Essentially, a mass tort case is a personal injury case taken on behalf of a large group. Each person in the group suffered similar, but not necessarily identical, injuries caused by the same party. One law firm represents the entire group as they seek compensation from the responsible party.
A mass tort lawsuit is quicker and more efficient than multiple individual lawsuits. While the lawsuits are grouped together for portions of the legal process, they are still separate in terms of verdicts and settlements.
A mass tort lawsuit can be filed whenever one party injures many people through careless or reckless behavior. The most common types of mass torts are:
Defective Medical Devices and Drugs
Toxic Substance Exposure
“Mass” means a large number of people, and “tort” means a wrongful action that injures someone. Therefore, a mass tort is a wrongful action that injures many people. Mass tort cases involve multiple plaintiffs who were harmed by the same defendant. They may have similar, but not necessarily identical, injuries.
A mass tort case is a legal action that seeks financial compensation from one defendant on behalf of multiple people. This group claims they were harmed by the same defendant and suffered similar injuries. A mass tort case combines certain components of the legal case, such as discovery and pre-trial motions, but preserves the individual cases of each plaintiff. Each case is judged on its own merit and any damages awarded reflect the losses suffered by each person.
A mass tort case and a class action case have some similarities but also some critical differences. Both involve large groups of people taking legal action against a defendant that they claim injured them through negligence.
There is no standard answer for how long a mass tort case takes. Many factors can influence the length of the case. If you join a mass tort lawsuit, the law firm representing you must recruit other plaintiffs, investigate your claims, and gather evidence. They must also collect medical records, document the causation of injuries, seek expert testimony, and more. This process can take a long time.
Once the initial steps are complete, your mass tort lawyers must take the case to trial. Mass tort cases often include bellwether trials, which are sample jury trials that allow both sides to see how the jury reacts to the case. The case may then proceed to trial, or it may be resolved through an out-of-court settlement. A mass tort case can take anywhere from months to years to reach a resolution.
A mass tort settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant to end the case before a trial verdict. In many cases, the defendant pays the plaintiff without admitting any wrongdoing. In return, the plaintiff agrees to end the lawsuit. Settlements are often quicker and easier than a trial and provide resolution to both sides.
Mass torts can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement. Our mass tort attorneys in LA will estimate your total damages and use that estimate to negotiate an out-of-court settlement. Your settlement should compensate you for your medical bills, future medical treatment, unpaid time away from work, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and more. A lawyer with experience in handling mass tort cases may be able to help you obtain the best possible compensation for your losses.
If you receive a mass tort settlement, part of it may be taxable and part may not be. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides information about how taxes affect settlements. The IRS includes all sources of income (including settlements) as part of your gross income, which is taxable.
If part of your settlement includes damages on account of personal physical injuries, that portion is not taxable. If part of your settlement includes punitive damages designed to punish the at-fault party, that portion is taxable. If you receive a settlement from a mass tort lawsuit, consult a tax professional when filing your taxes.
Yes, there are statutes of limitations on mass torts. If your mass tort lawsuit is filed in a state court, then the statute of limitations for that state will affect your case. In California, CCP § 335.1 establishes the statute of limitations for personal injury at two years. Consult your mass tort lawyer about how the statute of limitations in your state affects your case.
In many cases, the statute of limitations starts on the day you were injured. But sometimes – for example, if you were injured by a defective drug, defective medical device, or toxin exposure – your injuries may not be apparent for months or years. When that happens, the two-year period begins as soon as you become aware of your injuries. Our mass tort lawyers in Los Angeles can help determine how any statutes of limitations apply to your case.
Mass torts are determined for drugs by showing that large groups of people were harmed by a medication they thought would help them. While this may sound straightforward, it requires a lot of research and evidence to demonstrate that the drug in question caused the negative health impacts that people say they suffered.
It is not enough for a plaintiff to simply say that they used the drugs in question and sustained an injury. They will need medical bills and records, receipts for the medication, and expert medical testimony or scientific research that links the drug to their condition.
They must also demonstrate that:
Most mass tort law firms work on a contingency basis, which means they make money by taking a percentage of their client’s settlement or verdict award. This arrangement allows many plaintiffs to hire a lawyer when they would not otherwise be able to afford one.
With a contingency arrangement, the plaintiff pays no upfront fees or out-of-pocket costs. The mass tort law firm assumes the financial risk of investigating the case, hiring expert witnesses, paying court filing fees, and more before they are paid. For this reason, mass tort law firms carefully evaluate each case before agreeing to take it on.
If you were injured and would like to know more about joining a mass tort lawsuit, KJT Law Group is here to help. Our team of LA mass tort attorneys has vast experience in cases like these, and we are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve. To get started, call (818) 507-8525 today for a free case review.