The Class Action Rule, 78 Notre Dame Law Review, 1419 (2003)
The class action has many uses. The most compelling occurs when someone inflicts a small harm on each member of a large group of people. In such a case, anyone victim would have to spend more money to hire a lawyer than he could recover by winning the lawsuit, so he would not sue. The class action enables the claims of all the individual victims to be aggregated, thereby spreading the lawsuit's costs among all class members and creating a potential recovery that is large enough to make the suit economically viable. Although each individual who is harmed wins only a small amount, the public benefit is substantial. The costs of the large public harm are borne by the person or firm responsible for it, and incentives to commit future transgressions are removed.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Fiss, Owen M. and Bronsteen, John, "The Class Action Rule" (2003). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1314.