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What is required for a class action suit?

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2019 | civil litigation

In certain situations, a group of Pennsylvania residents will suffer damages as a result of the actions of one party, like a small company or a large corporation. In such a scenario, the entire group can find relief by joining together to become part of a class action lawsuit. To form a class action suit, Chron.com explains that per Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a), the suit much satisfies four conditions.

First, a class action suit is needed when the practicality of all of the injured individuals filing their own suits would be unrealistic. Class action suits can involve dozens of people, and if every one of those persons was to file an individual suit, the court would be swamped. Pooling together the parties into a single suit streamlines the process and makes it more practical.

There must also be a question of law that is common to all of the parties involved. You cannot have multiple parties with different questions of law. The class action suit should involve resolving a dispute that relates to everyone in the suit. A class action also needs to involve common facts. Basically, the same circumstances affected the people in the class action suit in the same or very similar ways.

People involved in a class action suit should also be grappling with a common infraction of the law. Generally, class action suits are brought on the grounds that a party has engaged in a particular offense. For instance, a class action can be brought against a party on the grounds of securities or consumer fraud. Suits can also be filed to seek damages resulting from misconduct on the part of a business or corporation, bad employment practices, or injury resulting from a company product.

Finally, when a class action is brought, a class representative is appointed by a court. This representative, whether it is one or multiple persons, is charged with representing the class as a whole and protecting their interests. The class representative cannot only represent a single plaintiff out of the entire group or otherwise favor the interests of one person over the group.

Class action suits can be more complex than ordinary civil litigation. People that have questions about joining a class action suit can benefit from asking an experienced civil litigation attorney about the matter. Keep in mind that this article is not written to provide any legal advice. It is only intended for educational benefit.