A “class action” lawsuit is the consolidation of several related lawsuits into one lawsuit. However, not all lawsuits are eligible to become class actions. Class Actions are approved when there are numerous plaintiffs with common legal issues to resolve. A class action lawsuit can be an efficient alternative to individual lawsuits. Rather than several hundred cases clogging up the judicial system, a class action can resolve all of these cases at one time. Class action lawsuits have a “class representative.” The class representative is best thought of as the main plaintiff. The class representative represents the interests of all members of the class. So, while there may be hundreds of class members spread throughout the country, only one needs to show up in court to represent the interests of the class members.
Class actions are intended to promote two main goals: first, they allow individuals who have been injured by large, well-funded corporations or institutions to seek judicial remedies by spreading the cost of complex and time-consuming litigation over the members of the class; second, they protect consumers by deterring dangerous and deceptive business practices in the future.
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