A mass tort case is a type of legal action taken against a defendant or company that has caused harm to a large group of people. Mass tort claims typically occur when a company produces or uses a dangerous product or medication that causes harm to multiple consumers. While similar to class action lawsuits in that it involves a group of plaintiffs, there are key differences that set these types of cases apart.
Parties Involved in Mass Tort Claims
When a mass tort claim begins, it may start with a single attorney or law firm and a small group of injured parties. These parties become the plaintiff and are known as the class. Once it is determined that there may be more plaintiffs to add to the class, the attorneys will seek out others who were injured by the same defendant.
Several attorneys or law firms may begin a mass tort against the same defendant. Further, mass tort claims are able to seek out individual damages for each client in the class because these cases are essentially a group of individual cases against a common defendant. Class actions seek a lump settlement that is later distributed among the members of the class.
Why Mass Torts Are Better Suited for Personal Injury
In cases where a dangerous drug or defective product causes injury to several people, the degree of damages will differ from victim to victim. No two people will suffer the same injury, even if they used the same product. Therefore, the value of their damages also will differ.
A mass tort claim will allow the plaintiff (victim) to seek compensation related to his or her actual damages, rather than accepting whatever portion of the shared settlement a class action claim would give him or her.
So if one client paid significant medical bills from an injury related to a defective product, but another client paid only minimal hospital bills, then the former can recover more equitable compensation. In a class action suit, both parties may recover similar awards when their damages and expenses are not at all similar.
Further, if the claim involves multiple attorneys, they may share details of their investigations with each other. This can ensure each individual case benefits from all available information to build a solid case.
Let Us Help You Decide if You May Be Part of a Mass Tort
If you were injured by a defective product or dangerous drug, your case may be eligible for inclusion in a mass tort case. Whether there’s already a mass tort in progress related to your situation or you are the first claimant to alert us to a potential mass tort action, Hensley Legal Group is here to help.