There are many types of class action lawsuits which can be brought on behalf of a group of class members who have all been harmed in a similar fashion. Many of these are based on the type of laws alleged to be violated by the defendant. Here is a list of some of the most common varieties:
1. Anti-Trust. These types of class actions allege that a defendant illegally overpriced a product or service in violation of the anti-trust laws. Examples of illegal overpricing include price fixing, agreements to segment market share, or to otherwise enter into an agreement to reduce or eliminate competition.
2. Employment. Employment laws are in place for a variety of areas including discrimination, overtime, benefits, and more. Typically, if a class action is being filed there is an allegation that a very large company has systematically violated one or more of these employment laws against all or many employees.
3. Consumer Protection. There are a wide variety of both state and federal consumer protection laws in place, including laws related to telemarketing, fees and bills for communication services, credit records, the collection of debts and truth in lending. When any of these laws have been violated by a defendant it often results in a class action lawsuit because so many similarly situated class members are affected.
4. Defective products (products liability). If a product is defectively designed or manufactured, or there is a problem with the instructions or warning label, for example, and the product injures or harms a large group of people a class action may be brought. In addition, such suits may be brought for breach of warranty.
5. Environmental. Environmental class action lawsuits allege that a large group of plaintiffs were all injured because of exposure to an environmental hazard.
6. Medical devices or pharmaceutical personal injury. Medical device and pharmaceutical class actions are a special kind of personal injury class action focusing on the harm done by defectively designed or manufactured medical devices, or prescription or over the counter drugs. These injuries can range from side effects, serious injury or even death.
7. Securities and investor fraud. These types of class actions are brought on behalf of a group of investors who have suffered a loss because of a broker or brokerage firm’s actions, which could include such wrong doing as investment fraud, unsuitable investments, churning, or other such practices.
8. Bank Fraud. These types of class actions are brought on behalf of a group of bank clients who have been mistreated by the bank in a certain way, such as interest overcharges, mismanagement of trusts, etc.