A tort is a civil wrong committed by a third party that results in the injury of a person. The third party who commits the tort, whether it involves a car accident or a slip and fall, is legally responsible for the harm suffered by the victim, and if the victim sues, they can possibly recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
However, when there are many victims, that’s when a case becomes a mass tort. A mass tort is a single tort, except that it results in similar injuries to many victims. As a result, there are numerous plaintiffs suing a single defendant who acted negligently. Most times, it involves a single common product, such as a medical device or a damaged toy. Two of the most frequent mass tort claims involve consumer products, such as dangerous products, and pharmaceuticals, such as drugs prescribed by a doctor or even those purchased over-the-counter.
If a large group decides to sue a common defendant in a single lawsuit, the lawyer (or lawyers) of the group must ask the court for permission to file a mass tort action. The court will consider the following before granting permission:
- Whether there are enough plaintiffs involved
- Where the plaintiffs are located in relation to each other
- If the injuries suffered are similar enough
- Whether the claims are associated with a common cause
If the court determines that the case is a mass tort action, the case will be assigned to a judge, who might then order that notice of the lawsuit be published in the media for others to see, in case there are more plaintiffs. Unlike a class action lawsuit, in a mass tort action, each plaintiff has an individual claim resulting in different damages.
If you need more information about mass tort cases, contact our Corpus Christi commercial litigation attorneys at Sico Hoelscher Harris & Braugh LLP.
Call (877) 631-9965 or contact us online today.