A mass tort is a legal action that is brought by a large group of people who have been injured or have suffered harm as a result of the same product, event, or action. Mass torts are often filed against manufacturers or large corporations, and typically involve a large number of plaintiffs who have suffered similar injuries or damages.
Some examples of mass torts include cases involving defective drugs or medical devices, environmental disasters, asbestos exposure, and incidents of consumer fraud. After someone is injured, they can file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for their damages.
In a mass tort, the plaintiffs may be represented by a single lawyer or a team of lawyers, and the case is typically handled in a centralized location, such as a federal court. Mass torts differ from class action lawsuits, which involve a group of plaintiffs who have suffered similar injuries or damages but are handled as a single case rather than as individual lawsuits.
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 differs, 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 harm. 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.