A mass tort case is a type of civil lawsuit in which a large group of plaintiffs sues a defendant for compensation. In these cases, the defendant has allegedly caused harm to the plaintiffs. Instead of having separate lawsuits for all of the plaintiffs, a mass tort lawsuit consolidates the proceedings into one lawsuit. This makes a mass tort suit more efficient than separate, individual lawsuits.
Mass tort cases often center around pharmaceutical drugs or other products that have caused harm to the plaintiffs. More often than not, mass tort actions are settled – meaning the defendant agrees to compensate the plaintiffs – before the case is taken to trial.
Mass Torts vs. Class Action Lawsuits
Mass tort cases are similar to class action lawsuits, but they have some key differences. Like a mass tort case, a class action lawsuit involves a large number of defendants suing a common defendant who has allegedly caused them harm.
Mass tort lawsuits generally have fewer plaintiffs than class action lawsuits do. While the plaintiffs in class action lawsuits are treated as a “class,” the plaintiffs in mass tort cases are treated as individuals. This means mass tort plaintiffs will have to establish their own facts and evidence to show how they have been harmed by the defendant.
However, just like a class action lawsuit, mass tort plaintiffs will not have separate proceedings. The cases will be consolidated into one trial with one judge making a decision.
Examples of Mass Tort Cases
Here are some examples of recent mass tort cases. If you think you qualify to take part in one of these mass tort lawsuits, contact a law firm that specializes in the specific lawsuit.
Zantac Cancer Lawsuits: These lawsuits focus on the heartburn drug Zantac (known as ranitidine in its generic form), which contains Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a cancer-causing agent. Plaintiffs have to show medical records to prove they were taking ranitidine and had certain forms of cancer. Through timing and frequency of drug use, they have to also prove that there is a connection between the drug and the cancer.
Hernia Mesh Lawsuits: These lawsuits center around defective synthetic hernia meshes that caused a variety of medical complications. Plaintiffs have to use medical records to identify the type of mesh used in their procedure and also prove resulting personal damages. The defendants in these cases are a few pharmaceutical companies that manufactured the defective implants. The compensation won in these cases is designed to help plaintiffs cover medical bills and recoup lost wages.
Essure Hysterectomy Lawsuits: These lawsuits are filed on behalf of women who used the birth control device Essure. These devices caused complications, such as pain, allergic reactions, organ injuries and required hysterectomies for the plaintiffs. The defendant is the device’s manufacturer, Bayer.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits: These lawsuits help plaintiffs whose use of talcum powder led to ovarian cancer or the respiratory issue mesothelioma. While the lawsuits have a few defendants, the most well-known defendant may be Johnson & Johnson. In the past few years, plaintiffs in various mass torts talcum powder lawsuits have been awarded millions of dollars in compensation.