Sometimes many people will have similar claims against the same defendants. When this happens, the law often tries to resolve everyone’s claims as efficiently as possible. This can be achieved through class actions and/or mass torts. These are two separate concepts that are often confused.
In a class action lawsuit, a single injured person brings a lawsuit on behalf of an entire group (“class”) of unnamed people that all theoretically share the same injury from the same bad conduct. The court then looks at the allegations and determines whether there is, in fact, a “class” of people similarly injured and whether a single “class action” lawsuit is the best way to determine what damages that group suffered.
In a mass tort, many individuals all bring separate lawsuits regarding the same conduct. A court will then consolidate all or part of these separate lawsuits together using a variety of methods under the law. Mass torts are how the majority of pharmaceutical cases are handled.
We have experience in both mass torts and class actions. Currently, we are involved in mass tort litigation ranging from pharmaceuticals that cause birth injuries to corn market pricing disruptions caused by negligent seed marketing. We are also involved in class action litigation related to connected vehicle cyber security.
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