What You Need to Know About Mass Tort Lawsuits

What You Need to Know About Mass Tort Lawsuits
Calendar icon March 3, 2021

You have probably heard about mass torts. They are complex and require dedication, time and skilled attorneys, but they are worth the fight.

Some businesses and companies breach a basic duty of care against numerous people. Such cases usually happen when a pharmaceutical company failed to warn the users of medicine they made about potential side effects that may damage the health.

Mass torts can be intentional and unintentional and should be solved in litigation so they won’t happen in the future.

If you believe that you have a case for a mass tort, seek help from a skilled New York attorney. 

Class Action Lawsuit and Mass Tort Lawsuit

Class action lawsuits and mass tort litigations are frequently used mutually but they are two different types of lawsuits.

  • Tort Law – This is when someone causes you harm or violates you. Torts can apply for physical, mental or property damages and injuries by someone else. Not every tort is a criminal offence, but this doesn’t mean you don’t deserve justice.
  • Mass Tort Law – Mass tort litigation is when a person who commits a tort (tortfeasor) has injured several people. The victims join forces against the offender instead to file individual lawsuits.

In mass tort litigations, every person is treated as individual fighting against the matter. Each person was somehow harmed by the defendant, but the injuries might not be the same.

The plaintiffs in mass tort litigation go to court together, even though they have different disputes with the defendant.

Let’s say a factory didn’t get suitable filters to save money, so they just decided to dump toxic waste into a clean and drinking water (where an entire town gets drinking water from), which later made the whole town sick.

Mass tort cases are a new thing and began in the 1960s when lawyers started taking them to court to fight for people injured in aeroplane crashes.

Class Action Law

Class action lawsuit although very similar to mass tort, it’s not the same. This is a bigger group of people who’ve been equally injured by the defendant. In such a case, the defendant gets one lawsuit, instead of several. One person acts as a group representative.

Let’s see it through an example with the toxic waste. If the toxic waste in the river made everyone in the town ill from the same illness, they could create a file a class-action lawsuit.

Class action lawsuits and mass tort lawsuits are made to shorten the time spent in court against one defendant.

Common Types of Mass Tort Lawsuit

These are the three main types of mass tort lawsuit:

  • Consumer Product Claims – They are used when a product is faulty in some way. The faultiness can cause harm to almost everyone who’s bought and used the product.
  • Environmental Claim – This is when a company has contaminated the environment (like the example above). Because of the contamination, people may get ill and die (and this doesn’t necessarily happen right away, but the symptoms may appear in several decades.
  • Pharmaceutical Claim – This is when a drug company is selling medicine that causes serious life-altering side effects, including death.

Key Elements for a Mass Tort Lawsuit

A mass tort lawsuit has key elements that are important to make a lawsuit against a company or business that hurt a large number of people. Here are the key elements:

  • Duty of Care – The mass tort lawsuit must prove that defendant in the civil case owes the plaintiffs a duty of care. For example, a pharmaceutical company releases as medicine that causes severe reactions or death. The company should sell medicine that makes you better, not worse and that’s their duty of care.
  • Breach of Duty of Care – You need to prove that the duty of care was breached. The pharmaceutical company breached its duty of care by selling the medication.
  • Causation – A successful lawsuit should include a clear line of causation. You have to prove that the medicine caused your sickness and that no other reason caused the side effects.
  • Injuries – You also have to prove that your injuries or sickness are real and that requires medical records. The records should be precisely noted by your doctor in your records (that the certain medicine is making you sick and causes the side effects; the doctor should specifically note every side effect).

Contact our office if you have any questions or believe that you have a case for a mass tort lawsuit.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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