What is consumer fraud?

Consumer fraud includes a large range of improper practices relating to any part of the advertising, marketing and selling of services and/or goods. Consumer fraud actions are governed by state and federal laws. For example, in Illinois the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act govern consumer fraud actions. Most states have consumer fraud statutes that are specifically designed to protect consumers, borrowers and businesses against fraud, unfair methods of competition and other unfair and deceptive business practices.

What is a consumer fraud action?

A consumer fraud action is a class action alleging the violation of one or more state's consumer fraud statutes. A class action is a type of lawsuit in which many people, who have similar claims, combine their claims into one lawsuit. The benefit of bringing a class action is that it allows people who have suffered a relatively minor amount of damages (only in the sense that it would not be feasible to hire a lawyer and pay attorney's fees and court costs) to prosecute their claims and have their "day in court." It also saves judicial resources, while allowing a single judge to hear all the concerns at the same time.

Some examples of types of situations suited for consumer fraud actions include:
  • Automobile repair
  • Contracts for goods or services
  • Deceptive advertising
  • Deceptive pricing and bargain sale practices
  • Deceptive sales practices
  • Home improvements
  • Misrepresentation of a product's nature
  • Product safety and recalls
What are the benefits of a consumer fraud action?

A consumer fraud action lawsuit provides a cost-effective method to seek redress from companies and other parties that are believed to have caused a person(s) monetary damages by, among other things, violating a state's consumer fraud statute. It is a means by which a company and other parties can be held accountable for their actions. It can also result in a corporation changing its policies, behavior or actions.

What does it cost to bring or join a consumer fraud action.

In our consumer fraud class action cases, there is no out-of-pocket expense to any class member - regardless of the outcome. If we obtain a recovery on behalf of the class, we will petition the court for an award of fees and reimbursement of expenses, which will come out of the recovery obtained for the class. The court will determine the fee award based on several factors, including the length and complexity of the lawsuit, the size of the recovery and the risks involved in litigating the case.

How much money will I receive?

The amount of damages paid to class members depends on the damages suffered and the amount recovered as a result of a settlement or judgment. Generally, when a settlement is reached or a judgment is entered, a payment of cash is made to a common fund. The money is then distributed to each class member claimant in proportion to the amount each has lost. Each class member must respond to a claims notice regarding the settlement or judgment and file a claim to receive his or her damages.

How long does it take to resolve a consumer fraud class action?

Resolution times vary from case to case and are difficult to predict. Although a case may settle or be dismissed within a year after it is filed, usually cases are litigated for a number of years, with some resulting in a trial.

Why should I choose Freed Kanner London & Millen to represent me?

You should choose FKLM because our history is one of experience, leadership and results. For more than 25 years, FKLM attorneys have represented plaintiffs in consumer fraud class actions across the United States. The firm has successfully prosecuted cases involving securities fraud, antitrust violations, consumer fraud, unlawful business practices and insurance company fraud. Freed Kanner London & Millen lawyers have helped class members recover more than $5.5 billion.