5 Things to Know About Class Action Lawsuits and How They Work

By  //  August 3, 2023

Class action lawsuits can be an excellent way to seek justice when many people have been wronged. They allow large groups of plaintiffs, known as a class, to join forces and take collective legal action against a common defendant.

However, many individuals don’t understand the process of filing and litigating a class action lawsuit. The lack of enough knowledge can lead to costly mistakes that could impede justice.

Whether filing a class action lawsuit or defending against one, this article will provide five crucial things to understand about these cases and how they work.

  1. Where to Get News About Class Action Lawsuits

To stay informed about class action lawsuits, individuals can rely on various sources for updates and developments. One valuable resource is Lawsuit Legal News, a reputable platform that provides comprehensive coverage of ongoing class action cases.

In addition, media outlets may also cover high-profile class action lawsuits, offering broader perspectives on the implications and outcomes. However, you may consider contacting a class counsel if you are directly involved in a case. This expert can provide the most updated information about the lawsuit’s progress and any actions required from class members.

  1. Definition and Purpose of Class Action Lawsuits

Class action lawsuits are civil litigation where a group of individuals, known as the class, sue a defendant as a unified entity. The class members typically share common complaints, such as product defects, consumer fraud, discrimination, or environmental harm.

Also known as a representative action, class actions consolidate claims into one case, streamlining the legal process and preventing duplicate proceedings. This ensures efficiency and fairness for all parties involved.

The primary purpose of class actions is to offer a practical and affordable approach to seeking justice. These lawsuits also help ensure vulnerable complainants with limited resources to file individual claims get a fair and just judgment.

Certification and Requirements for Class Action Lawsuits

Before a class action can proceed, it must be certified by a court. Certification involves determining whether the case meets specific legal requirements, including the following:

  • Numerosity: The class must be so numerous that individual joinder of all members is impractical.
  • Commonality: The class members must have common questions of law or fact.
  • Typicality: The defenses or claims of the class representatives (named plaintiffs) must be typical of those of the entire class.
  • Adequacy: The class representatives must adequately and fairly represent the interests of the class.
  • Superiority: A class action must be a superior method of resolving the dispute compared to individual actions.

If these criteria are met, the court may offer certification, allowing the case to proceed on behalf of all class members.

Notification and Opting Out

Once a class action lawsuit is certified, potential class members are notified of the lawsuit and given the “opt-out” option. The “opt-out” option allows members to choose not to be part of the lawsuit and retain their right to pursue individual legal action.

If a member opts out of a class action, they won’t be bound by the outcome of the class action. However, they can control their own claims and potentially seek higher damages while bearing the burden of the case independently. 

Settlements and Awards in Class Action Lawsuits

In many class actions, the case is settled before going to trial. Settlements can be favorable because they avoid the time and costs associated with a lengthy trial and efficiently compensate class members.

However, the court must review and approve any proposed settlement to ensure it is fair, reasonable, and adequate for the class. The amount awarded may be distributed among the class members based on predetermined criteria or the individual damages suffered.


Class action lawsuits are pivotal in empowering individuals to hold powerful entities accountable for their actions. By understanding these five key components of class actions, both complainants and defendants can make informed decisions regarding their cases. To get more information about class actions, check out leading legal news sites or consult a knowledgeable class action attorney.