Originally Posted by swizzir
Anyone know what starting a class action lawsuit entails?
Lots and lots of time and energy. First you'd have to find a plaintiff's firm willing to take the case on a contingency fee, where they get a percentage of the verdict if the class wins and if the class loses the lawyer eats the cost.
These types of suits also take a long time because of the complications inherent in having such a large number of people involved. Plus, Sony would litigate the hell out of it because so much money would be at stake, whereas they wouldn't really care about a few small claims suits.
At the end of the day, the only people that win class action suits are the lawyers because of the contingency fee. Also, at best you'd end up with whatever your damages are, less the contingency fee. Whereas if you take them to small claims court, you'll get to keep all of the damages, because you get to litigate it yourself.
The only advantage to the class action suit would be that it would be more likely to cause Sony to change policy, whereas they would probably just settle with you if you filed a small claims suit. This "settlement" could conceivably be allowing you to return the TV and get your money back, which may be all you want anyway. The cost of sending someone to wherever to defend a small claims suit alone would probably approach (or exceed) the value of the suit to them anyway.
Also note that your "damages" might not be the full retail value of the TV, since what you have (a HDTV with a bad backlight) is still worth more than $0. This could depend on the law of the state you live in. But like I said, you might be able to get them to settle with you just by filing something.