Our firm's lawyers have been at the forefront of consumer class actions in Illinois and throughout the country for over 35 years. The Illinois Supreme Court has long recognized the important role class actions play in protecting consumer rights. In its 1991 decision Eshaghi v. Hanley Dawson Cadillac Co., the Court stated that class actions are "the last barricade of consumer protection". Consumers who have been the victims of deceptive business practices that involve relatively small amounts of money and who don't have the resources to file suit can turn to class action law. The class action device allows one consumer victim to stand in the shoes of all the victims. That one consumer can bring a class action to vindicate everyone's rights. By combining the small damages of many consumers into one case, the damages become large enough to justify lawyers taking the case without charging you a fee based on obtaining a percentage of the trial win or settlement when redress is obtained for the large dollar losses suffered by hundreds or even hundreds of thousands or millions of consumer victims. Businesses faced with a class action suit can no longer ignore consumer's fraud claims. Our lawyers have won substantial victories for our clients in class action cases in the court room and at the settlement table.Aggregating one Claim Into Thousands of Claims
In most of our consumer fraud class actions, our clients have suffered relatively small damages. Although the damages or wrong suffered by our clients are important to them, the option of bringing the suit as an individual claim is usually outside their budgets. Businesses engaged in a pattern of fraud also have the resources to fight individual suits and to make it difficult for consumers to prevail in such cases by outspending them. Class actions change the playing field because consumer lawyers can devote substantial resources and time to the if the aggregated damages of all the victims made the suit worth fighting. The class action device allows for all consumer victims to obtain their damages in a single lawsuit.Courts Resources Would be Strained by Thousands or Millions of Individual Claims
The resources of many of our courts would be strained to the breaking point if they had to hear thousands or millions of same individual consumer claims for fraudulent or deceptive business practices. Lawsuits can take many years to resolve. Class actions allow courts to group the same or similar claims of many consumers together into one lawsuit thus saving a large amount of resources.Class Actions are Efficient
Class actions allow many victims to be joined together in one case represented by a class representative. As the Illinois Supreme Court stated in Eshaghi that, although the damages to one consumer might be small, a defendant can fill its coffers with a very large amount of money by cheating all of its customers in the same way. Class action cases enable consumer victims with the same or similar damages to pool together all of their claims into a single lawsuit This results in a large claim that a defendant can no longer ignore.Class Action Rules
In Illinois there is four step test to determine if a case should be certified as a class action: Illinois law establishes a four-part test for certifying a lawsuit as a class action:
- The number of consumer victims or members of the class must be so large as to make it impractical to join them altogether individually as separate lawsuits requiring testimony from all of them on common issues of law or fact;
- The case must raise some common questions of fact or law that tie all the claims together;
- The class representatives, who acts as the delegate for all the other class members cannot have any conflicts of interest, must monitor and participate in the case and adequately protect and defend the absent class members interests.; and
- Certification of the dispute as a class action will enable "fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy."
With offices throughout the Chicago area, the class action attorneys at Lubin Austermuehle P.C. bring over 35 years of experience with consumer protection litigation and class actions to prosecute cases to vindicate consumer rights. We are dedicated to ending deceptive and fraudulent business practices and consumer rip-offs. To schedule a free and confidential meeting or call with one of or Chicago class action lawyers contact us online or at (630) 333-0333.