A mass tort lawsuit can encompass dozens or hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs who have sustained identical or similar injuries caused by a defendant’s or a group of defendants’ comercial offerings.
Mass torts lawsuits are commonly confused with class-action suits, however, class action suits involve a single lawsuit that represents a group or “class” of similarly situated claimants. Whereas, in mass tort litigation, each claimant’s case is filed separately in a single centralized court. The claim of each individual mass tort plaintiff will progress independently, arguing claims that are the same or similar to other plaintiffs.
A mass tort is a case where multiple victims are wrongfully injured in the same or a similar way, caused by a medication, defective product, or medical device.
Although our law firm has defended the rights of Alabama residents in a wide variety of practice areas, we always have the same goal in mind. Our Hamilton mass tort lawyers are no less dedicated to cases that explicitly involve a singular personal injury as oposed to mass tort injuries. We always value a personal relationship with our clients and our work reflects that.
Some of the mass tort cases we handle cases that involve:
It is not uncommon for medical devices to be fast-tracked. This pushes brand new products onto the market without sufficient testing. Millions of Americans are currently living with a medical device implanted in their body. These devices range from heart defibrillators and artificial joints to surgical mesh. Even though these devices are tested for effectiveness and safety, unsafe models and dangerous parts still make it onto the open market. When this happens, victims should speak with a mass tort attorney to learn their options for pursuing financial compensation.
Some of the most frequently and commonly used products are also the most hazardous. Whether it’s a badly designed child’s toy, a faulty kitchen appliance, or a defective vehicle part, the harsh reality of the world we live in is that the dangers associated with many of the products we use every day are not obvious to consumers until it is too late. A mass tort attorney in Hamilton will help you assess your case, protect your rights, understand your options, and pursue economic recovery from those responsible.
A bellwether trial is a test claim that is designed to provide both parties and the court with details on how the mass tort litigation will progress. Defendants and plaintiffs will each select a case that they feel is representative of a major portion of claimants involved in the litigation. In many mass tort litigations, both defendants and plaintiffs will win at least one of these trials.
Bellwether trials offer answers to the numerous questions that attorneys typically have for both parties. They also get an understanding of how the jury will respond to the arguments and the evidence submitted by both sides. While a bellwether trial can’t predict the final result of mass tort litigation, like whether or not a settlement is imminent, it can provide an idea as to how a jury might heed or disregard the strength of the claimants’ assertions.
To have a group of claims established as a mass tort, the mass tort lawyers who represent the plaintiffs must apply to state or federal court.
Within the federal system, this process is begun by filing a motion before the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation. This panel is a faction of federal judges who gather every few months to evaluate these requests. These judges have the authority to order every individual case filed within the federal system e transferred to and consolidated before a single federal judge.
The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, in addition to state courts that are weighing whether or not mass tort action is appropriate, has to give due consideration to several different issues, such as:
After a mass tort classification has been confirmed, the judge that has been chosen usually holds a hearing to designate a schedule for specific issues, like calendaring, pretrial procedures, forms, discovery issues, and other important details. Complex and substantial discovery plays a huge part in all mass tort cases.
Discovery is the method by which relevant testimony, data, and documents from the defendants and other parties are obtained. After individual trials start, lawyers for all of the claimants draw from this shared body of information to establish the testimony and evidence needed to win the case.
Our Alabama mass tort litigation attorneys have an excellent track record of significant recoveries. We are currently representing thousands of victims pursuing mass tort suits against some of the largest businesses in the world. Many of these lawsuits involve a dangerous or defective drug, medical device, or consumer product.
A tort is a civil, as opposed to a criminal, wrong perpetrated by a single person that causes injury to another. In the context of the law, a “person” could also be a corporation or business. Our civil justice system is based on tenets of personal accountability. Due to this, anyone who commits a tort is liable for the damage caused and for the financial and physical losses incurred by the victim.
Some mass torts stem from widespread disasters, like the BP and Exxon oil spills, the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the MGM hotel fire in Las Vegas, and numerous airline accidents.
Others are bourne by government actions, like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall of various vehicles with design flaws.
Still, others are related to violations committed by big corporations in antitrust claims, security fraud, and fraudulent and deceptive business practices; or from scientific studies that uncover previously unknown dangers associated with consumer products, such as medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
Mass tort cases have several elements that are unique to them, including:
By consolidating these cases for preliminary pre-trial matters, and then trying them one by one, our court system strives to balance the interests of victims who are entitled to have their claims addressed individually against the need for timely and cost-efficient proceedings.
In doing so, both judges and attorneys handling mass torts borrow a few concepts from class action cases, while maintaining each victim’s individual case.
Our mass tort litigation lawyers highlight a few important differences between mass tort actions and class action claims, namely:
In order to receive class certification, it is necessary to demonstrate that all members of the class members have sustained injuries in the same or similar fashion. This is what makes class action suits generally inappropriate for claimants who have endured personal injuries. Class actions are most often used to recoup economic losses under consumer fraud laws.
When dealing with mass tort litigation, individual cases will only be consolidated for the purposes of:
Every claimant’s case moves forward on its own, and should the case go to trial, it will be tried individually. Any damages that are awarded in the trial will be awarded directly to the individual victim, not an entire class to be divided later.
In the majority of mass tort cases, claimants will never have to travel. Exceptions, however, are not entirely uncommon.
When mass tort litigation applies to several thousand plaintiffs, usually only a very small number of those will proceed to trial. The bellwether trials will take place in the court where the litigation has been consolidated.
Travel might be needed to give a deposition, however, lawyers commonly travel to the areas in which their plaintiffs reside, and with so many of the proceedings being virtual, you will most likely never be required to travel as a part of your lawsuit.
The mass tort lawyers at Mama Justice work diligently to present the most compelling case possible on our client’s behalf. Our attorneys can:
You will also have the support of a reputable personal injury law firm. We have every resource necessary to attain the best possible outcome in your case. Our Hamilton personal injury attorneys never accept anything less than full economic recovery for our clients.
Our Hamilton mass tort attorneys at Mama Justice are committed to providing the highest degree of service to our clients throughout the state of Mississippi. If you have suffered a serious injury due to the use of a medical device, medication, or another product, contact our mass tort law firm in Hamilton to explore the legal options available for you. Contact our Mama Justice at (662) 262-6264.