Have you ever wondered what happens when a bunch of people face similar injuries because of a product, event, or action? Well, that’s where class actions and mass torts come in. These are like teamwork lawsuits where many people join forces to seek compensation. Let’s dive into what makes them different and explore the steps involved, from starting a claim to wrapping up the case.
Class action vs Mass Tort Lawsuits: What’s the difference?
Class action and mass tort lawsuits are legal actions pursued when a substantial number of individuals suffer harm from a shared product, event, or action. These claims bring together multiple plaintiffs, allowing them to collectively seek compensation. There are legally significant differences between a mass tort and a class action, but generally speaking, they both involve lots of people who were harmed all coming together to bring a lawsuit against one or a few related defendants.
There are legally significant differences between a mass tort and a class action, but generally speaking, they both involve lots of people who were harmed all coming together to bring a lawsuit against one or a few related defendants.
What is a Class Action?
A class action lawsuit involves a group of plaintiffs, typically represented by law firms, filing lawsuits against a common defendant responsible for very similar illness, injuries, or damages caused by a specific medication, product, or event.
What is a Mass Tort?
Similarly, a mass tort lawsuit brings together numerous plaintiffs, each with distinct cases but sharing a common grievance against the same defendant. This legal approach efficiently handles multiple claims arising from a single harmful source.
So what’s the difference? Each person might have a slightly different story, but they’re all dealing with the same trouble caused by the same thing.
What is the process to file a class action or mass tort lawsuit?
Filing the claim
The journey begins with filing what’s called a “complaint.” A group of plaintiffs (or the injured parties), files lawsuits against the defendant(s) responsible for the alleged harm. The key element is that the plaintiffs share similar injuries or damages caused by the same medication, product or event. These plaintiffs are typically represented by a law firm or a group of law firms, who ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
Once multiple claims are filed, the cases are consolidated into one large case. Consolidation allows for more efficient case management and streamlines the litigation process. This process is handled by the lawyer or law firm representing your case.
During the legal process, there may be ongoing settlement negotiations between the plaintiffs and defendants. Settlements offer a way to resolve the claims without going to trial. If a settlement is offered, your lawyer will work with you to seek the justice you deserve.
In mass tort cases, bellwether trials are often conducted. These are representative cases that are selected to be tried before the larger group of cases. The outcome of these trials helps gauge the strength and value of the remaining participants’ claims in the lawsuit. Bellwether cases usually receive a higher average settlement. For example, a bellwether case in the recent Mass Tort against the makers of 3M earplugs settled for 77.5 million dollars.
The process ends when the cases are either settled or a judgment is made after a trial. Trials can result in jury verdicts or judgments by the court. If the defendant is found liable, compensation may be awarded to the plaintiffs based on the severity of their injuries.
This process is a streamlined and efficient resolution for a large group of people who have been harmed by a common product, event, or action. This allows plaintiffs to join forces and seek compensation collectively. Seeking guidance from experienced attorneys specializing in this type of litigation is crucial for individuals who believe they have been affected and wish to pursue a claim.
Your journey to justice with Justpoint
If your current illness was caused by a medication or product, you may be eligible for compensation. By being a part of a class action or mass tort lawsuit, you can be. Our dedicated legal and medical team will analyze your case details to determine if you qualify. If qualified, we connect you with one of our attorneys specifically chosen for your needs. They will personally represent your case and support you every step of the way. We are committed to connecting you to the justice you deserve.