Understanding Mass Tort Litigation
You’ve likely heard of class action lawsuits. But are you familiar with mass tort litigation?
When widely distributed products are defective or don’t work properly, they can potentially cause damage to a large group of people. The victims of those faulty products can file individual lawsuits against the negligent manufacturer. When many people are affected at once, there is likely a better option.
Class action lawsuits have specific regulations that may exclude some affected people from joining. Mass tort is similar to class action, with a few significant procedural differences.
What is Mass Tort?
A “tort” is a civil wrong that causes damage or loss to another individual. In a tort case, the injured party files a lawsuit against the at-fault party, seeking compensation based on the damage that resulted from the at-fault party’s actions. A mass tort lawsuit is simply a tort lawsuit where multiple plaintiffs file a single claim against a negligent company.
Mass Torts vs. Class Action Lawsuits
While both class action and mass tort lawsuits unify a group of victims to hold a negligent company accountable, there are some key differences between the two. With a class action lawsuit, each of the plaintiffs must be seeking compensation for very similar damages. That means if some individuals were damaged differently than the majority of the group, those with different damages would be excluded from the class action lawsuit.
In a class action lawsuit, restitution is generally distributed evenly among all plaintiffs. Except for some limited instances, every victim receives the same amount.
With a mass tort lawsuit, each victim is an individual who can seek compensation based on their individual damage. For example, if a faulty product caused severe injury for one victim and only minor injury for another, each party is entitled to different compensation.
Different Types of Mass Tort Lawsuits
Product Liability Torts
If consumers are harmed after using a product in the way that the manufacturer intended for it to be used, the victims can unite over a product liability tort to seek compensation for their injuries.
Mass Disaster Torts
Man-made accidents and other large-scale catastrophes can cause widespread harm to people and property. Examples would include oil spills or train derailments. In these types of instances, mass disaster torts are often filed.
Mass Toxic Torts
When a group of people suffer injuries as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals or substances like lead-based paint, pesticides, asbestos and industrial chemicals, a mass toxic tort may be an avenue to victim compensation.
Contact the Gorny Law Firm
If you’ve been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, you deserve fair compensation. It could be that other people are in the same situation as you. You may be eligible to join a mass tort lawsuit.
For a free consultation, call 816-756-5071.