What Damages Are Available in Mass Torts?
Mass torts, like standard personal injury cases, allow you to recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, ambulance costs, medical equipment costs, transportation to and from medical appointments, and caregiver costs, among others. On the other hand, non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental distress, and others.
Are Mass Torts the Same as Class Action Lawsuits?
Mass torts and class action lawsuits share a lot of similarities. However, there is a major difference. In mass torts, each plaintiff is treated differently. On the other hand, in class action lawsuits, all members of the class (plaintiffs) are treated the same and represented by the lead plaintiff.
To put things into perspective, in mass torts, plaintiffs usually have unique injuries caused by the defendant’s negligence. But in a class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs tend to share the same kind of injuries.
It is also important to note that mass torts usually include fewer members than class action lawsuits. In addition, a mass tort is usually preferred when several people have been injured by a common defendant but do not meet the requirements to file a class action lawsuit.
What Are Some Unique Characteristics of Mass Torts?
To further understand how mass torts work, let’s explore some of their unique characteristics. In a mass tort, a large number of claims originate from a single product or behavior of the defendant.
In addition, all of the claims have factual and legal issues in common. In other words, the plaintiffs have the same grievances against the defendant.
That said, the plaintiffs in a mass tort also share a common goal, usually to obtain compensation for their damages. Lastly, each plaintiff has their own individual case, which is the opposite of class action lawsuits.
What Are Some Types of Mass Torts?
Some common types of mass torts include:
Dangerous products: Also known as product liability mass torts, these cases involve plaintiffs suing a product manufacturer, advertiser, distributor, or any other party involved in handling the product. Dangerous product mass torts also fall into three sub-subcategories: manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn.
Catastrophes: Individuals injured in large-scale disasters may be able to file mass tort cases against the party responsible for their injuries. Examples of these catastrophes include fires, explosions at factories, etc.
Exposure to harmful substances: When a large group of people gets injured due to exposure to dangerous substances, such as chemicals at a manufacturing plant or asbestos at an apartment complex, they may be able to file a mass tort under this category.
Defective medication and medical equipment: Mass torts might also be the best option to approach a case involving defective products and medical equipment. For example, certain knee replacements have been recalled due to their defective nature. If you or your loved one has been injured by defective medication or medical equipment, you may be involved in a mass tort with other individuals who have been injured by the same product or medicine.
Natural disasters: Although natural disasters occur due to forces of nature, certain parties may be held responsible if they fail to act responsibly. For example, insurance companies that refuse to process valid claims after such disasters might be subjected to a lawsuit by various policyholders.
A Mass Tort or Class Action Lawsuit—What Should I Opt for?
It all depends on the specifics of your case. For instance, none of the two options might suit your case. Instead, you may need to file an individual personal injury claim to increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome and maximizing your claim. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to find out more about your legal options.
At Morgan and Morgan, we will review your case for free and recommend the best way to approach it if it is valid. The best part is that we have different kinds of personal injury attorneys, over 800 to be precise, ready to fight for you. So if we decide that a mass tort is the best way you approach your case, we will assign an experienced mass tort lawyer to handle it.
On the other hand, if a class action lawsuit is the better option, we have competent attorneys to handle such cases. Lastly, if filing an individual claim is the best way forward, that should not be a problem for our attorneys. Whether you would like to file a defective product claim or something as complex as medical malpractice, we can never run out of attorneys to represent you in and out of court.
Contact Morgan and Morgan for a Free Case Evaluation
If you or your loved one is unsure of how to proceed with filing a lawsuit against a negligent party, you do not need to overthink. Contacting Morgan and Morgan is the best thing to do if you find yourself in such a situation.
If you have a valid claim, we might be able to fight for you. You do not need to worry about any upfront payments either. We charge our clients a contingency fee. Therefore, if we do not win, you do not pay us anything.
Ready to get started with your claim? Fill out our free case evaluation form. One of our legal representatives will get in touch with you as soon as possible to discuss your options.