What is a Mass Tort Lawsuit?
When a group of people experience the same or similar injuries as a result of negligence, the group may work to defend their rights by filing a mass tort lawsuit against the defendant(s).
Often confused with class action lawsuits, a mass tort is a multi-party lawsuit that covers individual claims involving the same acts of negligence or product defect. A mass tort lawsuit includes multiple parties, when many people are injured or experience widespread personal injuries caused by a medical device, defective product or drug. An example would be where a company has negatively affected a large number of victims due to toxic dumping. In these instances, the injuries can be varied and widespread and it can result in a significant amount of damages distributed to many plaintiffs.
The longest running mass tort in U.S. history, asbestos, has a lot of victims who have experience asbestosis and mesothelioma – sometimes after a long latency period – as a result of inhaling the substance while on the job. Although many individual cases have been brought to court, mass torts became especially prevalent in the 70’s and throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Due to the individuality of each claim, asbestos-related mass tort actions are still being taken.
In general, a mass tort action lawsuit considers each plaintiffs’ individual claim resulting from distinct damages. This is done by consolidating the cases in state court or federal court through multi-district litigation.
If you, or someone you know, have experienced damages as a result of negligence, a faulty product, or a large scale accident, contact the law offices of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP for guidance at 1-800-LAW-1010 or fill out this form.