What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

We’ve all received pieces in the mail at one time or another informing us that we’re part of a class action settlement. Basic info is normally provided, as well as a copious amount of legalese. What most people want to know is the amount of money they might or might not get.

When it comes to a typical class action suit though, the monetary payout is normally nominal at best. After all, we’re usually talking about a large pool of participants. Merriam-Webster defines class action as a legal action undertaken by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of themselves and all other persons having an identical interest in the alleged wrong.

If you pay attention to the news, there has been no shortage of class action lawsuits making headlines. One interesting case involves chicken of all things. If you purchased chicken at a store or restaurant in the last decade-plus, then you might be due a piece of this class action lawsuit when broiling down details of the $181 million Broiler Chicken Antitrust Litigation settlement. Given that loads of folks would fall into this category, the payout will likely end up quite small.

Like other class action suits, there is a website where parties can enter their info to claim your share of the suit.

Other class action suits might actually have more potential for payout. For example, a recently filed class action lawsuit in Pinellas County over unsolicited text messages is seeking $500 for every text sent to every person in Florida by the company alleged to have generated the messages. The case is actually based on a new telemarketing law that went into effect in July. The law requires a company to obtain “prior express written consent of the called party” before it can make calls or send messages using an automated system.

Again, with the amount of these types of mounting communications we all receive on a daily basis, there is plenty of fodder for more class action lawsuits like this.

Other class action lawsuits of late involve mask mandates and COVID-19 protocols. More of these to come as well.

In short, not all class action lawsuits are created equal. If you have received notice of a settlement lately or believe you might have a case to file one, due your homework, check details and ask questions.

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