Dozens of class action lawsuits await savvy savers

Published: Nov. 14, 2014 at 9:42 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2014 at 11:28 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you've bought batteries, chocolate or energy drinks in the past few years, chances are you're owed some money.

At any given time, there are dozens of active class action lawsuits, many for products we buy everyday. A recent class action lawsuit settlement means anyone who bought Red Bull in the last 12 years is entitled to a $10 check or $15 worth of Red bull products. 

"There's more than you would think, from cars, to medicines, to retail products, foods..." said savings expert Anjie Kay, who signed up for the Red Bull settlement immediately.

"The type of notice that you get because that's critical to this whole process depends on whether the company knows your name or not" Turner Broughton, Partner at Williams Mullen.

For suits involving banks and other service providers, they have the ability to notify you, giving you the option of opting in or out.

"You're not necessarily limited. If you find out about a class action you can opt out and go prosecute your own individual claim," said Broughton.

But for many other suits, the companies don't know you've bought their product and it's up to you to find them and sign up. Kay searches three sites that aggregate active class action suits. She fills out simple information online, many don't require receipts.

If you bought Truvia, the current typical settlement is $45. Right now, you can get up to $24 for Ghiradelli white chocolate.

Kay cashes in on anything she qualifies for. Her biggest payback was $75 for her riding lawnmower, but as more people sign up, that number can go down.

"I've gotten back as little as 47 cents," she said.

Other payouts are much more lucrative. Anjie told her friend about a class action suit involving Yaz birth control.

"She had some medical complications, basically forgot about it and ended up reaping $170,000," she explained.

Settlements can take weeks, months, even years. I signed up for this suit against the makers of Muscle Milk and got a check for $32 in less than three months, but the Red Bull case won't be heard in court until next May and checks and product won't be shipped until 150 days after all is settled.

If you miss a lawsuit signup deadline, you cannot participate so don't wait.

Class action lawsuit links:

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