May 28, 2015

Other Class Actions

A class action lawsuit is one that is brought by a small group of people who are, in turn, representing a large group of people. For this reason, class actions are generally brought against large institutions or corporations. The most common class actions are brought against businesses for defective consumer products, insurance companies, and institutions that trade securities. However, there are many other institutions and entities that are subject to class action lawsuits. Below, we will be exploring other common class actions.

Environmental Class Actions

As society becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, class action lawsuits pertaining to the environment are becoming more common. As corporations expand, they have a larger environmental footprint. In some cases, this can lead to corporations (or other institutions and entities) having a negative impact on the environment they occupy and surround.

img7For example, there have been many notable instances where businesses in the oil and natural gas sector have become subject to class action lawsuits. In these cases, these businesses’ practices have led to contamination of the environment, which has had a negative impact on both residents in the surrounding area and workers who are employed by the business in question. Because of this, groups of residents, workers, or negatively impacted local businesses have brought class action lawsuits that allege a business or entity has had a negative impact on the environment.

Employment Class Actions

Businesses and institutions are required to comply with various employment regulations and laws. When they fail to do so, this has an adverse affect upon the people that they employ. Generally speaking, employment disputes of this nature are solved on a case-by-case basis. However, when a lack of compliance with laws and regulations on a business’ part is systemic rather than individual, class actions can result.

Such class actions can pertain to a wide variety of employment related issues. For example, such a class action could have to do with wage disputes, or a way in which a particular business fails to calculate hours correctly. In other cases, an employment class action could pertain to issues like sexual harassment or discriminatory hiring practices. Whatever the cause, those affected by the lack of compliance (or negligence) on the part of the business can form a class to bring suit and to seek relief.

Civil Rights Class Actions

Civil rights issues have often become the subject of class action lawsuits in the United States. The most notable may be Brown v. Board of Education, which pertained to the segregation of school systems within the United States. This class action made its way through the federal court system, before arriving at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision was a landmark one, as it effectively ended the segregation of school systems in the United States.

While this court case may be the most notable class action in the civil rights category, there have been many others. Civil rights class actions can pertain to a wide variety of issues. For example, there have been civil rights class actions that pertain to discriminatory actions of police departments, as well as issues like institutional sexism in corporations and government agencies.

More Class Actions

There are, of course, other forms of class actions that can be brought other than the ones outlined above, as well as those pertaining to securities, insurance and consumer products. For a class action to exist, there needs to be a group of people who have been adversely affected by the same product, behavior or action. Those people come together to form a class, which then brings suit against the institution, entity or business that has harmed them.