Class action lawsuits involve either one person or several persons suing on behalf of a larger group of persons. This allows courts to manage lawsuits that would otherwise be unmanageable, and is the best way to address issues for multiple plaintiffs without opening a case for each individual. The class action lawsuit is one of the rare legal resolutions the small claimant has against those in more powerful positions. It is also more manageable for the defendant to deal with one trial, rather than multiple trials, and is the only way to manage cases with multiple plaintiffs affected by the same defendant.
While the central issues of class action lawsuits can be very diverse, a class action suit will always include an issue in dispute that is common to all members of the class, and the persons involved will be numerous.
Some examples of class action lawsuits:
- Employees who experience racial, age or gender discrimination at the hands of their employer.
- Employees who feel that their employer violated the wage and hour laws of the state in which they live.
- Customers who purchased the same defective product.
- Medical patients prescribed a medicine with undisclosed and harmful side effects.
Although it is dependent on the type of class action, the resolution of the lawsuit binds all members of the class certified by the Court. Under Federal law, the rules governing class actions are found in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.