A tort is a civil, as opposed to criminal, wrong that causes harm. That harm results in liability for the wrongdoer, subjecting them to legal action. After someone is injured, they can file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their damages. Often, one defendant’s actions cause harm to a large number of plaintiffs. When a civil wrong by a single defendant harms many plaintiffs in a similar way, the plaintiffs can join together to file a mass tort lawsuit. Mass tort cases may involve defective medical devices, asbestos exposure, unsafe prescription drugs, or harms caused by toxic chemicals. These torts can cause similar damages to hundreds, even thousands, of people.
Because many plaintiffs’ injuries are consolidated into one lawsuit in a mass tort, the plaintiff may have more success when facing a powerful defendant like a drug manufacturer or a chemical company. Another benefit of a mass tort action is that it saves plaintiffs time and money in litigation. Plaintiffs share the findings of discovery, the testimony of expert witnesses, and the fruits of an attorney’s research rather than paying for them independently.
Though they are beneficial to plaintiffs, mass torts are complicated pieces of litigation. Even though benefits are shared by all plaintiffs in a mass tort case, each person is still seen as an individual by the courts. The extent of each plaintiff’s injuries differ, so each individual must prove their damages. For example, one person might have a mildly inconvenient reaction to a defective medical device while another could have a severe, life-threatening reaction that leaves them with huge doctor’s bills. Both are injured by the same device, but the scope of their damages will be considered separately.
Mass torts help injured people hold defendants accountable for causing large-scale harms. An experienced attorney at the Becker Law Office can guide you through these complex pieces of litigation. If you are seeking representation, reach out to a Kentucky mass tort lawyer.