Protecting Small Businesses
Rather than being an enemy of business, recent class actions have been protecting small businesses against the government and mega-corporations. Class actions are used when a wrongdoer, such as a government entity or multi-national corporation, commits the same wrong against a large group. But it doesn’t have to be a group of people. It specifically can be a group of businesses.
For example, in 2006, a small jewelry company brought a class action against airfreight companies for overcharging them and tens of thousands of other businesses for “fuel surcharges” and other alleged costs, in violation of the United States antitrust laws. The class action was a perfect example of small businesses being victimized and cheated by larger companies or the government. The case was settled for the benefit of tens of thousands of small companies for over $320 Million.
A recent case here in Ohio
In another recent case here in Ohio, our firm sued the Bureau of Workers Compensation for overcharging over 300,000 small Ohio businesses for their workers’ compensation premiums for more than eight years. Finding that the class action law allowed class action protection for small companies, the case was aggressively litigated and the small businesses won at trial and in the court of appeals. The courts held that the government had intentionally violated the law and had overcharged premiums. This class action resulted in a settlement of more than $400 Million for the benefit of more than 300,000 small Ohio companies hurt by the overcharges. Some readers of this blog likely have small companies which received the benefit of that class action.
Defendants are Never Small Companies
The defendants in class actions are never small companies—small businesses don’t have enough transactions for a class action. The defendants are the giants in business and government. Whether they have cheated customers, shareholders, or other businesses, class actions are to make sure those victims are protected and that wrongful conduct is stopped.
If your company has been the victim of wrongful conduct that you think might involve many other businesses, feel free to call the award-winning class action attorneys of Dworken & Bernstein
In Lake County, call 440.946.7656
In Cuyahoga County, call 216.861.4211
Our review is free of charge and confidential.