What Is a Mass Tort?
A tort is a civil wrong. A mass tort is an omission or act that injures or harms multiple people. Examples of mass torts are dangerous drugs such as Zantac, which injure multiple people, defective medical devices such as Philips CPAP devices, which injure multiple people, and defective herbicides such as paraquat and Roundup, which injure multiple people.
Mass tort actions do not consist of single cases. Rather, they consist of groups of individual lawsuits which allege the same accusations against the same defendants. Mass tort actions often involve multidistrict litigation because of this.
Mass tort actions are used to seek financial compensation in circumstances where a class can’t be certified for a class-action lawsuit, or when it is more advantageous to file a mass tort action than a class-action lawsuit.
Mass tort actions also sometimes lead to mass tort class-action lawsuits where a complaint from someone representing the entire class is heard in a single lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Torts are civil wrongs that harm individuals. Mass tort lawsuits are filed by multiple individuals who have suffered similar harm because of the wrongful actions of another entity, usually a large corporation.
Multidistrict litigation, or MDL, is a legal proceeding that aims to reduce the burden on federal district courts, make litigation more convenient for all parties involved, and promote efficiency in the court system. MDLs consolidate many cases filed in many different locations into a single court for the sake of efficiency.
MDL cases happen when civil actions that involve one or more common questions of fact end up being filed in multiple districts.
Mass tort cases often end up being consolidated into MDLs. One notable example is MDL No. 875, which was created in 1991 to consolidate all asbestos and mesothelioma wrongful death and personal injury cases in federal courts. The MDL has seen over 100,000 cases transferred into it, settled, dismissed, or remanded.
Class-action lawsuits happen when those who represent the interests of many people file a claim against a defendant. The plaintiffs all have similar complaints and are looking for financial compensation for their injuries, typically against large companies.
Class-action plaintiffs, known as class representatives, represent a single group’s interests. The court deals with multiple class-action plaintiffs as a single entity instead of as individuals. Those affected by a class action have the choice to opt in or out and seek their own lawyers. Courts need to pass motions before groups can be represented by class representatives.
Class-action lawsuit outcomes apply to everyone the ruling applies to, so class-action lawsuits reduce the number of individual lawsuits for the same complaint. Compensation in class-action lawsuits can be very tiny, as courts often need to divide settlements between a lot of different people.
Mass tort actions can be very beneficial for plaintiffs because they can benefit from shared research. Lawsuits can be very expensive, especially the costs of collecting evidence to prove cases. However, mass tort plaintiffs in MDLs and class-action lawsuits end up benefiting from shared research.
Instead of each and every lawyer having to hire their own expensive experts to provide crucial evidence, lawyers in MDLs and class action lawsuits can use research generated by other plaintiffs’ experts as evidence instead.
In other words, the financial burden to prove a case in MDLs and class action lawsuits is shouldered by all plaintiffs rather than every individual plaintiff having to pay for their own evidence collection.
If you are eligible to file a mass tort lawsuit, you may end up being financially compensated for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, pain, suffering, and more.
You may be eligible to file a mass tort lawsuit if you or a loved one was physically or financially harmed by the wrongful actions of another entity, typically a large company. Nadrich & Cohen can provide you with a free consultation and give you advice on what the best steps are for you to take next.
You should contact a lawyer as quickly as possible if you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of a company. An experienced lawyer can let you know if filing a mass tort lawsuit is your best course of action given your situation.
Nadrich & Cohen has been successfully obtaining financial compensation for clients in mass tort lawsuits since 1990.
We routinely fight against large corporations such as drug companies, and our experienced, expert lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
We are contingency fee lawyers, meaning we do not charge a fee to represent mass tort clients until and unless we obtain financial compensation for them. To get a free consultation, call us, text us from this page, or fill out our online contact form.