What is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit isn’t something that happens at school. It’s serious business. The defendants usually pay a group of individuals suffering harm as a result of the defendant’s action or product. The defendant is often a corporation.

What About Class Action in Texas?

Class action lawsuits fall under Texas Civil Rule Procedure 42. That law permits Texas citizens to propose lawsuits. However, a class action lawsuit can only be pursued if a trial certifies that Rule 42 requirements have been satisfied. Due to a number of Texas Supreme Court decisions some very restrictive conditions exist. It’s almost impossible to develop a class action lawsuit in Texas. Almost all class action lawsuits in Texas must now file in federal court for satisfaction.

Pros of Class Action Lawsuits

  • There is usually no financial risk to the claimants. A legal team absorbs the cost of litigation. They work on a percentage basis of risk and reward.
  • The legal teams that take on class action lawsuits are usually highly knowledgeable in the complex matters of the lawsuit.
  • Provides the opportunity for individuals who may not have the chance to pursue a case that benefits from group action.

Cons of Class Action Lawsuits

  • An individual claimant loses his or her individual rights in a class action lawsuit. Whatever the group gets, the individual gets a representative portion. There is no individual choice if one isn’t happy with the outcome.
  • Many Class Action Lawsuits cause significant public scrutiny, affecting a claimant’s privacy.

Some of the More Famous Class Action Lawsuits

As early as the mid-1800’s the Supreme Court dealt with class actions. It wasn’t until 1966 that changes to equity rules brought modern change to class actions.

Here are some of the more familiar cases of class action lawsuits in the United States:

  1. Residents of Woburn, Massachusetts sued Cryovac for causing cancer by discharging toxic waste into groundwater. The case became a movie, A Civil Action, starring John Travolta as the lawyer.
  2. Residents of Hinckley, California fought Pacific Gas & Electric. It was the largest settlement to date, totaling $333 million. Another movie was born, Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts.

There have been other notable class action suits which have set precedents in law. Some were Roe v Wade and the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Cigarette manufacturers agreed to pay $208 billion to 48 states over 25 years to cover high medical costs caused by smoking.


Every day, the legal profession fights for the rights of individuals or groups of people who have a claim. Alternatively, others have been charged with a crime. One hard working legal team is the Office of Mark Barber, Attorney at Law, in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Mark has the skill and the knowledge to represent you. If you believe you’ve been wronged or find yourself on the wrong side of the law, call Mark. He’s dedicated to helping you. Mark Barber is skilled in criminal defense, family law, and protecting your rights if charged with a DUI. He’s dedicated legal representation who fights for the “little guy.”

For a free consultation and the best legal representation, call Mark Barber at (940) 761 3009