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July 12, 2007

Consumer Class Actions Usurping Personal Injury Claims

Plaintiffs' lawyers are filing an increasing number of class actions under state consumer protection laws in conjunction with, or in place of, traditional personal injury class actions.  Personal injury class actions are difficult to certify because the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual's injury are typically too dissimilar to allow the claims to be decided on a class-wide basis.  However, the consumer protection law class actions typically seek reimbursements not for physical injury but for those who claim that they would not have purchased a product had they known that it created a risk of physical harm.  For example, two multidistrict litigation actions pending in California seek reimbursement for purchases of iPod and Motorola Bluetooth headsets, alleging that the products displayed inadequate warnings of the risk of noise-induced hearing loss.  No plaintiff in either case has suffered a hearing loss.  See Amanda Bronstad's story for The National Law Journal.

JDP

July 12, 2007 | Permalink

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