Difference between Mass Torts and Class Actions

Posted by Joseph Franks on March 4th, 2020

Mass torts and class actions are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are slightly different from one another. Both involve filing a combined lawsuit against a corporation that has caused harm to multiple people. When a company releases a defective product into the market, it can adversely affect several consumers, causing physical damage and financial loss. Class Action and Mass Tort Attorneysbring a group of victims together to build a legitimate case against the wrong doers and make them pay for their negligence or intentional cruelty.

Mass Torts

Mass torts are generally more complicated than Class actions, as they involve a larger group of individuals fighting for the same cause. Most cases involve serious injuries or health issues created by defective drugs or faulty medical equipment. A single attorney can handle a mass tort claim; or a group of attorneys may assemble to represent each victim separately. This helps cut down the sheer number of complaints filed at court, and a large number of clients are served singlehandedly. Additionally, the cumulative of evidence from different people strengthens the case and heightens the liability of the offender. 

Class Actions

Class action is a combined petition filed on behalf of more than one party; it is usually conducted by a sole plaintiff. The primary purpose is to reduce the number of individual cases owing to a common objective. Class actions arise from an unsuitable situation brought upon by a business that caused economic and noneconomic damages. The candidates eligible for class action can choose to be excluded, in order to acquire individual representation. The plaintiff of the lawsuit must establish that he/she is capable to prove the opposition guilty and that the accusations from all people involved are truly relatable. It should be evident that the group effort is duly fitting for the cause, as separate evaluation would not promote a shift in the opponent’s corporate structure.

Example of Mass Tort Lawsuit

Zofran was an anti-nausea drug manufactured by GSK, which was approved by FDA for women undergoing chemotherapy. The drug was illicitly marketed and sold off-label to pregnant women. The medicine was introduced in 1991, and the first case was filed in 2014. It was discovered that over 30,000 children encountered birth defects due to this drug. The manufacture reached a 3 billion settlement for false advertising, and the average value for reimbursement of each plaintiff is estimated at 0,000.

Example of Class Action Lawsuit

In 2003, some hackers stole personal information of over 70 million customers from Target’s database; this included debit and credit card details. As a result, affected consumers from 47 states sued them for breach of privacy and monetary fraud. The lawsuit motivated fellow corporations to update their security measures and enable better data protection.

If you have faced an injury or encountered another kind of loss due to a widely available commercial product, contact a professional lawyer to know if you qualify for a class action or mass tort. Settlements is such cases are complex, so it essential to consult somebody with experience. 

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Joseph Franks

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Joseph Franks
Joined: September 16th, 2019
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