The Dangerous Allure of the Issue Class Action

44 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2011

See all articles by Laura J. Hines

Laura J. Hines

University of Kansas School of Law

Date Written: 2004


In the complex and chaotic world of mass torts, a class action that aggregates the claims of aggrieved individuals against a common defendant would seem not only a prudent solution, but possibly even a necessary one. The class device holds out the promise of resolving issues "common" to all plaintiffs in a single trial, preventing wasteful and repetitive litigation of similar issues, and the possibility of inconsistent results. And collective adjudication allows plaintiffs to pool resources against better-financed defendants. Despite these potential benefits and the admiration of a host of commentators, however, the class action has thus far failed to gain significant judicial acceptance as a fair and efficient mechanism for resolving mass tort claims. Indeed, the Supreme Court in recent years struck down two wide-reaching mass tort class actions in such sweeping terms that many observers predicted the death of the mass tort class action.

Suggested Citation

Hines, Laura J., The Dangerous Allure of the Issue Class Action (2004). Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 79, pp. 567-610, 2004, Available at SSRN:

Laura J. Hines (Contact Author)

University of Kansas School of Law ( email )

Green Hall
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045-7577
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics