When a dangerous drug, defective medical device or other dangerous product is released onto the market, it can cause widespread harm across the United States. Hundreds or even thousands of people can be harmed. Personal injury and wrongful death litigation typically result.
Manufacturers of the products can and should be held accountable for losses, which means that each of the hundreds or thousands of victims could potentially file injury or wrongful death claims against the productmaker. When this happens, often mass tort cases arise. In mass tort cases, it is very important to have a qualified legal professional representing your rights and protecting you. The Boston mass tort lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC can help. Give us a call or contact us online today to learn more.Understanding Mass Tort Cases
Mass torts can occur any time many individuals are wronged by the same negligent behavior or when many individuals are harmed by the same defective product. Mass torts are usually triggered by some event that clearly shows a link between a product or action and injury. For example, if the FDA recalls a drug or adds a Black Box warning, if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalls a car, or if a manufacturer issues a voluntary recall, these actions will often lead to many injured victims coming forward and taking legal action.
Of course, individual plaintiffs who are harmed by a defective product can also file lawsuits on their own as soon as they become aware that they’ve been hurt. However, a recall or other official action will usually prompt many lawsuits to be filed at the same time, as it becomes clear that there is a link between a defective product and injuries.
When multiple lawsuits are filed by plaintiffs -- either as a result of a warning or recall or simply because a lot of people start to get hurt -- it doesn’t necessarily make sense for every single one of those individual cases to be resolved entirely on its own. Instead, cases can be grouped together to save court time and to save time in investigating and building a case. These groupings of plaintiffs lead to mass tort actions.How do Mass Tort Cases Work?
The way in which mass tort cases are resolved can vary. In some instances, plaintiffs will form a class action, which is a particular type of mass tort claim. Class actions involve many people who not only were hurt by the same thing but also who suffered a similar type of injury or loss. When people join a class action, only the “lead plaintiffs” actually ever go to court and only a limited number of individuals get to have a say in what settlement is accepted or how damage money is distributed among all those who are parties to the action. While most people are familiar with class actions, this is not necessarily the best way for individual victims of defective drugs or other products to get full compensation for losses.
Another type of mass tort that can allow individual plaintiffs more autonomy over their case and that can make it possible for individual people to recover more compensation is called a multi-district litigation or MDL. In a multi-district litigation, an attorney can investigate many cases and represent many plaintiffs who’ve been wronged in a similar manner and a court can decide on certain motions and procedural issues just once, instead of hearing the same arguments over and over in different cases. However, plaintiffs will maintain more control over their own claim and each victim who was harmed and who has filed a lawsuit will get a settlement offer or damage award that is appropriate for his or her unique injuries.Getting Help with Mass Tort Cases
Mass tort cases can be very complicated and there is a lot at stake. You need an attorney who understands how these types of cases are handled in a court and who has experience with multi-district litigations.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help. Our attorneys have extensive experience with mass tort cases and can put our legal knowledge to work for you. Give us a call at (617) 367-2900 or contact us online today to learn more.