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Mass Tort

By
James Parker
/
May 28, 2023

What is a Mass Tort?

A mass tort refers to a civil action in which a large number of individuals file a lawsuit due to harm or injury caused by a common product, activity or event. Mass tort cases typically arise when multiple consumers suffer harm from certain products, making it impractical to handle each case separately. In order to ensure a fair and efficient legal process for affected individuals, these cases are consolidated against the responsible corporations. Mass tort lawyers are essential in helping people who have been harmed by products. They have a dual role: helping individuals claim compensation when they are harmed or wronged, and ensuring justice is served in cases where product-related fatalities occur.

Key Takeaways

  • Mass tort cases occur when a large number of individuals sue one or more defendants due to harm or injury caused by a common product, activity, or event.
  • The main goal of mass torts is to provide a legal means for individuals to seek compensation for their injuries or deaths while holding the responsible parties accountable.
  • Mass torts can stem from various incidents such as dangerous products, contamination, and large-scale catastrophes.

Mass Tort vs. Class Action

It is crucial to differentiate between mass tort cases and class action cases. Class action claims allow one of more plaintiffs to file and carry out a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group (known as a “class.”) The outcome of the case typically applies to all members of the class. 

In mass tort suits, even though plaintiffs are part of a large group, each claim is brought individually and settlements are generally reached on a case-by-case basis. Mass tort cases usually consist of a smaller group of injured individuals than a class action suit.

Common Types of Mass Tort Cases

Mass torts encompasses a wide range of cases, including but not limited to:

  • Dangerous Products: Product liability is one of the most common subjects of mass tort claims. These cases arise when a defective or dangerous product causes harm to a large number of individuals. In general, there are three main types of product liability mass torts: manufacturing defects, design defects and failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions. 
  • Environmental Contamination: These situations occur when environmental contamination, like pollution or chemical spills, cause substantial harm to a number of people living in the affected area. This may arise as a result of improper toxic waste disposal or water contamination. 
  • Prescription Drug Injuries: When a pharmaceutical product or medication causes adverse injuries or harm to a large number of patients, a mass tort claim may be filed. In these cases, numerous individuals may come forward with claims that they have suffered severe reactions or health complications due to the use of a specific medication.
  • Large-Scale Catastrophes: Large disasters such as fires, explosions, building collapses or transportation disasters can cause injuries to hundreds of people. In these cases, although each victim may suffer different injuries, a mass tort may be filed since the same entity is typically at fault for the disaster. 

Bottom Line

If you believe you have been harmed by a product, medication or event that has injured numerous individuals, it is critical to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Your torts lawyer can help you understand your rights, explore your options, and decide on the next best steps for your case. Search Attorney At Law today for a top-tier tort lawyer.

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Featured Mass Tort Lawyers

Doug Cloud Law, Attorney at Law

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32 years in practice
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Issa Law, LLC

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