You hear about class-action lawsuits all the time, like this one filed against Apple (based on a Gizmodo story!)or this other one against Apple (or this one or this one). Part of the reason is they’re so lucrative for lawyers; a “class” is a group of people who have the same grievance against a company, which means there’s a lot of money involved if the company loses or settles.
But when there’s money on the table, it’s not guaranteed you’ll receive a payment. It’s often up to qualifying members of that class to file a claim. That can be as simple as filling out a quick form online. Please, don’t lie on these forms, because they’re legal documents. You should also be aware that you’re waiving the right to file your own separate lawsuit if you join the class.
You just have to know where to look. One resource is classaction.org. The site is a database on ongoing investigations and lawsuits, as well as settlements with links to claim your rebate. In many cases, companies get to keep the money that class members don’t claim. That means the clock is ticking.
Payouts are split up among the qualifying class members, so unless the harms were extreme (think serious injury or a major financial loss) you usually shouldn’t expect much. But cash is cash. Sometimes they’ll even put it straight into your PayPal account.
Here are lawsuits we’ve found with large classes that a lot of Gizmodo readers may be a part of. We’re talking people who bought MacBooks with a butterfly keyboard, the 147 million people affected by the Equifax data breach, buyers of certain Nestle coffee creamers, and more. (If you’re outside the US, I can’t help you, but at least your healthcare system is better than ours.)