The Legality Behind Class Actions in the Time of the Novel Coronavirus


The novel coronavirus pandemic has been one of the most challenging things that we all have to face this 2020. It has raised not only issues in terms of our government but also of social corporate responsibility.

Today, most individual consumers are asking how they can make failed corporate response management and local disaster management a thing of the past. Class action lawsuits are getting considered and several questions are being raised. Questions on how to file, how much are Attorney fees per state, and the procedure of filing are all trending questions. 

The Class Actions

There are different class actions that have already been filed to raise liability and response issues. 

One of the most talked about class action suits was filed on March 26, 2020 in the Southern District of New York. 

The case was filed against Town Sports International, LLC. The allegation of the case is rooted in the failure of New York Sports Club (NYSC) to stop the collection of monthly membership dues after closing its gyms in New York. The complaint raised the issue of fraud and larceny. 

The following, among others, are taken from the complaint as allegations:

  • NYSC continued to charge its members of their monthly membership dues despite the closure of the said gyms;
  • NYSC has made it virtually impossible to make any kind of cancellation;
  • NYSC refused to honor many of its members’ cancellation requests despite its failure to give service; and
  • NYSC failed to uphold its corporate social responsibility.

Evidence presented were Facebook complaints and Yelp reviews as well as credit card transactions showing the charge. 

In the District of Arizona, another class action case was filed against the Arizona Board of Regents for their alleged failure to offer refunds to students enrolled in their class. The refund pertains to the unused portions of their fees for services that they could no longer use such as their dorm rooms and board. The refund also included requests for fees paid on on-campus services that could no longer get utilized by the student population. 

A complaint was also filed against the Norwegian Cruise Line. It was filed by a shareholder of the company itself. The filing of the case was brought about by blatantly false statements about the Coronavirus that are unproven and could endanger the lives of their customers and crew members. This one is originally not a class action suit but only time will tell if it gets turned into one given the recent “CoVid Cruise” that docked on the shores of Japan last January. 

Gatherings were also cancelled leading to class action lawsuits pertaining to gatherings. This is exactly what happened to the case filed against Do LaB. The company is in charge of organizing and running the annual Lightning In A Bottle music festival that is annually held in the Central Valley region of California.

Class Actions Suits Must Be Done With Caution

While class action suits help unclog the dockets of the courts, it is worth noting that doing so must be done with caution. Every state has a different set of rules and different Attorney fees per state apply. If you are planning to file a class action suit, make sure that the costs would not outweigh the benefits.

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