putative class action

A putative class action is a lawsuit brought by one or more named plaintiffs on behalf of a potential group of similarly situated individuals (known as a class) who allegedly suffered a common claim.

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Lawsuits do not become class actions until an actual class has been certified by the court. Therefore, a putative class action means the class has not yet been certified by the court. If the court certifies the class, the lawsuit becomes a class action.