In a mass tort case, many injured individuals come together to sue a careless or reckless company for damages. If a defective product or drug hurt you or a loved one, we could offer comprehensive mass tort support and hold a corporation accountable for its failures. In a mass tort, you could qualify for damages such as loss of wages, healthcare costs, pain and suffering, and others.
Morgan & Morgan understands that every person’s story is unique and deserves personal attention. Our attorneys and legal teams take their time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. If you have been affected by a company’s wrongdoing, get free legal advice today. Call us now on (888) 893-6949 or fill in our online form for free advice.
What Is a Mass Tort?
The word “tort” describes a wrongful act causing harm. Torts can be accidental or intentional. Victims injured by a tort generally have legal recourse and could file a lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries and losses. Most mass torts are filed at the federal level.
A mass tort can arise when a wrongful action or negligence causes harm to many individuals who all have a claim against one defendant, often a business or corporation.
Mass torts often deal with dangerous medications, faulty medical devices, and other defective products. A mass tort can arise, for example, when many hundreds or even thousands of individuals get hurt by the same prescription drug.
The Most Common Types of Mass Torts
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), mass torts can deal with various cases, ranging from airplane accidents to asbestos claims. However, some of the more common mass torts we see include:
Almost all of us rely on over-the-counter or prescription drugs, whether for a temporary or permanent health condition. Modern medications extend lives and can cure many potentially deadly diseases. However, if an unscrupulous drug manufacturer puts profits before the health and well-being of patients, individuals could face devastating and even life-threatening consequences. Since a defective drug can have detrimental effects on numerous individuals, harmful drugs often give rise to mass torts.
If you or a loved one suffered devastating side effects from a medication, leaving you hospitalized or even permanently injured, get in touch with us. There could be many other patients who took the drug and suffered from the same problems. Our mass tort case lawyers can help you understand your rights and move forward with a lawsuit, if applicable.
Exposure to Toxic Substances
Exposure to toxic substances frequently leads to mass torts. If many individuals develop an illness or injury due to exposure to a toxic chemical or substance, such as asbestos, mass tort claims could arise.
Individuals can be exposed to harmful substances while at work or in their own homes. Dangerous drugs or defective products can also potentially expose consumers to dangerous toxic substances.
Defective products, such as medical devices and others, are common subjects of mass torts. Product manufacturers are responsible for making their products reasonably safe for consumers and provide adequate instructions and warnings. If a manufacturer neglects safety, injured consumers can potentially hold them to account for damages. Manufacturers and other parties could be responsible for:
- Defects occurring during manufacture
- The defective design of a product
- Failure to provide adequate instructions or warnings
Many mass torts arise from defective medical devices such as faulty hip joints, pacemakers, IUDs, knee replacements, and others. Since some medical devices are implanted into the body, injured individuals can suffer great harm and high financial losses from a defective medical device.
Catastrophes and Natural Disasters
Mass torts can also arise after man-made disasters like fires in apartment complexes or explosions at manufacturing plants. Such events can harm hundreds of people simultaneously, giving cause to sue the responsible party for damages. Although victims may not suffer the same injuries, the harm occurred due to the same event, allowing individuals to come together for filing a mass tort.
Natural disasters such as a hurricane, tornado, or substantial flooding can devastate entire cities and potentially affect thousands of individuals. While nobody is responsible for causing a natural disaster, mass torts could be filed against insurance companies refusing adequate payouts for policyholders.
The Benefits of Mass Torts
A mass tort can be an efficient way to sue as all cases are heard in a single court rather than as individual lawsuits in different courts around the country. Other benefits for plaintiffs include:
- Plaintiffs’ attorneys can coordinate and pool their resources
- Mass torts create publicity allowing more plaintiffs to come forward, strengthening the case
- Strength in numbers with many plaintiffs suffering injury and harm from a single event, drug, or device
- Even if the mass tort fails to settle, plaintiffs can use the evidence gathered to litigate their individual cases
- Mass torts can be faster than individual lawsuits
The cons of a mass tort mainly affect the defendants as they could have to contend with significant negative publicity from a high-profile mass tort. Moreover, a mass tort is generally faster than regular litigation, which works to the defendant’s disadvantage. Large corporations with unlimited resources often try to prolong lawsuits indefinitely, hoping that plaintiffs and their attorneys run out of money. However, with a mass tort, this is unlikely.
