Mass tort cases are a type of lawsuit that involves multiple plaintiffs who suffer similar injuries. As the name suggests, mass tort cases involve many people who the same entity or product has hurt.
They can have far-reaching consequences for those involved, from their health to their finances.
Because there are so many people involved in these cases at once, it’s essential to know what kind of case you’re dealing with if you find yourself facing one.
Here are four different types of mass tort cases:
Medical Device Mass Tort Cases
Medical device mass tort cases are often brought against a manufacturer or distributor because such products have injured many people.
Some examples include the transvaginal mesh, used in surgery to treat prolapse and stress urinary incontinence but has been found to cause infection and injuries to internal organs.
This mass tort litigation made history involving more than 60,000 lawsuits and potential damages in billions.
Prescription Drugs Cases
Prescription drug cases are a prevalent type of mass tort. These cases usually involve pharmaceutical drugs but can apply to other medical devices and products, such as artificial hips and knee joints.
Prescription drug injuries can take many forms. A person may receive a medical prescription that causes significant injury or even death. Or, a patient may have been given the wrong drug dosage by their doctor or pharmacist.
In addition, there are instances where pharmaceutical companies mislead doctors about the benefits and risks associated with certain medications; this is called off-label promotion.
Some mass tort examples involve cases involving pharmaceutical drugs like Vioxx, Pradaxa, and others.
Vioxx was a rising pain medication back in 1999. After gaining marketing ground and making millions of sales for the company Merck, tests eventually revealed that it caused heart attacks and strokes (also known as cardiovascular events), according to reports from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Reports indicate that an estimated 28,000 to 38,000 people died from these events related to Vioxx use between 1999 through 2004. It led to one of the most significant lawsuits leading to a multi-billion dollar settlement in US history.
Environmental Pollution Mass Tort Cases
An environmental pollution mass tort case generally involves exposure to toxic chemicals or an unusual amount of radioactive material, which causes illness and death among the people exposed. They are often the result of industrial accidents or manufacturing processes that release harmful substances into the environment.
Environmental pollution mass tort cases can be highly complex, as they require a thorough analysis of all parties involved to determine who is responsible for what happened and how much each party should compensate their victims (if at all).
These cases may take years to resolve due to this complexity. In some instances, however, lawsuits are settled out-of-court after only a few months due to an apparent lack of evidence against certain defendants or overwhelming evidence against others who were clearly at fault for whatever disaster occurred.
An example of mass tort cases under environmental pollution includes the city of Flint, Michigan’s water contamination. Contamination has been detected in the region since 2014 when officials switched the city’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River without adding corrosion-control chemicals.
The result was dangerously high lead levels in drinking water and other problems with lead pipes and plumbing fixtures throughout homes. Residents continue to suffer health problems today related to this poisoning.
Defective Products Mass Tort Cases
Mass tort cases that involve defective products are known as product liability cases. These mass torts can arise when a person or group injured by a defective product sues the manufacturer and a distributor or retailer of that product.
For example, if your stereo system malfunctions because the wiring inside is poorly constructed and causes it to overheat and catch fire, you would likely be able to bring a successful lawsuit against the manufacturer for a design defect. This is because of the flaw in the assembly.
These cases usually do not depend on negligence but a strict liability, meaning that if a defective product injures you, you may be able to hold the company who designed and manufactured it responsible without proving that they were negligent.
One famous case involves Owens Corning Corp (OC) In December 1998. More than four hundred thousand people claimed their health was damaged by exposure to asbestos building material by Owens Corning from the 1950s to 1972. The claim was that these building materials caused mesothelioma cancer and death when installed in homes across America.
Consult A South Carolina Mass Tort Attorney
If you or your loved one is a victim of such cases discussed above, contact our firm as soon as possible for legal help. The sooner we start working on your case, the better we can get fair compensation for your medical bills and other out-of-pocket damages.
We’ll work hard on your behalf so that you can focus on recovering instead of worrying about legal fees or insurance companies denying claims based on technicalities. Elrod Pope Law Firm is here to help those who’ve suffered from dangerous drugs because there are many different types of mass tort cases that deserve justice.
Why are individual cases consolidated in mass tort litigation?
An individual case is consolidated into mass tort litigation when the plaintiff has a common question of fact or law that the court can resolve for all plaintiffs.
What is the difference between a mass tort and a class action?
A mass tort is an individual case that is consolidated with other cases. This means that the plaintiff’s attorneys can bring lawsuits against multiple defendants at once if they feel there is enough evidence against them. A class action, on the other hand, involves a group of similar cases (often thousands) and consolidates them into one lawsuit.