If you have been harmed by a dangerous or defective product, a pollutant or toxin, or a prescription drug, and others have experienced a similar injury, then you may be able to participate in a mass tort claim. This type of case can be incredibly advantageous for individuals who have suffered specific types of harm. Read on for answers to some commonly-asked questions about mass tort claims.
What Is a Mass Tort?
A tort is an action — or failure to act — that causes harm to another person, which can lead to civil liability for the wrongdoer. A mass tort involves a large number of claims that are associated with a single product. For example, a dangerous drug that caused health problems in millions of Americans could lead to a mass tort action.
How Are Mass Tort Cases Different from Class Actions?
While both mass tort claims and class actions involve a large number of people who have suffered a similar type of harm, they are different in several important respects. In a mass tort action, each individual plaintiff has an individual claim with distinct damages, which may go to trial if the case is not settled. In contrast, in a class action, the claims are generally not considered individually, and any settlement or jury verdict is split among all members of the class.
What Are Common Types of Mass Tort Cases?
While there are a number of possible mass tort claims, they usually fall into one of three categories: (1) prescription drugs; (2) product liability (i.e., dangerous and defective products); and (3) toxic torts. A good example of toxic tort cases is asbestos litigation. Millions of Americans suffered lung injuries, including cancer, from exposure to asbestos; mass tort litigation helped them recover for their losses.
What Kinds of Damages Can I Get in a Mass Tort Case?
Under state and federal laws, individuals who have suffered a loss due a dangerous prescription drug, a faulty product, or exposure to a pollutant or chemical may be able to recover financial compensation. This may include money for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, disability and disfigurement, pain and suffering, and other types of emotional damages.
How Are Mass Tort Claims Resolved?
A mass tort case is resolved in one of two ways: (1) an organized/group settlement; or (2) individual settlements or trials. Group settlements are structured in a way that takes into account each individual’s claim, and each participant can make a decision about whether to participate in this settlement after hearing the proposed terms.
What Are the Advantages of a Mass Tort Claim?
If a large number of people have suffered a similar injury, a mass tort can be an effective and cost-efficient way to reach a favorable outcome. Everyone involved in the claim will benefit from using the evidence that was gathered during the mass tort process — but can take their individual case to trial or work out their own settlement. In this way, participants will get the advantage of pooling their resources while maintaining their ability to get a resolution that works for them with the help of a mass tort claim attorney.
Reach Out to Learn More about Mass Torts
A dangerous prescription drug, faulty product, or even a pollutant that is released into the air or water can affect thousands upon thousands of people. In these situations, mass tort claims empower individuals to get justice for their injuries by allowing them to work together to achieve a common good.
At Wagstaff & Cartmell, we are dedicated to helping people who have been harmed in mass torts and other types of accidents. We are highly skilled at handling a range of mass tort cases, including claims against big pharmaceutical companies. Contact us today at 816-701-1100 or email us to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.