What is a Mass Tort?
A mass tort is civil litigation involving a large number of victims suing the same corporate defendant(s) over injuries (or even deaths) caused by the defendant’s negligence. In most mass tort cases, plaintiffs are suing over harm caused by a single common product such as a defective drug, medical device or other consumer product.
Mass torts usually begin when numerous lawsuits have been filed against a company alleging that their product caused the same or similar injuries. If the court determines that the lawsuits have enough in common to proceed as a mass tort, they will be moved to the same court and assigned to a single judge. This centralization of cases is known as a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
The U.S. court system uses mass tort litigation to manage a large number of similar lawsuits in order to increase efficiency, decrease litigation costs, and resolve cases quickly.
What is Multidistrict Litigation?
A multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a legal procedure in which multiple lawsuits from across the country in different state and federal courts are transferred to a single federal court before a single judge. MDL is often synonymous with the term “mass tort.”
What are the Advantages of Joining a Mass Tort?
- Plaintiffs can share in discovery (or evidence) gathered in pre-trial proceedings. Mass tort litigation allows one attorney or groups of attorneys to represent the injured parties in their own individual lawsuits. Any evidence, resources or other information gathered in pre-trial investigation is then pooled and shared among the plaintiffs. This serves two benefits: (1) It speeds up the litigation process, and (2) It ensures that all individuals receive fair settlements for their injuries.
- Plaintiffs have the opportunity to receive larger settlement payouts. Mass tort settlements are awarded based on the plaintiff’s individual injuries. The more harm or injury you suffered, the higher your settlement award will be in order to fairly compensate for your medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income, and more.
What Types of Lawsuits Qualify as Mass Torts?
Mass tort litigation typically involves three types of lawsuits:
- Consumer product claims seeking compensation for injuries caused by a defective or dangerous product.
- Pharmaceutical claims seeking compensation for injuries caused by defective or dangerous drug or medicine.
- Medical device claims seeking compensation for injuries caused by a defective or dangerous medical device.
Contact Chhabra Gibbs & Herrington PLLC today if you or your loved one need assistance in a Mass Tort or Class Action Lawsuit.
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