Am I bound by a settlement or judgment of a class action?

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Yes, if the court decides the underlying legal proceedings were fair, then all class members who are absent are generally bound by the judgment or settlement of a case. But, if the lawsuit is primarily to recover money, then absent class members are entitled to notice and an opportunity to opt out, or exclude themselves, from the proceedings. If you opt out, then you are not bound by any judgment or settlement of the class action. Opting out may free the person to bring a claim for damages, individually. When a class action is for declaratory or injunctive relief, then notice is not required to bind absent class members and the court may not allow a person to opt out.