Class-action lawsuits benefit plaintiffs who share a common loss due to negligent or fraudulent actions. By banding their claims together, plaintiffs can sometimes level the playing field against large corporations or other powerful defendants.
A good example of this class-action lawsuit leverage is when stockholders join together to sue companies in which they believe fraudulent or misleading activity has occurred. Taken individually, a shareholder filing a claim alleging that corporate executives engaged in misrepresenting stock prices is placed at a distinct disadvantage. However, the chances of successful litigation can improve dramatically when those same plaintiffs join their claims together into a single class action case.