1What is a class action?
A class action is a legal procedure used to prosecute a lawsuit efficiently in which a large number of people have been injured by a common act or set of actions. In a class case, one or two named plaintiffs stand in for the entire group of similarly aggrieved persons during the course of the litigation.
When a class action settles, the judge presiding over the case must approve the fairness and propriety of the settlement. Potential class members usually have the option of, after receiving notice, excluding themselves from a class or class settlement, and pursuing the case on their own. The class procedure also allows individuals and small businesses to collectively prosecute meritorious cases that would have been too expensive and insufficient to litigate individually.