Often when you hear about the class actions, you will also hear about mass torts or mass action. If you live in PA and were hurt because of a flawed product, defective drug or defective medical device, you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney in Pennsylvania who handles mass tort cases. Cases of mass tort arise when numerous litigants file individual lawsuits against a defendant for injuries arising out of the same incident or same defective product. You might be suffering damages for the similar reason as many others. If so, then your lawsuit might be a mass tort claim.
Types of Mass Tort Lawsuit
A mass tort lawsuit has several characteristics. It must 1) involve a claim from a large number of people, 2) arise from the same product or circumstance and 3) the underlying facts of every claim should be similar and complementary to one another. Some different types of mass tort lawsuits include:
→ Claims of toxic tort, regarding exposure to a dangerous chemical or substance
→ Claims of consumer products, regarding a dangerous items on the market which has harmed a large number of consumers
→ Claims about pharmaceutical, a dangerous drugs with deadly and undisclosed side effects
→ Man-made disaster claims which include building fires, plant explosions etc.
Mass torts are intended to address a large number of claims through the court system in a method that is effective and practical. The cases are often consolidated for the purposes of discovery but will have separate jury trials. A knowledgeable mass tort attorney can work to make a disastrous situation less painful by fighting for just compensation for all injured parties.
Why use a Mass Tort Claim Instead of a Class Action Claim?
Mass torts are frequently used when one of the necessary criteria for proceeding as a class action is not met. For instance, often a mass tort act is used when each litigant in the group has separate and distinct factual conditions that offset the common matters of fact and questions of law essential for proceeding as a class action. For instance, when claimants have sustained different degrees of injury from using the same defective device, their claims would be ripe for a mass tort lawsuit.
What to Expect from a Mass Tort Case
If you have been hurt in a way that is related to many other persons or by the same business misconduct, then you might have the right to file a claim that is part of a mass tort claim. The claims of mass tort can be filed at the state or federal level; however, several occur in federal court. The value of your case depends on the exact circumstances of your claim and resulting injury. You should speak with a qualified mass tort attorney about whether your condition is part of a mass tort and whether you have a state or federal claim.
Your attorney can help you evaluate your specific legal circumstances which may affect the claim, including:
→ How many litigants are involved
→ Where the litigant’s live
→ If the litigants have undergone similar injuries
→ Whether the claims arise from the same situations
→ Where the offenders are incorporated or do business
In some cases, your mass tort case might become part of multidistrict litigation (MDL) if the central courts decide it is suitable to unite the mass tort cases. MDL is an exceptional legal process used to handle a large amount of multifaceted cases as competently as possible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors at the Wieand Law Firm for their insight into mass torts.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.