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Impact Litigation

Patterns of injustice and broad institutional failures can deprive thousands of people of their rights. NYLAG seeks systemic reform for these individuals through class actions and other impact litigation.

Wrongful denial of public benefits, fraudulent debt collection, disability discrimination, and predatory for-profit colleges can harm tens of thousands of vulnerable people. Yet those dealing with these challenges often feel like they are in the battle alone. Many do not realize that they have rights that can be enforced. This is where we come in.

Our Approach

Our Special Litigation Unit (SLU) collaborates with NYLAG attorneys across practice areas to identify broad institutional failures. Alone, or in partnership with private firms and other not-for-profit organizations, we initiate class actions and other impact lawsuits to bring about systemic change for thousands of people in need. 

What is a class action? It is a lawsuit in which a group of people who suffer similar harm caused by the same conduct sue a defendant together—seeking redress for all those who are injured, even those who cannot find their own lawyers or appear in court.

Current Cases and Advocacy

Below is a list of our active class action cases and advocacy work. Click on the relevant case below to learn more and how to contact us if you believe that you’ve been affected.

NYLAG Opens Hotline to Provide Free Legal Advice to Current and Former ASA College Students

NYLAG Advocates for Tenants’ Rights After Rent Subsidies Wrongfully Terminated

NYLAG Scores Historic Victory for Immigrants, Open Government

NYLAG v. Board of Immigration Appeals

Our Recent Wins

We secured a settlement worth nearly $6 million for 61,000 New Yorkers victimized by fraudulent debt collection litigation [Mayfied v. Asta, settlement Apr. 2018]

We challenged New York’s denial of critical subsistence benefits to certain asylum applicants, prompting New York to change the policy and extend benefits to those immigrants [Colaj v. Roberts, filed Aug. 2017, policy change Nov. 2017]

We reached a settlement requiring the United States Department of Education to notify 60,000 student loan borrowers harmed by Wilfred Beauty Academy, a chain of abusive for-profit schools, of their right to seek valuable loan discharge [Salazar v. DeVos, settlement approved Aug. 2017, administered through the present]

We reached a settlement forcing NY State to better protect Medicaid home health care recipients whose managed long-term care providers unlawfully stopped or reduced their care [Caballero v. Senior Health Partners, settlement approved Dec. 2018]

We entered an unprecedented settlement requiring a charter school network to make far-reaching changes to protect students with disabilities entitled to special education supports [Achievement First, settlement approved Dec. 2017]

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NYLAG to part of the solution to end broad institutional failures.

SNAP Card

NYLAG, Legal Aid, Dechert LLP, File Federal Class Action Lawsuit Against City for Failing to Process SNAP and Cash Assistance Applications and Recertifications, Forcing Thousands of Families to Face Food Instability

New York Legal Assistance Group, The Legal Aid Society, and Dechert LLP, filed a class action lawsuit against the New York City Department of Social Services and Human Resources Administration for failing to process applications and recertification for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and cash assistance within the 30-day timeframe required by federal and state law.

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Person wearing mask shops for groceries

New Yorkers sue city over delays to food stamps

NYLAG’s Abby Biberman is quoted in this piece in Gothamist about NYLAG’s class action lawsuit, along with the Legal Aid Society, on behalf of New Yorkers who were left without essential food and cash assistance because their applications weren’t processed in the 30 days required by federal law.

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