The main benefit of a class action lawsuit, and the reason that such an option exists, is that many people can work together to pursue compensation that would be too low for them to seek out on their own, due to the cost of litigation.
However, these cases can still be worthwhile because of the sheer amount of people involved. When many people–sometimes hundreds or even thousands–can all claim that they are owed even a small amount of money, the total payout can be substantial. While one person may not be able to justify going to court over $500, for example, hundreds of people who are all owed roughly that much will find the case much more useful if all of those claims are handled together.
Class action lawsuits can take on many different forms, and they are often aimed at companies. For example, if there is an industrial accident and a fire causes a whole town to suffer smoke damage, everyone who lives in the town may have a claim. The same can happen when there is contamination to a local water source, allegations that illegal advertising caused many people to buy a specific product, or something similar that impacts an entire group, rather than one individual.
Another benefit is that the financial risk is not put on just one person. Even someone who honestly believes that he or she has a legitimate claim may be nervous to start a case if shouldering all of the risk, but a class action lawsuit makes legal action possible.
It’s important for those who are interested in joining class action lawsuits in Ontario to know the proper legal steps to take, as this can be a long and complex process.
Source: The Globe and Mail, “Thinking of joining a class action lawsuit? Know your options,” Linda Nguyen, accessed March 03, 2016