Does Everyone Benefit? How Class Action Lawsuits Work

Class action lawsuits tend to make headlines, especially when they’re filed against major companies or renowned institutions.

For example, you may have seen the recent class action lawsuit brought against Sony because their new PS5 DualSense controller came out with defects–and Sony may have known about it.

Unless you’ve ever been involved in a class action lawsuit, you probably wonder how they work. In the case of the lawsuit brought against Sony, who is going to benefit? Why?

Read on to learn the basics of class action lawsuits, why they’re filed, and who stands to benefit from them.

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a civil lawsuit filed against one entity on behalf of several individuals. It may be filed by one major representative, as was the case in the Sweet Law class action filed against UCLA, or it may be brought on by a number of people.

Lawyers lean toward class action lawsuits when too many people have been affected by the same or similar form of harm to file individual lawsuits. In the Sony case we referenced earlier, the lawsuit is filed on behalf of all consumers who purchased and received a faulty controller. The objective is to rectify this financial blow for every person who was affected by it.

The question is, does that really happen?

Who Benefits From a Class Action Lawsuit?

In almost all cases, class “membership” is automatic. That means that if the entity filing the class action lawsuit believes that you were affected by the harm they are addressing in court, they will consider you part of the case. In theory, you may not have to testify in order to receive damages.

Recovery from a class action settlement must be divided amongst involved parties. This is sometimes done evenly, although the amount may vary based on how severely each class member was affected. Ultimately, all members should receive some amount of the final settlement.

When Is a Class Action Lawsuit the Way to Go?

A class action lawsuit is a much more efficient way to seek justice for the harm caused to a large number of people. It is the right choice to make when the defendant is a large manufacturing company or retailer, a government agency, or a financial institution. A class action lawsuit gives you the numbers to present a strong case against a strong opponent.

The only pitfall is that with smaller class action lawsuits, you may receive a smaller amount of financial compensation than you would if you were to fight for justice on an individual level.

Will Your Case Make Headlines?

Now that you know more about what a class action lawsuit is and who it benefits, you can decide whether or not you have a class action lawsuit on your hands. Will your case make headlines? If it’s a class action lawsuit, it very well could.

Class action lawsuits often require quite about of PR on both ends of the spectrum. Browse our website to find out more about how to approach your own PR and take the narrative of your story into your own hands.