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In law, a class action, a class suit, or a representative action is a form of lawsuit in which a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court and/or in which a class of defendants is being sued. Class actions are commonly referred to as class action suits; however, this phrase is redundant as the historical distinction between "actions" at law and "suits" in equity is no longer recognized. This form of collective lawsuit originated in the United States and is still predominantly a U.S. phenomenon. However, in several European countries with civil law, as opposed to the Anglo-American common law system, changes have been made in recent years that allow consumer organizations to bring claims on behalf of large groups of consumers. (via Freebase)