Orlando Class Action Consumer Litigation Lawyer
Overview of Class Action Lawsuits
A class action lawsuit is a legal action brought by a group of people, known as a class, who have been injured by the same defendant. The class is represented by a lawyer, known as a class counsel, who files the lawsuit on behalf of the class members. Class action lawsuits are often used to sue companies that have allegedly engaged in deceptive trade practices. This means that the company has misled consumers about the products or services they are selling. For example, a company might advertise a product as being made of one material, when it is actually made of a cheaper material. Class action lawsuits are a powerful tool for consumers because they allow people to join together to fight against large corporations.
Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Trade Practices
People and businesses are constantly engaging in varying types of transactions, from a simple outing to the supermarket to buying items online or receiving professional financial or insurance services. Sadly, however, there are fraudsters who exploit those exchanges to deceive consumers and steal their money. Consumer fraud can come in many forms; telemarketers, product creators, online shops, medical device manufacturers and drug companies have all been known to use unfair or deceptive methods to swindle people out of their finances. The consequences of this can be detrimental, with the potential for serious financial losses and even physical harm in some instances.
Deceptive and False Advertising
False advertising is advertising by a manufacturer or seller of a product that is designed to mislead or deceive the customer about the product they are purchasing or using. Advertising can be deceptive regarding the price, quantity or availability of a product, the product’s qualities, or warranties associated with the product.
Defective and Dangerous Products
A product is considered dangerous if its design, manufacture, or failure to warn causes injury. Examples of dangerous products can include medical devices, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, vehicles, and just about any product people use in their everyday lives, such as baby powder.
Deceptive Warranties and Promises
If a manufacturer or seller of goods and services offers a warranty that they have no intention of providing or cannot provide, they have engaged in deceptive practices.
What Qualifies as Deceptive Trade Practices?
An act or practice is unfair where it:
- causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers;
- cannot be reasonably avoided by consumers; and
- is not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition.
An act or practice is deceptive where:
- a representation, omission, or practice misleads or is likely to mislead the consumer;
- a consumer’s interpretation of the representation, omission, or practice is considered reasonable under the circumstances; and
- the misleading representation, omission, or practice is material.
FLSA Collective Actions
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) usually permits plaintiffs to assert claims either on their own behalf or in a collective action with other individuals in similar situations. Even if the individual claims are small, they can add up to hefty back pay awards due to the collective nature of these actions. The procedure associated with FLSA collective actions is different from those of class actions under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 23. Such lawsuits are some of the costliest for employers, as virtually any part of payroll and remuneration practices may cause liability - from clocking in/out, meal/rest breaks, calculating overtime compensation, to employee exemption classifications. For this reason, employers should be familiar with the nature and potential issues in FLSA collective action cases so that they may be prepared for them or avoid them altogether. This Note summarizes the major topics related to defending federal wage/hour collective actions - certification/decertification and summary judgments; discovery procedures; remedies; settlements; state wage and hour law class actions; and limitations on class/collective actions.
Employment Discrimination Class Actions
In an employment discrimination class or collective action, one or more plaintiffs allege that the employer discriminated against a group of people due to a legally protected characteristic. Litigating these cases is complicated and requires an understanding of various procedural and substantive elements. It's key to remember that each case is unique and your strategy will depend on those specifics; however, being aware of the typical issues that come up can better equip you to handle these types of claims.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Class Actions
Class action lawsuits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) have seen a sharp increase in recent years due to many factors, including the rise of mobile-based marketing, enforcement of the TCPA, and removal of certain requirements proving injury or damage. This has allowed plaintiffs to take legal action in both state and federal courts. Companies that use technologies covered by the TCPA can face serious risks; for each alleged violation, fines range from $500-$1,500 and settlements have reached multimillion-dollar figures. Businesses must be aware of their potential liability since there is no real limit on damages incurred.