What is the difference between class actions and mass torts?

In mass torts and class actions, harmed individuals come together to pursue compensation. Class actions typically represent many plaintiffs with similar injuries and damages. Individuals have little or no input in the case, and compensation is shared equally between the class members.

On the other hand, mass torts can be similar to personal injury lawsuits. While they also involve a group of individuals suing the same defendant, plaintiffs are treated as individuals rather than a class in mass torts. Each individual can decide whether to accept a settlement offer or refuse it.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a defective product or drug, you could potentially participate in a mass tort or class action lawsuit and recover damages. 

Morgan & Morgan can identify your legal options and proceed with a claim on your behalf. Contact us now for a free case review to discover your next best steps.

More answers to commonly asked questions

Both class action and mass torts offer injured victims the chance to hold the liable party to account and recover compensation. Although mass torts and class actions are similar in many ways, they have some crucial differences that individuals seeking justice must consider.

What Is a Mass Tort?

Mass torts typically arise when a wrongful or negligent action by a specific entity, such as a business or corporation, causes injury to several individuals. Mass torts usually deal with defective product claims, such as dangerous medications, defective medical devices, and faulty vehicles. The victims come together and file a mass tort lawsuit to hold the defendant to account and recover compensation.

The Benefits of Mass Torts

The main advantage of a mass tort over a class action lawsuit is that each plaintiff has the power to decide whether to accept or refuse a settlement offer. Plaintiffs can pursue fair damages for their individual losses, which could vary among others involved in the litigation. Other benefits of mass torts can include:

  • They are generally more efficient than individual personal injury lawsuits.
  • Plaintiffs with varying damages and injuries can come together in a mass tort.
  • Attorneys can pool their resources, helping to save costs.
  • If the mass tort is unsuccessful, plaintiffs can litigate their individual personal injury claims using the evidence gathered for the mass tort.

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit differs from a mass tort in that the lead plaintiff and attorney handle the entire claim from start to finish on behalf of the “class” (all other plaintiffs). Most plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit suffered identical or similar injuries. With advice from the attorney, the lead plaintiff decides when to refuse or accept a settlement offer.

The most critical difference between a class action and a mass tort is that the class receives a lump sum. The settlement is divided equally among the plaintiffs after legal expenses and lawyer’s fees are deducted. In other words, every injured person receives the same amount regardless of their individual damages and financial losses. Therefore, plaintiffs who suffered more severe injuries and higher financial losses than others are typically disadvantaged in class-action lawsuits.

The Benefits of Class Action Lawsuits

One of the main benefits of class actions is that individual class plaintiffs have to do nothing but opt into the lawsuit to receive damages. They simply wait for the case's outcome. The lead plaintiff and attorney do all the necessary work, including preparing paperwork, attending hearings, and other tasks required for pursuing the claim.

Mass torts and class actions can be excellent tools for getting justice when many individuals are injured by the same defective product or drug. However, injuries and damages from defective products can differ widely. If the plaintiffs’ circumstances are too different to qualify them for a class action lawsuit, they could consider mass tort action.

Mass tort lawsuits can be much more complex and lengthy than class actions and follow different legal procedures. Knowing whether you qualify for a class action or mass tort claim can be challenging. However, Morgan & Morgan has your back. Our experienced attorneys have handled many mass tort and class action claims involving defective products and dangerous drugs. We want you to have the best chance of recovering what you deserve and can help you move forward with your claim.

If you may have a class action or mass tort claim, you could have America’s largest personal injury firm by your side, fighting for what you deserve. Our results speak for themselves. In more than three decades of fighting for the people, we have recovered over $20 billion in damages.

We Stand up to Powerful Corporate Giants

Size matters in class action and mass tort claims, as large companies have unlimited resources and teams of lawyers to fight the claims of injured individuals. Morgan & Morgan has the resources to handle complex, lengthy, and costly claims.
When powerful corporations neglect the health and safety of consumers, our experienced and tenacious attorneys are eager to hold them accountable.

We Can Determine All Your Options for Getting Justice

We can examine your claim and circumstances in detail and determine the advantages and disadvantages of your legal options, including class action and mass tort lawsuits. You may also be entitled to file an individual personal injury claim against the defendant and pursue specific damages.

Get Started Today

Morgan & Morgan’s dedicated class action and mass tort attorneys could help you get the compensation you deserve. We never settle for less and fight vigorously for maximum compensation, whether in a mass tort, class action, or individual personal injury lawsuit. Contact us now to discover your options in a free consultation.