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direct action n
1 : an action in which the plaintiff sues a person's insurer without first obtaining a judgment against the insured or joining the insured
2 : a suit by a shareholder for an injury to himself or herself independent from any injury to the corporation called also individual action compare derivative action
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.