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What is the Difference Between Mass Torts and Class Action Lawsuits?

September 29, 2017

class-action-lawsuit

In many respects, mass torts and class action lawsuits share a lot in common on paper. Both collect a large group of people who have joined together in suing a common party for a common situation. But both have their intricacies and subtle differences that work for their own situations.

Mass Torts

Mass torts occur when legal action is initiated by a large group of people following injury due to a common party. Mass torts can cover product liability claims, such as defective products that have caused harm or injury, defective drugs and medication, and medical devices that have caused injury and more. Mass torts can also cover injury caused by a disaster, such as an oil spill or polluted drinking water. Although a mass tort brings many plaintiffs together, it differs from a class action lawsuit in that the plaintiffs receive individual settlements, as how they are affected can vary widely.

Class Action

On the other hand, a class action claim, widely known as a class action lawsuit, occurs when a lawsuit is filed against a common party on behalf of a group of plaintiffs who were injured or wronged. Class action lawsuits exist for the sake of paring down many lawsuits and simplifying the case. An example of a class action lawsuit would be if a car company made a car with a faulty transmission.

Many are affected because the transmission is not covered under warranty, but many customers who have bought the car report the same problem and damages in paying out-of-pocket. Because their plight is exactly the same, a class action lawsuit could be filed instead of many individual suits.

If you or a loved one has been wronged by a large corporation and would like to consider a class action or mass tort, contact an experienced lawyer who could help. Contact the law offices of Hoyt & Hoyt, P.C. today to schedule a case consultation.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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