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What Is A Class Action Lawsuit?

Mass Torts Lawyers

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit that is brought by or against a representative, or multiple representatives, on behalf of a group. The group is referred to as the class members. As explained by the top-rated mass tort lawyers of Eglet Adams, most class actions are plaintiff class actions, as the purpose of a class action lawsuit is to promote efficient policies of avoiding harm, particularly to benefit those who do not know that their rights have been violated. This allows the class members to litigate claims that would be disproportionately expensive to prosecute individually, so the class members are placed into one group and creates the notion of fairness regarding allocation of funds. Class members are not technically parties to the case. Class members, even though they are not technically parties, can still be bound by the judgment in a class action. If there is a class action lawsuit to which no one is representing an interest to an individual, the individual is not bound by the lawsuit and is able to initiate their own individual lawsuit.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 governs class action lawsuits. Under the rule, there are four prerequisites that must be met to receive class certification. One or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all members if these four factors occur. First, the class is so numerous that joining all members would be impracticable. Second, there are either questions of law or questions of fact that are common to the entire class within a class action lawsuit. Third, the claims, or the defenses, of the representative parties are typical of the claims, or defenses, of the class. Finally, the representative parties will both fairly and adequately protect the interest of the entire class. 

Should one of these four factors not be met, then class certification would not be granted, which means that individual lawsuits would need to be commenced. Certification would be granted through the approval from a court of law. The creation of class action lawsuits allows numerous individuals to be a member of a class, which would benefit them more than initiating an individual lawsuit.

Thanks to Eglet Adams, for their insight on class action lawsuits.