Shook Attorneys Author Law Review Article on No-Benefit Class Actions

Class actions that offer few—if any—practical benefits to real consumers are on the rise, leading to time-consuming and expensive litigation for the parties involved, according to a law review article written by Shook Public Policy Practice Group Co-Chair Phil Goldberg and Senior Counsel Andy Trask. Goldberg and Trask authored “No-Injury and Piggyback Class Actions: When Product-Defect Class Actions Do Not Benefit Consumers,” which was published in Volume 19, Issue 2 of the University of Massachusetts Law Review. They discuss two types of no-benefit class actions: no-injury class actions, in which all or much of a class never experienced any injury from an alleged defect in a product, and piggyback class actions, which typically follow recalls or satisfaction programs.

Goldberg and Trask said that while the U.S. Supreme Court has issued rulings seeking to curtail such suits, they have not stopped filings. They laid out simple fixes for judges to address the issue, arguing that courts can require the pleading and sharing of essential information early in the litigation; end automatic, undue deference to class counsel; and rigorously apply federal rules.

“Class actions will always exist and be hard-fought, but there is no need to tie up the courts and consume massive resources of time and money where plaintiffs have not sustained any real-world injury and will not see meaningful relief from the case,” they said.

Read the article in the University of Massachusetts Law Review >>