Practice Areas: Mass Tort Litigation
When a large number of people are injured in the same way by a product or other factors, mass tort litigation is used to sue the defendant in a large group rather than on an individual basis. A mass tort is a civil action involving several plaintiffs against one or more defendants in state or federal court.
The main categories of mass torts include:
Mass torts can be brought in state or federal courts. This type of litigation gets its name due to the number of litigants, and also because of how the plaintiffs’ attorneys use mass media to discover more people who have been hurt by the corporation. For a lawsuit to be a mass tort, a product must have harmed many people, the same defendant caused those people harm, and they consolidate the suit into one action rather than separate lawsuits.
How are mass torts different than any other type of litigation?
There are three main factors that set mass torts apart from other personal injury lawsuits.
1. They are volumes of claims against a single device or product.
2. Though there are many plaintiffs, the underlying facts from plaintiff to plaintiff are similar if not the same.
3. The differing claims in mass torts will mutually rely on each other – each claim is a building block of the case.
Advances in technology, particularly production and distribution, are part of the reason why mass torts have become necessary in the legal arena. Because of large production and distribution, large numbers of people can be affected by a single product. Mass Tort lawsuits are typically more complicated than traditional class action lawsuits because the way they are structured does not necessarily follow standard predictable legal procedure. Because of the multitude of claims that are brought during the suit, it can be difficult to determine settlements and compensation.