You may have heard of the term “mass tort lawsuit,” but do you know what it actually is?
In the following insightful post, we will explore what is meant by the term “mass tort lawsuit” and how you can join one. We will also look at a couple of current mass tort examples.
What Is a Mass Tort Lawsuit?
A mass tort lawsuit relates to harm caused to a large number of people by a single entity. That entity can be an individual, a company, or even a government body.
Mass torts often come into play in cases related to product liability, disasters (both man-made and natural), and harmful actions taken on a grand scale. To put it simply, when multiple plaintiffs take legal action against one defendant for similar injuries or damages, it falls under the category of a mass tort lawsuit.
For example, if hundreds of individuals experienced adverse health effects after consuming the same faulty medicine, they could unite in filing a collective suit against the pharmaceutical company involved.
In these types of lawsuits, each plaintiff is treated as an individual case. This distinguishes them from class-action lawsuits where all claimants are treated as one body.
For instance, imagine that some plaintiffs only suffered mild discomfort while others were seriously harmed. In mass tort courts each person’s fact pattern would be considered separately.
How to Join a Mass Tort Lawsuit
The first step in joining a mass tort lawsuit is to recognize that you have been harmed in a way similar to others who are part of a specific mass tort lawsuit.
For example, you may have been injured by a product that is known to have caused widespread harm.
Once you have identified that, consult with an attorney who specializes in the specific mass tort case. You can then find out what your legal options are and what precise steps you need to take to join the mass tort and seek compensation.
If your lawyer determines your claim is valid and fits within the existing mass tort lawsuit, your attorney can file an individual suit on your behalf, which is added to the collective lawsuits against the defendant.
Each plaintiff maintains their own lawsuit but shares resources for investigation and litigation purposes.
The final step is to remain patient. Mass tort lawsuits can take time to resolve. But your lawyer will keep you updated at every step of the way.
If the lawsuit is successful, you can bring the responsible party to justice for their negligence or disregard for safety and claim compensation for things like lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Examples of Current Mass Tort Lawsuits
One of the most well-known mass tort lawsuits in Canada in recent times is the hernia mesh lawsuit.
A hernia refers to the displacement of an organ in the body. Often, surgery is required to repair the damage. In hernia operations, surgical mesh is used to supplement or replace damaged tissue.
While hernia mesh has been invaluable in helping hernia sufferers, and has been used for over half a century, it has recently been discovered that some hernia mesh products create complications that can result in disability, distress, and even death.
Many hernia mesh products have been recalled in Canada since it was discovered that the products increase the risk of complications and cause several other health issues, including perforation and fissures of the skin due to nerve damage.
Some uses of hernia mesh have even resulted in blood poisoning and even death.
Hernia mesh mass tort lawsuits are currently being filed in Canada.
Outside of Canada, one of the most famous mass tort cases of recent times is the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, which is ongoing in the U.S.
People who resided at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina were exposed to harmful water pollutants between 1953 and 1987. As a result, many personnel and their families later developed serious health conditions, including several cancers.
It is estimated that as many as 1 million people may have been affected by the contamination of Camp Lejeune’s water source. Therefore, many people have joined, and are continuing to join, the mass tort lawsuit that has been brought against the government.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by the Camp Lejeune water contamination incident or other mass tort litigation cases, make sure you consult a lawyer to find out more about your legal options. You could be eligible for compensation.
Many mass tort lawsuits are currently underway in Canada and the rest of the world.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on the latest mass tort and class action lawsuits, by regularly checking reputable legal news websites, so you can be aware of things like defective product recalls and ensure you know whether you or a loved one are eligible to join a lawsuit.