent the interests of the class. At the same time, it is difficult for companies to dismiss such a suit as a cost of doing business.
At Nationwide Consumer Rights, our Chicago securities attorneys have dedicated our practice to representing the rights of shareholders, business owners, and consumers who have suffered from fraud and other unlawful practices. With decades of class action litigation experience, we advocate on behalf of clients all over the country. Contact us today online or at (630) 333-0000 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a securities lawyer in Chicago or the surrounding areas.