How did class actions originate?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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When a relatively large number of people are injured, financially or physically, by the same act or acts of a defendant, requiring each of them to sue individually for the wrong done to him or her is expensive, could result in a very large number of lawsuits having to be brought on essentially the same event or facts. That’s an inefficient use of judicial resources, and results in wrong-doers being able to escape justice and make it easy for them to do small amounts of harm to many and take the risk that no one will hold them accountable for their illegal conduct because . In the 1960s, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which are used in United States District Courts nationwide, were amended to allow for class action litigation. Class action law has evolved over time and many states have amended their laws to also permit class actions to be brought in state courts.

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