PRIVACY, CONSUMER PROTECTION, AND CLASS ACTIONS
CONSUMER PROTECTION CLASS ACTIONS
Every day, consumers are cheated by purchases of products that are defective, dangerous, unfairly priced, deceptively advertised, or falsely labeled. With the growth of technology and online shopping, these very same companies’ insufficient cybersecurity puts consumers’ private information at risk of identity theft.
Consumer class actions are an essential weapon against these practices. A single consumer’s losses are usually too small compared to the cost of suing a large corporation over false advertising, or labeling, or even a data breach. Businesses then reap the benefits of their deceptive or irresponsible practice, and have every reason to continue these unscrupulous practices in the future.
A consumer class action allows a large number of people to combine as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the offending corporation. The same company that avoids paying financial damages for cheating one person out of $100 may now be liable for the same amount of damages to each of 10,000 or even a million consumers.
REPRESENTATIVE PRIVACY, CONSUMER PROTECTION, AND CLASS ACTION MATTERS
Kohn Swift brought a class action lawsuit by and on behalf of persons with hemophilia who were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from their use of contaminated factor concentrates, which were products made from human blood plasma to control internal bleeding.
The persons with hemophilia sued factor concentrate manufacturers, alleging that the factor concentrate manufacturers’ testing of plasma used to make factor concentrates for the presence of HIV.
IN RE: U.S. OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT DATA SECURITY BREACH LITIGATION Kohn Swift is pursuing data security breach litigation to recover damages for the victims of the OPM data breach. Personal information taken included social security numbers, fingerprints, and other sensitive data. This litigation resulted in opinions from the district court regarding standing for plaintiffs bringing actions against defendants for data breaches.
Kohn Swift represented a class of Pennsylvania consumers who were deceived into buying credit insurance as part of fraudulent consumer loan scheme. The Defendants settled after two weeks of trial for $12,000,000.
CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWSUITS
Plaintiffs may file consumer protection actions in state or federal court, under applicable state and/or federal law.
Consumer protection lawsuits may rely on statutory and/or common law, including but not limited to laws related to:
- False Advertising and Misleading Labeling
- Cybersecurity and Digital Privacy
- Breach of Warranty Lawsuits
Because individual consumers may suffer losses too small to justify bringing individual lawsuits, plaintiffs usually style these suits as class actions. Consumer protection class actions enable consumers and society as a whole to curb fraudulent and dishonest business practices.
DAMAGES IN CONSUMER PROTECTION CLASS ACTIONS
Plaintiffs in consumer class actions may obtain actual damages and injunctive relief from defendants. Courts in some cases may also award plaintiffs:
- punitive treble damages, and
- reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in bringing the class action