When a plaintiff files a class action lawsuit (usually against a large corporation), she does not have to include a list of every single potential class member along with her complaint. In many class action lawsuits, the plaintiffs are easily identifiable, but not always and it’s the cases in which the class members are harder to identify that defendants have been attacking the plaintiffs.
Consumer class actions are usually pretty straightforward and easy to manage. If a product is defective or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, most retailers can track the consumers who purchased that particular product and notify them of the class action lawsuit.
The process becomes significantly more difficult when the product in question is a small, inexpensive item. Consumers are less likely to keep their receipts of those purchases and the companies making the product often claim that they don’t have a direct list of customers because they sell through various retailers. They can always alert the public to these class action lawsuits and ask anyone who thinks they may fit the criteria for participating in the class to file a claim, but that’s according to corporate defendants who want to defeat class not always reliable. Defendants have been arguing that these types of class action lawsuits should be dismissed unless the plaintiffs prove they have a reliable method of identifying class members and always find holes in any reasonably reliable plan suggested. Continue reading ›