When a large number of people get hurt from the same product or event, they frequently go into a lawsuit together. Maybe you have seen a TV ad or newspaper that tells you “If you are one of the many people who…..You may qualify to participate in a mass tort lawsuit against the company.” Law firms frequently use mass media outlets to reach possible plaintiffs. This type of mass tort can include disaster torts, mass toxic torts, and product liability torts. When the list of plaintiffs gets extremely long, it is called a mass tort lawsuit. Mass tort litigation is a relatively new area of law, and because of that, it is a complex and demanding field. One of the most challenging parts of mass tort litigation for an attorney is determining who is at fault and where the fault lies.
A mass tort lawsuit is a civil action that involves a large amount of plaintiffs who are all fighting one or a few corporate defendants. Mass tort litigation differs from class action lawsuit litigation. In a mass tort action, each plaintiff has an individual claim resulting from distinct damages. Each plaintiff receives his or her own, separate trial, whereas in a class action, the many plaintiffs typically are not considered individually, and there is only one trial. Also, in mass tort proceedings a multi-district litigation proceeding happens first. This is the common pre-work that can be referred to for all the cases filed across the courts. This procedure is done so that the expenditure and work involved for the cases can be scaled down. This type of action can either be performed in a federal or state court. There are a number of situations where an individual might find themselves part of a mass tort litigation suit. These can include product liability, such as for breast implants or tobacco; large business antitrust claims, like price fixing; and large scale, “man-made” disasters like airplane crashes and chemical plant explosions.
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One famous mass tort lawsuit you may remember is the Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker. This lawsuit was about the Exxon Valdez wreck onto Prince William Sound. It spilled at least 10.8 million gallons of crude oil, killing animals and causing one of the largest ecological disasters in United States History. In that court case, the company was forced to pay $500 million in damages to those who suffered because of the oil spill.
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If you or a loved one believes they could be involved in a mass tort lawsuit, please contact the Curry Law Group. Our experienced attorneys service the entire Tampa Bay Area and would like the chance to represent you. Please fill out the form on this page or call our office today.