What Is A Mass Tort?
Torts are a civil wrong committed by a person or company that results in some form of harm to another. The harm could be a physical injury, emotional distress or financial loss. If found to be responsible for such actions, the “tortfeasor” as their called, are legally responsible for the harm their wrong causes to the victims.
Mass torts are single form of tort that result in the injury to many victims. This include asbestos, Mirena IUDs and Xarelto. Generally, mass tort cases relate to a form of negligence and it is not surprising that the most common types of mass tort claims result from:
Consumer Product Claims
Dangerous products, like malfunctioning car parts, dangerous toys and or contaminated food, that cause serious injury or death are often met with plaintiffs seeking compensation. It has been discovered that many companies facing mass tort product claims have some form of knowledge of the product in question, which legally makes them liable for any consequences that happen as a result of that product.
While medications and drugs undergo rigorous testing to meet FDA approval requirements, the fact remains that all medications are associated with side effects. Sadly, some side effects are more serious than others. When medications lead to a significant number of health consequences, they are removed from the market, and liability falls to the pharmaceutical company for their marketing and support the dangerous medication.
Recent environmental awareness efforts have brought to light the importance of industrial practices that are environmentally sound. One look at Utah’s inversion and you can see the negative effects of pollution. Whether oil leaks contaminating sea water, ground water pollution or chemical hazards, environmental consequences can be far reaching. As such, companies are now being held to a higher standard and are being found liable for infractions.
Mass Tort Action vs. Class Action
Mass tort actions are different from a class action. Within the realm of a mass tort, each and every plaintiff has an individual claim resulting from distinct and individual damages. As a result, each individual receives his or her own separate trial. Also a unique feature of the mass tort is its proceeding speed. When a reliable and trusted tort attorney is hired, the mass tort action proceedings go rather quickly when compared to class action law suits.