During the 2013 legislative session, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry has sponsored SB 1452, a bill that would gut fundamental class action protection of Arizona residents.
In essence, class actions are designed to protect us from small, but wide-spread wrongdoing. The best use of class actions are when they recover small amounts of money for people who could not otherwise justify filing their own lawsuit to recover money that was wrongfully taken from them. While no one would file their own lawsuit to recover a $5.00 charge improperly collected by a bank, gas station or merchant, for example, these amounts add up to considerable sums.
Without class action protection, these wrongdoers would have no incentive to adhere to the law. They would be able to effectively steal small amounts from lots of different people with “economic immunity” because no individual could reasonably justify the expense of filing suit to collect such small losses. And, of course, even if someone did file a suit for whatever reason, the worst that could happen is that the wrongdoer would owe that one person $5.00 or whatever small amount was wrongfully taken.
Mr. Trachtenberg was asked by the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association to testify against SB 1452.
Geoff Trachtenberg is a partner at Levenbaum Trachtenberg, a personal injury law firm located in Arizona, California, and Utah. You can find him on Google+ and Avvo discussing law and helping people with their legal needs.