Class action lawsuits and mass torts overlap in some ways but there are also a few major differences between the two. Each type of lawsuit comes with its own set of pros and cons. However, the process is different for class actions and mass torts. Learn more about the differences below.
Remember, in a class action lawsuit the court is addressing one or a few lead plaintiffs / class representatives who are speaking for everyone who has been affected by the action of the defendant.
- If a class action lawsuit is won, all victims, not just the lead plaintiffs, are entitled to compensation, which has to be split evenly.
- Oftentimes, there are thousands of victims of a class action lawsuit.
- Compensation amounts may be smaller for each individual since the settlement money must be divided among so many plaintiffs.
In a mass tort, each plaintiff’s situation is considered a separate case even though the lawsuit is filed against the same defendant for similar wrongdoing.
- With a mass tort lawsuit, you have the benefit of having strength in numbers since many people are filing similar claims against the same corporation or company.
- However, if the mass tort lawsuit is won, your claim will be considered individually.
- This means that you will probably get a different amount of compensation then another victim. The amount of money you are awarded depends on how much you were negatively impacted by the defendant, as compared to other victims in the mass tort.
To figure out whether your case should be part of a class action lawsuit or mass tort it is helpful to look at real life examples of each type of lawsuit.