If you are one of many individuals who suffered an injury at the hands of a negligent business entity, pursuing a mass tort claim might make sense in your situation. A mass tort is different from a standard personal injury lawsuit as it involves many plaintiffs suing a defendant over a similar incident.
If you are considering a mass tort case, you can seek legal counsel that understands what you will be facing. These cases are complex and can be difficult to manage. Before you get started with your case, retain a California mass torts lawyer.
Understanding Mass Tort Cases and How They Work
Unsure what a mass tort is? A mass tort action is not a typical personal injury lawsuit. Instead, these cases involve a large number of plaintiffs pursuing legal action against the same defendant or group of defendants. These cases are not limited to a specific type of fact pattern. They could include anything from a toxic spill to a wildfire disaster.
Because these types of lawsuits are different from standard negligence cases, guidance from an attorney with experience in mass torts can be beneficial. This experience could pay dividends with understanding what to expect from the process or discussing the possibility of a settlement.
What Resolving Mass Tort Cases Involves
Many cases can be filed against a single defendant and take place at once. However, most mass tort cases are resolved in other ways. Some are combined into something known as multidistrict litigation. Others are included in class action lawsuits. It is helpful to understand these legal options when considering a mass tort case.
Multidistrict litigation, which is commonly known as MDL, involves combining numerous federal lawsuits across the country into a single legal proceeding. The purpose of MDL is to reduce the burden of hundreds or even thousands of lawsuits spread across district courts throughout the country.
MDL is possible when multiple cases share common factual issues. These cases do not have to be identical, but they often involve injuries stemming from the same cause or incident. These cases are consolidated in a single jurisdiction, but each case remains independent of each other.
Class Action Lawsuits
Class actions are similar to MDL in that they involve combining multiple claims. However, this option involves actually consolidating these claims in a single lawsuit. This goes beyond simply bundling them in the same court, like with MDL.
Class action lawsuits are a single proceeding representing many plaintiffs’ interests. Because these cases are so large, every plaintiff can’t have control over the case. For that reason, class representatives from the pool of plaintiffs will represent the group’s interests.
Class actions are designed to cover all potential plaintiffs in a mass tort case. However, not every plaintiff will necessarily be involved. You can opt out of the class action and retain your right to file your own lawsuit. Your lawyer can explain the difference and how your case would be classified as either a mass tort or class action case.
Common Types of Mass Tort Cases Our Firm Sees
Mass tort cases cover a wide range of situations. Some mass torts result in debilitating injuries, while others can lead to severe illnesses or medical conditions. Some of the most common types of mass tort cases include:
When defective products hurt you, the same product is likely to cause harm to other people as well. When these defects are widespread, countless other injury victims might exist. It makes sense to pursue these cases together.
Medical Device Injuries
Defective medical devices frequently result in serious injuries or illnesses. These devices could include anything from pacemakers to prosthetic limbs. In any case, an attorney could advise you if joining a mass tort action could help you get the compensation you need.
When companies are responsible for spilled or leaked toxic substances, countless people could be impacted. In some cases, it can take years for regulators to recognize that toxic exposure is the cause of widespread illness. Over time, many plaintiffs could develop illnesses due to this toxic exposure. Each of them could have a viable case for a mass tort claim.
Prescription Drug Injuries
Just like with defective consumer products, defects in prescription drugs could also serve as the basis for a mass tort case. Prescription drugs inherently come with side effects, but some can be unreasonably dangerous. When this is the case, financial compensation could be available. Often, the failure to adequately test drugs before releasing them to the public is the blame for these issues.
Compensation in a Mass Tort Case You Could Recover in California
Mass tort cases are functionally different from a typical personal injury lawsuit. That said, the compensation resulting from these cases is the same. Ultimately, a mass tort case is a type of injury case. That means a successful lawsuit could address every aspect of your illness or injury caused by the defendant. These damages could include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Diminished future earning power
- Pain and suffering
Our team of attorneys could investigate the extent of your injuries to determine the compensation you might be entitled to recover. While it is impossible to guarantee a favorable outcome in your case, we could help you understand what damages might be possible.
Let Our Attorneys Advise You on Mass Tort Claims
Mass tort cases are a major undertaking you might not want to attempt alone. There are risks associated with joining an MDL or signing up for a class action lawsuit without first speaking to your attorney. By attempting to handle your case on your own, you are only putting your case at risk.
Our mass tort lawyers could be your best option for recovering compensation for your injuries. Our team serving California understands what is at stake, and we are ready to act. Reach out to Nadrich & Cohen today for your free consultation.