Mass Litigation/Mass Tort Lawyers in Charlotte
Helping You Understand Your Right to a Fair Recovery
When many people suffer harm as a result of a single entity’s negligence, those affected individuals can take part in what are known as “mass torts.” Mass torts, or mass litigation, involves multiple plaintiffs (affected parties) taking action against a single or few liable entities for separate damages.
For example, if you were injured after taking a defective pharmaceutical drug, you may wish to take part in mass litigation. Because the nature and extent of your injuries will likely differ from others who took the same defective drug, taking part in a mass tort could be your best option, as it will allow you to seek compensation for your specific damages. This is opposed to a class action, in which a single reward is split between multiple plaintiffs.
How Does Mass Torts Work?
When it comes to mass litigation, there are a few important things you should know. First, these types of civil actions often take longer than other types of personal injury claims because they involve multiple plaintiffs. However, mass torts can save you the expenses associated with a single-plaintiff claim. Additionally, because multiple attorneys may work on a single mass tort action, you will have the benefit of extensive and varied experience, invaluable resources, and vast skill on your side.
Generally speaking, the mass tort process typically goes as follows:
- Reviewing Records: Our Charlotte mass tort attorneys begin by looking at your medical records and other important documentation in order to determine the nature, severity, and extent of your injuries and damages. This process is done for all claimants in a mass tort action.
- Check for Injury Consistencies: When building evidence, the involved attorneys will review the consistency of injuries/harm experienced by all claimants—consistent injuries indicate that a defective product is likely the cause.
- Case Consolidation and Filing: Each individual case is consolidated into one, which is then typically filed in federal court.
- Bellwether Trials: In some cases, bellwether trials are conducted as a means of determining how future trials may go. Bellwether trials involve taking a small selection of lawsuits from the larger pool and trying them first.
- Litigation and Settlement: In most cases, mass torts are settled. However, it may be necessary to seek a jury verdict if the liable entity refuses to settle the case or when claimants do not wish to accept the settlement offer.
Throughout the process, our mass tort lawyers will keep you informed and up to date on the status of the litigation. We understand that this can be a lengthy and complex situation, which is why we are always available to answer your questions and address any concerns you may have.
What Are the Differences Between Mass Torts & Class Actions?
Mass torts and class action lawsuits both involve large groups of plaintiffs who have been injured similarly or identically by the defendant. However, there are distinct differences you should know about.
Differences between mass torts and class action lawsuits include:
- Mass torts: Plaintiffs in mass torts are technically all individual plaintiffs with individual and unique cases. Each mass tort plaintiff needs to prove their specific case in court to be successful. The results of each case in a mass tort are separate, so one plaintiff could receive some compensation, the next could receive twice that amount, and the next might receive nothing. Because mass torts are handled individually, such groups are usually considerably smaller than a typical class action lawsuit.
- Class actions: Plaintiffs in class action lawsuits are all part of a single, albeit large, plaintiff class. If the class succeeds, then all plaintiffs in it do, too, and the same for failed class action lawsuits. Rewards won in class actions are typically distributed evenly among all plaintiffs in the class.
Are Mass Tort Results Shared by Plaintiffs?
As mentioned, the results in a mass tort are not codependent on one another. Where one plaintiff succeeds, the next might fail because of unique details in their claim. Therefore, plaintiffs do not share results. This separation is important because it allows every plaintiff to win on their own merits.
How Long Does a Mass Tort Case Take?
One of the more prominent “downsides” of a mass tort is that it has the potential to last much longer than the average injury lawsuit. As cases develop, courts consider arguments and evidence, and the defendant works on different ways to defend themselves from new mass torts, the timeline from the start to the end can lengthen more and more. You should expect a mass tort to take at least a year or two to conclude. Again, the fact that mass tort cases are conducted and concluded independently means that your lawsuit could end well before or well after others filing for the same reasons.
In extreme cases, mass torts can last much, much longer, though. For example, there are still some asbestos-related mass torts that first started to form in the ‘80s that continue to this day. Although the overarching mass tort might still be active, that doesn't mean that individual cases have lasted that long.
What Does a Mass Tort Attorney Do?
A “tort” is a legal term for some sort of wrongdoing that can be concluded in civil court, rather than a criminal court. A “mass tort” describes a civil wrongdoing that has affected a “massive” amount of people. A mass tort attorney is a personal injury attorney who has focused part or all of their practice on handling the nuances of mass torts that the average injury lawyer might never encounter.
Duties of a mass tort attorney might include:
- Representing multiple plaintiffs in similar cases.
- Coordinating with other plaintiff law offices, perhaps in different states.
- Studying results from other cases in the same mass tort to benefit current clients.
- Meeting deadlines and courtroom requirements unique to mass torts.
Importantly, mass tort claims can share evidence among all the plaintiff cases in order to strengthen each one individually. For example, if a court in Florida accepts lab results for a defective herbicide product as evidence of carcinogenic properties, then it could be expected that a court in California working with the same mass torts should accept those lab results, too. A mass tort attorney needs to know how to find, use, and share such evidence with other legal professionals working on the same type of mass tort case, regardless of where they are.
Request a Free Case Evaluation
The first step in seeking fair compensation for your injuries and/or losses is to reach out to our firm for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. During the initial case review, we will go over the details of your situation to determine whether or not you have a case. From there, we can advise you on how best to proceed, whether through mass litigation or single-plaintiff civil action.
Since 1983, Charles G. Monnett III & Associates has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured individuals and the families of those wrongfully killed throughout the Charlotte area. We believe in treating each and every one of our clients with the care, consideration, and compassion they deserve. We invite you to reach out to our team today to learn more about how we can help you with your case.
Charles was always available and informative on this process.- Susan Z.
Without their help, I would probably have lost everything that I owned.- Rick M.
Lauren Newton exceeded all of my expectations and she genuinely cares about her clients.- Jade B.
The experience I had was exactly what I wanted.- Jacob G.
I was very satisfied.- Raven B.
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