It is a simple fact at some point during your life, you may suffer an injury that is another person’s fault. While this can be the result of an intentional act, such as an assault or kidnapping, most tort cases arise from accidents. However, just because a person does not mean to cause harm to another does not mean that they are not legally liable.
Most torts are pursued by individual plaintiffs on an individual basis. For example, if two people are injured in a car accident, they would usually both file separate lawsuits against the at-fault driver. However, there are specific circumstances under which plaintiffs in a case can band together to simplify their claims. This typically occurs when several plaintiffs have similar claims against a single defendant.
A mass torts lawyer could help people who have suffered similar injuries from a single defendant to pursue their cases in court. Especially in cases involving unintended side effects from prescription drugs, a mass torts lawyer could help injured people obtain the compensation that they deserve.
Mass torts carry several significant advantages depending on the circumstances. First, they allow people to pool their resources. Oftentimes, a mass tort case is filed against large corporations such as pharmaceutical manufacturers or oil companies. These companies may have engaged in behavior that injured thousands of people, but each in their own distinct way. A mass tort allows these people to consolidate their individual grievances into a single case they and their lawyers can work together on.
Second, a mass tort combines what would otherwise be hundreds or thousands of lawsuits into a single suit. This places all the cases in the hands of a single judge and a single courthouse, which in turn keeps rulings consistent and allows plaintiffs to share evidence.
Finally, a mass tort simplifies the litigation phase of the case by allowing witnesses to only testify or submit themselves to deposition once. This single instance can serve for the benefit of all plaintiffs.
Class action lawsuits and mass torts are very similar, as they both involve multiple plaintiffs and a single defendant, as well as a common act that led to an injury. However, there are key distinctions that people need to be made aware of.
The most important distinction is that mass torts keep all the plaintiffs’ cases separate. This can create specific fact patterns that can help an individual plaintiff’s case. Conversely, a class action uses a single representative plaintiff to speak for all the claimants. Therefore, if one person has a unique set of circumstances that led to them filing suit, a mass tort case could give them a better chance at having a strong impact on a jury.
In addition, class actions require all plaintiffs to have identical fact patterns and injuries that lump them into a class. For example, all people who were fired by a corporation because of their gender may file a class action suit since they had the same injuries.
These criteria must fit the requirements provided in Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. By contrast, mass torts allow people to maintain their individuality while banding together to pool resources. This can apply to both the compensation that they seek and the circumstances that led to them filing suit.
If you are one of many injured by the actions of a corporation, you do not need to face that company alone. When the actions of a company have injured many people in a similar way, these plaintiffs may group together to file a mass tort, allowing them to share resources and confront large corporations from a position of collective strength.
A mass torts lawyer could help you initiate this process or join in on an existing one. They could work to discover the evidence that led to each individual plaintiff’s injuries and construct that evidence into a claim for damages. Contact a mass torts lawyer today for more information or to schedule an initial consultation.