Class Actions

Class actions developed as a form of litigation in which a group of people claiming similar injuries or damages could band together to sue the same defendant. Nowadays, however, these cases are often pursued with the sole intention to shakedown a defendant—hurting businesses and damaging the American economy. Read More...

The sheer size of some classes is enormous—thousands to sometimes, millions of individual claimants come together in single class actions. The large size of a proposed class could result in huge damage awards, making these cases very risky for businesses despite strong defenses. Consequently, once a court decides that a case can proceed as a class action, most defendants end up settling the case instead of risking a trial—even if they have not done anything wrong.

Unfortunately, plaintiffs’ lawyers have exploited businesses’ caution by filing many meritless class actions—all with the goal of scoring a jackpot settlement where consumers receive minuscule amounts, and lawyers walk away with huge fees. For example, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and our securities laws have sparked enormous class action lawsuits that significantly damage legitimate American businesses all while benefiting plaintiff lawyers. Even more alarming are cy pres cases where some or all of the settlement proceeds go to a charity rather than the class members. The U.S. Department of Justice recently ramped up efforts to review abusive class action practices to curb further exploitation.

The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) helped curb many class action abuses by moving most large, interstate class actions to federal courts, where examination of class actions is generally more rigorous than in state courts. To help address the problems not resolved by CAFA, the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) believes The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act (FICALA) would help to ensure that class actions are fulfilling their intended purpose. FICALA aims to bring fairness to the current state of class action litigation by closing various loopholes that increase meritless cases, limiting conflicts of interest between these plaintiffs’ attorneys and their class member clients, as well as bringing needed reforms to multidistrict litigation and fraudulent joinder standards.

01/01/2019

Suggested Resources

Research
  • Ill-Suited: Private Rights of Action and Privacy Claims

    Ill-Suited: Private Rights of Action and Privacy Claims

    July 11, 2019

    Private rights of action (PRAs) are highly problematic: the plaintiffs' bar benefits significantly from America's lawsuit system, while consumers are left with little. PRAs are especially poor tools for addressing privacy issues, which are better left to regulators with relevant expertise and perspective to shape and balance penalties, deterrence, innovation, and consumer protection. Read More

  • Unstable Foundation: <br>Our Broken Class Action System and How to Fix It

    Unstable Foundation:
    Our Broken Class Action System and How to Fix It

    October 24, 2017

    Unstable Foundation examines the pervasive flaws afflicting the United States' class action system. Class actions rarely provide meaningful compensation for class members, and are poorly suited to deterring wrongful conduct. Read More

All Results for Class Actions

  1. Ninth Circuit Affirms Principles For CAFA Removals

    October 24, 2019 | News

    According to two BakerHostetler law firm attorneys, the Ninth Circuit "recently affirmed three principles that apply in Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) removal cases."... Read More

  2. In the News Today - September 23, 2019

    September 23, 2019 | News

    Class Members Don't Read Emailed Settlement Notices, Agency Says... Read More

  3. "The Lawyer Enrichment Act"

    September 23, 2019 | News

    The Wall Street Journal editorial board says "trial lawyers lose the most from arbitration" in a new piece on a House-passed bill that would restrict the use of arbitration between businesses and employees.... Read More

  4. In the News today - August 27, 2019

    August 27, 2019 | News

    Ninth Circuit BIPA Ruling Creates "Staggering" Potential Exposure for Companies... Read More

  5. In the News Today - August 26, 2019

    August 26, 2019 | News

    "Awaiting Answers On A Post-Bristol-Myers Class Question"... Read More

  6. Class Action Tossed Due To Plaintiffs' "Unusual" Litigation History

    August 23, 2019 | News

    A California federal judge denied class certification in a privacy case brought by a plaintiff the judge said had an "unusual" litigation history, Legal Newsline reports.... Read More

  7. ILR COO: Plaintiffs' Lawyers Use Private Rights of Action For "Own Financial Gain"

    July 22, 2019 | News

    U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) Chief Operating Officer Harold Kim said plaintiffs' lawyers are the only "group that benefits from private lawsuits."... Read More

  8. New ILR Podcast Breaks Down U.S. Supreme Court's Class Action Record

    July 17, 2019 | News

    In episode three of Cause for Action, the U.S Chamber Institute for Legal Reform's Chief Operating Officer Harold Kim and the Chamber Litigation Center's Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel Steve Lehotsky break down the significance of key Supreme Court decisions from the recently-ended term.... Read More

  9. Ill-Suited: Private Rights of Action and Privacy Claims

    July 11, 2019 | Research

    Private rights of action (PRAs) are highly problematic: the plaintiffs' bar benefits significantly from America's lawsuit system, while consumers are left with little. PRAs are especially poor tools for addressing privacy issues, which are better left to regulators with relevant expertise and perspective to shape and balance penalties, deterrence, innovation, and consumer protection.... Read More

  10. Lawsuit Ties "Booster Rockets" To Advertising Law, Company Says

    July 09, 2019 | News

    Eddie Bauer says a lawsuit filed over its email subject lines is an "attempt to strap booster-rockets onto a simple but defective" claim, Legal Newsline reports.... Read More