Class actions are a type of lawsuit that allows consumers to hold corporations and businesses accountable for misconduct. Because corporations typically have deep pockets, class action lawsuits give individual claimants a chance to hold companies accountable for their negligent or inappropriate actions.
In these cases, individual claims are combined into one large claim against the corporation. With the knowledge and experience of a consumer protection lawyer, you may be able to seek compensation for injuries or damages.
What Is Consumer Class Action?
Bringing an individual claim against a corporation, seller, or anyone else involved in the handling of a product can be prohibitive and costly to most consumers, leaving companies free to continue their wrongful conduct. One of the benefits of a class action claim is that individuals can band together, pooling their resources to take on the biggest companies and win, even when the individual damages a consumer suffered are only worth a few dollars.
Class actions may affect a consumer’s credit or violate consumer protection and privacy laws, both of which are against the law. To learn more, consider hiring a Los Angeles credit protection lawyer from Wilshire Law Firm today.
Examples of the common types of class action lawsuits our California consumer lawyers can help with include:
- Product liability claims
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Employment discrimination
- Unfair wage claims
- Security fraud
- Environmental contamination claims
- Unfair debt collection
- Unfair trade practices
- Consumer fraud
Wilshire Law Firm routinely pursues claims against companies like Apple, Delta, and Uber, helping consumers fight against deceptive or dangerous business practices. Since 2007, we have successfully recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients—now let us help you.
Class Actions and False Product Claims Lawsuits
One of the most common types of cases our Los Angels consumer protection lawyers handle is false advertising and product claims. When a product is advertised incorrectly, it can lead customers to pay higher prices for products or otherwise be misled.
These actions are unfair and punishable by law with the help of an experienced false advertising lawyer. Companies that engage in this deceptive business practice are in violation of California law and may be able to seek damages and compensation for this wrongdoing.
There are many techniques used by companies in false product claims, including:
- Bait and switch advertising
- Misleading labels
- Misleading advertising that does not disclose all the appropriate material information
- Advertising that portrays a product as superior to a similar product from a different company
- Confusing ads
- Ads that do not disclose any extra costs associated with a product
- Unsubstantiated claims
Federal Consumer Protection Law
In the United States, the consumer protection law is managed by the Bureau of Consumer Protection and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Under this law, consumers are protected from “unethical and careless actions taken by businesses.”
Restrictions are placed on how businesses advertise and sell products and services, as well as how they handle personal data. This is a big one right now, as data privacy breaches happen at an alarming rate.
California Consumer Protection Law
California has some of the strictest consumer protection laws in the nation. Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), consumers are granted data privacy rights and full control over personal information. This includes:
“the right to know, the right to delete, and the right to opt-out of the sale of personal information that businesses collect, as well as additional protection of minors.”
The consumer protection lawyers at Wilshire Farm are here to answer any questions you may have about either the federal or California state laws concerning consumer protection rights.
Please give us a call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Which Are the Basic Consumer Rights?
Under both federal and state laws, such as the newly passed California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, consumers are afforded a wide range of protections from injury or loss.
When broken down to its base level, we find that consumers are afforded the following rights:
- Right to Safety– Producers must ensure that a purchased product is safe for consumers when used as intended
- Right to Information– Consumers should be well-informed and have access to substantial information when making purchasing decisions
- Right to Choose– Alternatives that vary in quality, service, and price should exist for any given product or service
- Right to Act– When a business violates the rights of consumers, those consumers should be able to protect their rights through administrative or legal means
California has several consumer-protection laws in place, including its Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law. Taking effect on January 1st, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 expands the protection of privacy rights for consumers by giving them greater authority over which companies have access to their personal information.
How a Lawyer Can Protect Your Consumer Rights?
Common Consumer Rights Violations
As soon as a company fails to deliver on the responsibilities they have and the promises they make to consumers, it’s time to take legal action. Wrongdoing by retailers, manufacturers, and other companies come in many forms.
Some of the most common consumer rights violations include:
- Deceptive Marketing
Products that are mislabeled or advertised with false or misleading statements, or otherwise do not work in their intended manner have been falsely advertised. This includes using fine print to trick consumers or operating through bait-and-switch advertising.
- Unfair Business Practices
Companies that hide or exclude important product information, collude on price-fixing, commit warranty fraud, fail to disclose hidden charges or fees, or otherwise exhibit unlawful conduct that harms consumers are engaging in illegal and unfair business practices.
When a financial transaction (including bank, credit card, and billing transactions) takes place, yet consumers are misled or lied to about the returns, financial fraud has potentially occurred. The consumer protection attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm are here to help fraud victims come together and fight when their legal rights are violated.
- Defective and Dangerous Products
Manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and more can potentially be found liable when products are either designed defectively, contain undisclosed materials or chemicals, or do not otherwise work as intended when used as directed.
- Data Privacy
Privacy and data security class action lawsuits are an emerging field of law that is becoming more and more important with every Equifax, Target, Yahoo, and other data breaches. Wilshire Law Firm’s attorneys stay up to date on all the latest developments in data privacy law.
- Unauthorized Communications
Robocalls, spam messages, and recordings of consumer calls made without consumer consent are violations of the 1991 Telephone Communications Protection Act.
What to Do When Your Consumer Rights Are Violated
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) collects information on consumer protection claims and the most common consumer complaints.
In 2017, these were the most common consumer complaints reported:
- Debt collection
- Imposter scams
- Identity theft
By taking action and filing a class-action lawsuit with the help of a lawyer, consumers have received more than $269 million in redress from the FTC.
If your consumer rights are violated, take the following steps to bring justice:
- Know your rights
- File a complaint as soon as possible
- Report the incident with the company and keep a written record of your communications
- Contact someone higher up in the company if your complaint is ignored
- Contact your local government agency Sue in a small claims court
- Contact a consumer rights law firm
In the event your rights are violated, you may be able to file a claim against those responsible. For more information on the steps to take when your consumer rights are violated, contact a Lost Angeles consumer protection lawyer.
How Class Action Claims Work
When moving forward with a class-action lawsuit in California, the first step is to define the class and choose a plaintiff to represent the group. With these types of cases, strengths in numbers are helpful.
By bringing a class action, the individuals taking action will be instrumental in helping other wronged individuals seek retribution. After the representative is chosen, a Statement of Claim is filed in the local court system. Once the court can certify the case as a class action, the lawsuit can begin.
Consulting with a Los Angeles Consumer Protection Attorney
If you or a family member are the victims of unsafe business practice, fraudulent advertising, or any other consumer rights violation, you are not alone. Nationally recognized as innovative legal minds, the consumer protection attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm are here to help you heal and make sure that what happened to you doesn’t happen again.
If your consumer rights have been violated, the time to act is NOW. To get started with your FREE case consultation, contact Wilshire Law Firm today by calling (877) 597-5395, or fill out our online contact form.