A class action is a civil claim brought forward by one or more individuals who are part of a larger group of people referred to as “class members”, and who have been mutually wronged by a neglectful party or parties. The purpose of a class action is to resolve common, or even similar claims, through a single lawsuit rather than spreading the verdict, time and energy over multiple individual suits that could lead to inconsistent results.
The main goal of class proceedings is to provide access and opportunity for those who have been wronged to seek justice, but are not able to individually pursue legal actions, either because of a lack of available funds to do so or because of the risk-reward-ratio involved in a suit. Through a class action, these individuals are provided with the opportunity to seek legal resolution for the alleged damages they have experienced as a result of the negligence of another person or entity.
A class action’s outcome is important not only for the class members, but also for society at large. This type of lawsuit goes beyond the goal of justice for the class members, and can actually correct or alter damaging behaviour by individuals, corporations and institutions.