A class action lawsuit in New York allows a large group of people to join a claim against a defendant. Most often such a lawsuit involves a defendant that is a large company. There is a main plaintiff in the case who represents everyone else. This plaintiff has the strongest claims and can provide evidence that the defendant did something negligent or otherwise wrong to cause harm to not only the named plaintiff but everyone else joining the class action.
What most people take away from this type of lawsuit is that the named plaintiff and the attorneys in the case get the best settlement and everyone else who joins the case gets a small reward. This may make it seem like a class action is useless, but this type of lawsuit can be beneficial to everyone on a larger scale.
The American Association for Justice explains that a class action lawsuit saves the court system time. Instead of hearing multiple smaller cases, it hears one case and makes a decision for all the cases. It also allows you to fight large companies more easily. If you were to go against a large company all on your own, you would have far less power than you would with a class action behind you. This can help you to ensure that it is a fair fight when you get to court.
Finally, class actions usually involve a serious oversight by a large company that has caused harm to multiple consumers. Winning such a case holds that company accountable and protects others from future negligence by the company. This information is for education and is not legal advice.