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What is the Vital ‘Commonality’ Requirement in Florida Class Action Lawsuits?

By January 31, 2024No Comments

One of the elements that have to be proven in class action cases is what’s known as “commonality”. This requirement is found in the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.220, where it states that a claim may be maintained as a class if “the claim or defense . . . presents questions of fact or law common to questions of law or facts raised by the claim or defense of each class members.” Fla. R. Civ. Pro 1.220(a)(2).

Florida courts have ruled that “[t]he threshold of commonality is not high.” Broin v. Philip Morris Companies, Inc., 641 So.2d 888, 890 (Fla. 3d DCA 1994). The primary concern in the consideration of commonality is “whether the representative’s claim arises from the same practice or course of conduct that gave rise to the remaining claims and whether the claims are based on the same legal theory.” City of Opa-Locka, Florida v. Suarez, 314 So.3d 675, 681 (Fla. 3d DCA 2021).

In fact, “[t]he commonality element only requires that resolution of a class action affect all or a substantial number of the class members, and that the subject of the class action presents a question of common or general interest.” Id.

“The requirement is met if the questions linking the class members are substantially related to the resolution of the litigation even though the individuals are not identically situated.” Morgan, 33 So.3d at p. 64.

Rule 1.220 does not “require that class certification be denied merely because the claim of one or more class representatives arises in a factual context that varies somewhat from that of other plaintiffs.” Powell v. River Ranch Property Owners Ass’n, Inc., 522 So.2d 69, 70 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988).

“Although claims may arise from different factual contexts, they may be pled as a class action if the subject of the action presents a question of common or general interest, and where all members of the class have a similar interest in obtaining the relief sought.” Love v. General Development Corp., 555 So.2d 397, 398 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989).

Though companies trying to defeat class cases will portray class action cases as different, the law is clear that the “commonality” requirement does not require complete identity of cases—something that rarely happens.

For more information on class actions or other disputes, contact one of our experienced litigation attorneys at 305-570-2208. You can also email our lead attorney Eduardo directly at

We at Ayala Law PA are passionate about helping those in legal need, so please don’t hesitate to schedule a case evaluation with us online here.

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