Legal Dictionary

class action

Legal Definition of class action


  1. When different persons combine their lawsuits because the facts and the defendant are so similar. This is designed to save Court time and to allow one judge to hear all the cases at the same time and to make one decision binding on all parties. Class action lawsuits would typically occur after a plane or train accident where all the victims would sue the transportation company together in a class action suit.

Definition of class action


class action

  1. (chiefly US) a lawsuit brought by a single plaintiff as a representative of a large group of others having a common interest

Further reading

In law, a class action or a representative action is a form of lawsuit where a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court. This form of collective lawsuit originated in the United States and is still predominantly a U.S. phenomenon, at least the U.S. variant of it. However, in several European countries with civil law (as opposed to the English common law principle, which is used by US courts), changes have in recent years been made that allow consumer organizations to bring claims on behalf of large groups of consumers.

External links

U.S. law

Proposals to expand European class action law

Online Class Action Repository


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