What is a class action?

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A class action allows people to file a lawsuit for an entire group of people that have been harmed in the same way. In a class action, one or more of the people suing will be designated as “class representatives” for the entire group or “class” of people bringing the lawsuit. Class actions are heavily controlled by the judge. The judge first decides whether or nor a lawsuit may proceed as a class action. In this determination, the judge examines the facts and issues to see if they share enough in common to to proceed as a class action. Otherwise, the judge will deny the request to proceed as a class action forcing litigants to bring individual claims. Most corporate defendants fight very hard to keep judges from allowing a case to proceed as a class action.