A class action is a lawsuit brought on behalf of an entire group of people who are harmed in a similar way by the same person or company. A class action lawsuit can be brought on a nationwide or statewide basis depending on the specific facts of the case. Class actions are some of the most powerful tools consumers have to level the playing field with large corporations who have tried to take advantage of consumers, customers or employees.
In most class action lawsuits, a lead class representative initiates the claim on behalf of the entire class. Eventually the courst appoints a lead plantiff(s) from among the class representation who have failed cases. At the successful conclusion of the suit, the lead class representative is usually entitled to an incentive award for taking the initiative to act on behalf of others. This amount can be substantial.