While most people in California may have heard about a class-action lawsuit, few might actually understand the principle behind it. A simple answer might be that such an action is a legal claim filed on behalf of multiple parties, yet it may be even more complex than that.
These complexities often introduce the basis for those companies or organizations targeted by them to challenge their validity. This is due to the fact that while class actions do represent multiple parties, the class must show a common cause of action.
Apple targeted in class-action lawsuit for keyboard design
To understand this, one need only look at a recent case involving the personal computing giant Apple. According to The Verge, the company found itself the subject of a class-action filed by parties in multiple states over the design of its butterfly keyboard on its MacBook computers. Consumers argued that design flaws in the keyboard contributed to problems (and that the company knew of them). 2020 actually saw the company abandon the keyboard design.
Representatives from Apple argued that the claim did not meet the standard of a class given that claims addressed issues from multiple tweaks to the keyboard’s design during its lifetime. However, a judge recently agreed that the plaintiffs’ claims all addressed the same fundamental problems (and thus allowed the lawsuit to continue).
How classes form for a collective claim
This case addresses one of the fundamental foundations of a class-action claim. All parties involved must have a grievance against the defendant related to a similar issue. By extension, those selected as class representatives must actually represent the issues of the collective in their individual claims. It is this common cause that supplies the basis for courts to hear claims on behalf of a group.