A class-action lawsuit allows people who have something in common to group together to file a lawsuit against a person or company. Collectively they might have a big enough claim to win a case that they couldn’t win individually. This is especially helpful when going against a large company or government, many voices are better than one. To file a class-action lawsuit a class action lawsuit lawyer is needed.
A class action can have massive implications for society and law and change the way we view things. Here are three examples of the biggest class-action lawsuits.
Brown versus Board of Education
On the 17th of May 1954, Brown won his case against the Board of Education. At the time the Supreme Court held a standard of “separate but equal” when it came to the ethnicity of its citizens. Brown argued that this was unconstitutional as it violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Before this, children were segregated in public schools, Brown believed that racial segregation of any kind was inherently wrong.
It took students coming together to have their voices loud and create real change. This led to many more civil rights movements which ultimately put an end to legally enforced racial segregation in America. The following year in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus and 8 years later in 1963, Martin Luther King gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech.
VA versus Vietnam war veterans
During the Vietnam war, the US military used Agent Orange, a herbicide as a way to destroy forests which were a food source to the opposition and a way to hide. There were concerns about the effect this would have on soldiers as early as 1964, despite this, it was used up until 1975. The soldiers returned home with many illnesses associated with the chemical such as cancers, diabetes and heart disease. It also had massive implications for the landscape of Vietnam and the people.
Veterans came together to demand compensation, but this also let on to new regulations regarding the use of chemicals by the military. We are now much more aware of the effect that our actions have on the environment as well as people.
Lane versus Facebook
A more recent example is the class action lawsuit against Facebook in 2007 regarding privacy on social media. Facebook launched Beacon which meant that Facebook could post users’ private information without their consent. Facebook users came together to take on the tech giant, something which may have been impossible for a person on their own.
As a result, Facebook had to remove Beacon. They are also now required to spend money on educating people about their privacy online. It has also shown the importance of people being able to opt in to have their data shared instead of opt-out.
More recently, in 2019 another class-action lawsuit was successfully filed against Facebook after it once again failed to protect users’ information after a hacker managed to take information from 20 million people.