Class Action Requirements In Texas

In a class action, judgment in the case binds the entire class, not just the named parties. See Vinson v. Tex. Commerce Bank-Houston, N.A., 880 S.W.2d 820, 823 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1994, no writ). Consequently, the class proponents must establish the right to maintain the suit as a class action. See id. A class action may be maintained if it meets the four requirements of TEX. R. CIV. P. 42(a) and at least one requirement of TEX. R. CIV. P. 42(b). Rule 42(a) provides that one or more members of a class may sue on behalf of a class if: (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable; (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class; (3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. See TEX. R. CIV. P. 42(a). When reviewing a trial court's decision on class certification, appellate courts are strictly limited to determining whether the trial court abused its discretion. See Vinson, 880 S.W.2d at 823. An appellate court may not substitute its judgement for that of the trial court. See id. Instead, we must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court's action and indulge every presumption that would favor the trial court's ruling. See id. We will reverse only if the record clearly indicates: (1) the trial court misapplied the law to established facts; (2) the record does not