Class-Action Conundrum

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ATRA President Tiger Joyce writes about COVID-19 liability concerns and class action lawsuit abuse.

It is uncertain what our world will look like post-coronavirus, but trial lawyers already know who they plan to sue about it.

Purell and Germ-X, makers of hand sanitizer, as well as retail operations like Target who sell their own brand of such products were hit with class-action lawsuits in March.

These are the first coronavirus-related class action lawsuits, in what is sure to be an onslaught in the coming months and possibly years. Other manufacturers of products intended to protect against or treat COVID-19 will find themselves in the bullseye as well.

Some, like manufacturers of N95 respirator masks, received protection through liability waivers in federal legislation, but many industries did not. And the consumers — the members of the class action lawsuits? They won’t be so fortunate, either.

“The attorneys get money, and a lot of it. The class members get no money whatsoever … How can such a system be regarded as sensible?”

Read more in Medium

Learn more in the April 2020 report issued by Jones Day, “An Empirical Analysis of Federal Consumer Fraud Class Action Settlements.”

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