What Do I Need to Show to Bring a Class Action in Massachusetts?
You have likely heard that some legal claims may be brought in a format called a “class action,” in which certain named individuals bring a lawsuit on behalf of a large number of people who all have similar claims against a defendant. There are certain criteria that must be met, however, before a group of plaintiffs can be certified as a class. Those criteria include the following:
- Numerosity: the plaintiffs must show that the class is so numerous that joining all of the individual members in the litigation is impracticable.
- Commonality: the plaintiffs must show that there are questions of law or fact that are common to the class.
- Typicality: the plaintiffs must show that their individual claims or defenses are typical of the claims or defenses of the class.
- Adequacy: the plaintiffs must show that they will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
- Predominance: the plaintiffs must show that the questions of law or fact that are common to the members of the class predominate over any questions that affect only individual members.
- Superiority: the plaintiffs must show that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.
If a court allows a case to proceed as a class action, the parties will need to obtain court approval in order to dismiss or settle the case.
- By Stephanie Parker