The Differences Between Mass Torts and Class-Action Lawsuits
Mass torts and class-actions both involve a group of plaintiffs harmed similarly by one defendant. However, there are some profound differences between the two.
In a class-action lawsuit, the lead plaintiff and attorney usually handle the case on behalf of all other plaintiffs. Plaintiffs in a class action are considered as one collective entity, the “class”. Those within the class have been harmed in the same way and suffered similar injuries or losses.
Importantly, if a class-action lawsuit is won, the responsible party typically pays a lump sum to the class. This settlement is then divided among the plaintiffs. Every person receives the same amount of compensation without considering their actual damages. Therefore, those who suffered bigger losses may not recover a fair settlement and could be disadvantaged in class-action lawsuits.
Mass Tort Lawsuits
While mass tort plaintiffs also come together in a group to sue the defendant, each individual has a distinct claim. Members of the group are treated separately. Moreover, each plaintiff can make their own decision on whether to accept a settlement or refuse the offer. Since each claim is treated as an individual personal injury case with a mass tort, victims can pursue fair and adequate damages for their individual losses.
Compensation Available in Mass Torts
To recover compensation in a mass tort, plaintiffs must prove that they used the drug or device in question and show evidence for their resulting injuries and losses. Depending on your damages, you could potentially pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
You could also receive other damages depending on the nature and scope of your injury, your age, and other case facts.
Finding Mass Tort Support and Help
If you believe that you have a mass tort case, your best bet is to work with an experienced and powerful law firm with the resources to handle such complex, costly, and potentially time-consuming cases.
Why Choose Morgan & Morgan to Handle Your Case?
Morgan & Morgan has defended the rights of the injured for decades, including with mass tort litigation.
We Have the Resources to Fight Powerful Businesses and Global Giants
Morgan & Morgan’s mass tort attorneys do not shy away from challenging or tough cases. On the contrary, when global corporations try to use their power, wealth, and resources to squash a case, we are determined to fight even harder for the rights of innocent injured victims.
Size, experience, and manpower matter in mass torts. Morgan & Morgan has hundreds of attorneys and thousands of legal team members available who can handle a variety of practice areas. Our teams include experienced mass tort and MDL attorneys, investigators, expert witnesses, and support staff.
We Can Determine Whether an Individual Lawsuit or Mass Tort Is Beneficial for You
Every individual’s circumstances are unique. Therefore, especially if you suffered more extensive damages than the average plaintiff in the mass tort, you could file a separate case from an ongoing mass tort. An individual lawsuit can have advantages as you could seek specific damages.
However, individual action can also have drawbacks. While it is generally up to you to decide which method of legal action to pursue, an experienced mass tort lawyer from our firm can advise you comprehensively after assessing your individual case and circumstances.
Examples of Mass Torts We Handle
Morgan & Morgan is actively involved in evaluating and litigating various mass tort cases, including but not limited to:
- Defective 3M earplugs
- Prescription drugs Elmiron, Zantac, Valsartan, Belviq, and others
- JUUL addiction
- Talcum powder
- DePuy hip replacements
- Clergy sex abuse
- Hernia mesh
- Monsanto Roundup
How Morgan & Morgan Could Help You
Morgan & Morgan’s experienced mass tort attorneys can help individuals seeking to hold a drug maker, medical device manufacturer, or other corporation accountable. We can:
- Analyze your medical reports to prove a link to the defective drug or product
- Hire respected medical expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Complete the necessary paperwork and formalities to file your lawsuit
- Present your case strongly at court
- Fight for your rights on a no-win-no-fee basis
What is more, when we take your case, you are represented by America’s largest personal injury firm with 24/7 access to our legal teams. Our determined attorneys have helped to secure more than $15 billion in damages for the injured over the last three decades. We never settle for less and always fight for the best possible outcome for you, whether in an individual lawsuit or mass tort.