If a manufacturer is creating defective products that cause injury, a product liability mass tort claim can be initiated to hold the manufacturer responsible for any damage its products cause to consumers.
What Is a Mass Tort?
In a mass tort claim, a lawsuit is brought on behalf of a large group of people who were injured by a product. Many people are familiar with a class action lawsuit, but may not be familiar with mass tort claims.
A class action lawsuit is typically one single lawsuit against a common defendant, while a mass tort is a group of individual claims against a single defendant. This can be more appropriate for product liability cases where each victim suffers different injuries or damages.
The Indiana Products Liability Act (PLA) applies to all actions or lawsuits:
- Brought by a user or consumer
- Against a manufacturer or seller
- For physical harm caused by a product
What Do I Need to Prove in a Products Liability Lawsuit?
The mass tort must prove several elements to establish a manufacturer is liable for the defendants’ injuries. In order to prove that a product is defective, and establish that the manufacturer or seller is liable for damage caused by the product, the claim must show that the:
- Product was defective and/or unreasonably dangerous
- Product was defective at the time it left the control of the manufacturer or seller
- The defective condition of the product was the actual cause of the victim’s injuries
How Do I Know If a Product Is Defective?
Under the PLA, a product is considered defective for three reasons:
- Manufacturing Defects: Something went wrong in the manufacturing process, and a normally safe product was created in a manner that made it unsafe.
- Design Defects: The product was designed in such a way that it would be unsafe regardless of how it was manufactured.
- Marketing Defects: The seller or manufacturer failed to warn consumers of the possible dangers associated with the use of its product.
According to Indiana Code Section 34-20-2-1, a seller or manufacturer will be strictly liable for the damage caused by its product if that product was sold to the seller’s intended consumer and the:
- Seller should have known that it could harm that consumer
- Product is regularly sold by the seller
- Product reaches its buyer without any substantial alterations
How Do I Join a Products Liability Mass Tort Lawsuit?
If you have been injured by a defective product, it is likely that other consumers around the country may have also been injured by the same product. A knowledgeable attorney can analyze existing lawsuits, or research similar claims and determine if your case can become part of a larger tort.
The attorneys at Hensley Legal Group handle products liability claims, and can advise you on the possibility of joining a mass tort lawsuit. If you have been injured by a product, call Hensley Legal Group, PC at (317) 472-3333 to speak with an attorney about your injury.