Stuff you need to know:
- A judge decides if a group of plaintiffs qualify as a class. The judge also defines the characteristics of the class. For example, people who bought Ford Explorers with Firestone tires between 1990 and 2000.
- The key advantage of a class action lawsuit is that it allows a large group of injured parties (financially or physically) to receive individual amounts of compensation without spending a lot of money on legal fees.
- A major disadvantage of class action lawsuits is that once you join a class action suit, you're prohibited from suing individually. So if you get a lousy settlement in the class action proceedings, you're stuck with it.