Mass Tort Class Action Lawsuits
A Mass Tort is a civil action involving numerous plaintiffs against one or a few corporate defendants in state or federal court. Mass torts often evolve from a single wrongful act of the defendant or corporation which in turn caused harm to a large number of plaintiff’s or consumers. In mass torts the individual plaintiffs maintain their own suits, but pool their resources in the expensive initial fact finding stages (and sometimes even through trial) of the lawsuit. A mass tort allows many plaintiffs to get more information, and build a stronger case, without incurring the largest expenses alone. Unlike a class action however, each plaintiff maintains his own case against the defendant. This is because a single event can cause a multitude of different harms, and individual plaintiffs may deserve more damages or have suffered in a different manner than others. A classic example of a mass tort was the aggregation of the cases resulting from the crash of the Exxon Valdez.
Class Action Lawsuits
Class actions on the other hand are a specific type of case in which the many plaintiffs’ claims are aggregated into a single suit from beginning to end. A class action is filled on behalf of all potential plaintiffs in a single court. A select few “representative” cases are tried before a single court and a judgment is entered for/against and is binding on all of the potential plaintiffs. There are very specific criteria for filing a class action. The most important of which is that the class must be “certified” by the court, which determines primarily if all of the plaintiffs have been harmed in a similar manner and that the suit adequately represents the interests of all potential plaintiffs.
Mass Torts and Class Actions are very similar yet distinct avenues of legal action which seek to protect large groups of people who have been harmed by the wrongful acts of powerful individuals or entities. In general, both mass torts and class actions aggregate the abilities and resources of various harmed plaintiffs in an attempt to counter the often vast legal departments and resources of the company that committed the tort. Commonly, an individual who is harmed by a corporation lacks the resources to pursue a suit on their own. By combining a large number of plaintiffs, mass torts and class actions allow not only for the pooling of plaintiff resources and the cooperation of their respective attorneys, but also increase the likelihood that a defendant will take notice of and atone for their harmful activities. In situations where the damages likely for a single plaintiff are so small that they would not warrant an attorney taking on the case against a team of dozens or even hundreds of lawyers, a defendant would be able to get away with hurting a large number of people in a relatively small way. By aggregating a large number of plaintiffs with small harms, attorneys can justify the costs of litigation and defendants are not able to avoid or ignore the harmful consequences of their actions.
Below is a list of a few Class Action Lawsuits currently being litigated:
- Actos Lawsuits
- ASR & ASR XL Defective Hip Cases
- Defective Medical Devices
- Defective Hip Cases
- Risperdal Side Effect Lawsuits
- SSRI Antidepressants and Pregnancy
- SSRI Birth Defects
- Testosterone Therapy Casing Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Blood Clots
- Trans-vaginal Mesh Complications
- Wellbutrin Lawsuits
- Whistleblower/ Qui –Tam Actions
- Xarelto Litigation
- Yaz Blood Clot Lawsuits
- Zimmer Knee Replacement Cases
Greater Boston Class Action Law Firm of Altman & Altman, LLP
Our Massachusetts Class Action Law Firm will aggressively advocate on your behalf – working closely with the finest experts in the Commonwealth. Our talented lawyers will take manufacturers and/or insurance companies to trial when necessary in order to fight for the financial compensation that you and your family is entitled to receive.
Please contact our office for a free initial consultation. If you are injured and unable to come into our office, our attorneys are available to meet at your home or elsewhere – please call us to make an appointment. Our team of lawyers are available around the clock, 7 days a week to answer all of your questions and concerns.