Class action lawsuits are often maligned, with some good reason. So, what are they, why are the maligned, and are their good reasons for trashing them? The issues come to mind because of the Volkswagen situation, which will bring class action litigation front and center for a while.
Class action lawsuits involve many people claiming damages; however, not every suit which involves many people is a class action lawsuit. Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure—I believe its corollary exists within every state’s civil procedure rules—requires, for a class of claimants to be certified, that: (1) there are too many people to make all of them individual parties; (2) there are common questions of law and fact;