Class Actions

A class action is a procedural device that permits one or more plaintiffs to file and prosecute a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group, or “class”.

In a typical class action, a plaintiff sues a defendant or a number of defendants on behalf of a group, or class, of absent parties. This differs from a traditional lawsuit, where one party sues another party for redress of a wrong, and all of the parties are present in court. Although standards differ between states and countries, class actions are most common where the allegations involve a large number of people who have been injured by the same defendant in the same way. Instead of each injured person bringing their own lawsuit, the class action allows all the claims of all class members—whether they know they have been injured or not—to be resolved in a single proceeding.

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