With mass torts, each plaintiff, although part of a large group, is treated as an individual.
The lawyers of Lundy LLP have decades of experience with mass tort litigation. How is a Mass Tort different from a Class Action?
A tort is a civil (as opposed to a criminal) wrong committed by one person or corporation that results in injury to another person. The person or corporation that commits the tort is legally responsible for the harm suffered by the victim. The victim, if he or she sues, becomes a plaintiff. The party sued is the defendant. The plaintiff typically sues the defendant to recover damages.
A mass tort involves numerous plaintiffs suing one defendant (or several defendants) who acted negligently. In most mass tort cases, the various individual plaintiffs’ claims must be based on a single product or incident.
Mass tort litigation can take on various forms:
- Individual suits alleging injury as a result of exposures to a single type of product (e.g., silicone implant or injection litigation);
- One suit in which several plaintiffs join and allege similar injuries arising out of different exposures (e.g., the asbestos litigation); and
- One or more suits brought by multiple plaintiffs alleging injuries as a result of a single event (e.g., a gas pipeline explosion or airplane crash).
Two of the most frequent mass tort claims are:
- Consumer product claims: Many plaintiffs might sue seeking compensation for injuries (or even deaths) caused by dangerous products; and
- Pharmaceutical claims: Medical products such as drugs both prescribed by a doctor and over-the-counter, although intended to help you, can be dangerous or deadly.
Procedurally, both class action and mass tort proceedings provide a more efficient means of navigating injured clients through the court system.
There are advantages and disadvantages to becoming part of a mass tort. Lundy LLP’s attorneys have vast experience in mass tort litigation and can help evaluate your claim to determine the best course of action for your particular issue.
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