Mass tort litigation enables a group of wronged individuals who suffered damages – usually consumers – to hold a company or organization liable for their harms simultaneously. Instead of bogging down the court system with hundreds or thousands of personal injury lawsuits against a single defendant, all injured parties seek recovery in a single action called a “mass tort.” To speed up the process and keep costs low, lawyers complete common work in one court.
What are some common types of mass torts?
In many mass torts, the defendants are consumer product, medical device, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. A few common examples of products that are the subject of mass torts are:
- Knee and hip implants
- Auto parts
- Baby items
- Household products
- Vaginal mesh
When a company puts a product on the market that is defective in design, defective in manufacturing, or without adequate warning labels or instructions, consumers can seek recovery for their losses by filing personal injury claims, which the courts may combine into a mass tort.
How do courts award damages in mass tort settlements?
Many people wrongly assume that mass torts are the same as class actions. However, whereas in a class action one plaintiff recovers compensation on behalf of the class (which may divide the settlement evenly regardless of their degree of loss), a mass tort allows each injured claimant to seek recovery for her individual damages.
The mass tort considers each plaintiff in the case an individual, rather than looking at the class as one single plaintiff. Still, the plaintiffs’ lawyers may organize together and share their ideas and evidence to collectively build a case against the common defendant.
Mass torts may be more appropriate than class actions if there are stark differences in the circumstances surrounding each case. Some claimants may only have minimal injuries and losses, while others may have serious or catastrophic injuries, for example. A mass tort enables each party to recover damages accordingly.
There are many losses and expenses for which you can seek compensation in a mass tort.
- Medical bills (both current and future)
- Transportation expenses related to the injury
- Lost wages and disability
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and other emotional damages
Work with your attorney to identify all of the damages that you suffered so you recover fair compensation.
Work with a Mass Tort Lawyer to Pursue Your Legal Action
It is exceptionally hard to go to legal battle against Big Pharma or mega corporations, which employ a team of legal experts to fight their cases. Talk to a lawyer who works with mass tort clients to discuss whether you have a valid case.
For help locating a local attorney who handles personal injury and mass tort cases, use the Primerus Find a Lawyer feature.