What is a class action?

A class action is where a number of people who have the same legal complaint bring a lawsuit as a group, called the class.  The basic requirement is that there be "similarly situated" individuals with common factual and legal concerns.  Class actions are most valuable in areas where it would not make sense or be economically feasible to pursue numerous, small individual claims.  Consumer fraud claims are an excellent example of a situation where, if cases are not brought on class-wide bases, they probably would not be brought at all. In that situation, a company would wrongfully be able to keep its profits from its actions in having fleeced consumers.