Class Action Suits vs. Mass Torts

by admin on August 19, 2010

We use consumer products for everything from work to play to healthcare. Sometimes, if one of these consumer products are flawed, it can affect hundreds or even thousands of individuals, all who use this same item. In some cases, when many people are harmed by a single item, such as a drug that results in terrible side effects, they can all file lawsuits against the manufacturer in order to seek the financial compensation that they deserve for the pain and suffering. These large lawsuits can be class action suits or mass torts.

Perhaps you have received a letter in the mail or seen a notice in the newspaper saying that you may be qualified to participate in a lawsuit against a negligent company. However, before you decide to join the lawsuit, it is important to understand the difference between class action and mass torts. Both bundle many lawsuits into one larger case so that it saves time and money.

First, class action suits occur when one party files a lawsuit on behalf of others who have faced the same difficulties. This helps force the party at fault to take legal action so that this class action suit can set the standard for all other related cases. For instance, if you develop Crohn’s disease due to taking Accutane, you can file a class action suit on behalf of everyone else who suffered from this same problem. After your case, the pharmaceutical company may decide on a standard financial compensation amount to award those who develop Crohn’s after taking Accutane.

On the other hand, mass torts keep individual cases more separate although they are all tried at once. So, if you participate in a mass tort, your case will be tried with others, but you will still be treated as an individual. Mass torts pool legal resources, but you can still be awarded your own specific financial compensation specific to your injuries or condition.

If you have suffered due to a defective product, you may not be the only one. However, you should always talk to an experienced, reliable product liability attorney before agreeing to participate in a class action or mass tort. To discuss your case, contact a Wisconsin product liability lawyer from Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C., today.


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