What is a Mass Tort?
A mass tort is a tort that essentially happens to several people over a period of time. A tort is a civil wrong that results in an injury, harm, or loss to an individual.
What is mass tort litigation?
A mass tort is a legal action that is filed by a group of plaintiffs who have similar claims against one or more at-fault defendants. Mass torts involve similar injuries and similar claims by all plaintiffs, are filed together to ease the burden on the court and to allow the sharing of evidence, but whose settlements are accepted or denied on a case by case basis.
How does a mass tort differ from a class action lawsuit? Learn more here.
What is a Mass Tort Settlement?
A settlement is essentially the financial outcome and terms of the mass tort lawsuit. In a mass tort settlement, a group of attorneys will be appointed by the court to work out a settlement on behalf of all victims. However, each verdict and settlement is based on the individuals’ unique circumstances, meaning the exact settlement amount will vary from person to person based on their unique circumstances.
On the whole, a mass tort settlement can be handled in two common ways:
- A group settlement could be reached, and victims can decide whether or not they would like to take the settlement amount and terms.
- Individual cases can be tried and settled if a group settlement is not agreed to or individuals believe they are entitled to more compensation than the agreed-upon settlement.
This individual treatment to settlements allows each claim to be given its proper due and for each plaintiff to get personal closure and compensation.
Learn more about what happens in a lawsuit settlement here.
What are Examples of Mass Tort Cases?
Some examples of mass tort cases include:
- Negligent companies have manufactured defective hip implants, resulting in injuries to thousands of patients. The hip implant manufacturers are liable to all injured patients for this mass tort.
- Xeljanz is a popular arthritis prescription drug that has been linked to serious side effects, including blood clots and cancer. Patients who took Xeljanz and later experienced side effects such as blood clots, cardiovascular issues, or cancer may be eligible to pursue a Xeljanz lawsuit.
- Recalls have been issued over the Philips CPAP machines due to issues with the polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam. When degraded, the foam can be inhaled by users, producing possible toxic and carcinogenic effects.
- AFFF (aqueous film-forming foam), or firefighting foam, is used to put out fires, priarimly at airports. However, the two primary chemicals used in the foam, perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, have been linked to increased cancer risk. Those who have used AFFF in training or have been exposed to it through groundwater contamination have filed lawsuits against various manufacturers.
- Transvaginal mesh implants were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 as a way to help sufferers of pelvic organ prolapse or stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Patients who received transvaginal mesh implants and later experienced injuries such as organ perforation, transvaginal mesh erosion, infection, bleeding, or painful intercourse may be qualified to file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit.
The Guardian Legal Network Connects You with Tort Law Experts
The Guardian Legal Network is here to help. We connect victims to experienced tort law lawyers, so you don’t have to navigate the legal system on your own. Contact Guardian Legal Network today if you or a loved one has suffered and would like help seeking justice for your injuries.« Back to Glossary Index