Class actions have been around for centuries. But the modern version was created in the 1960s — in part by a young lawyer working on a manual typewriter in the back seat of a car. At the time, class actions were seen as a way to advance the civil rights movement.
Today, thousands of class actions are filed every year. Some of them are still about civil rights. But they're also about things questions like: Is there enough pepper in this tin of pepper?
On today's show, we find out how we got here, and ask whether this is a good way to do things.