Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit is a civil suit that allows a large number of people to sue the same defendant based on common interests.
Such a lawsuit is brought to court by a single, or a small number of representatives, on behalf of a larger group of claimants. The entire group is represented by the same legal counsel. All the members in the claimant group are known as a “class”.
In order for participants to be included in the class, each individual in the group must have similar interests in the case.
An example of this type of lawsuit is a civil suit in which the users of a particular medication all suffered similar negative side effects as a result of the medication. The class action would be filed against the pharmaceutical manufacturer and the claim would be reviewed as a class action lawsuit by the courts.
While most personal injury claims are reviewed in state court, class action lawsuits often fall under the federal civil court system instead. This is because many class actions include members of the class who reside in various states. The defendants named in the claim may also reside in different states. As no single state’s jurisdiction covers all claimants and defendants in the case, class action lawsuits are often brought to trial through federal civil litigation.