The terms “class action” and “mass torts” are often used interchangeably, or perhaps more accurately, mass tort actions are often called class actions. Both legal actions have similarities:
Although they share similarities, mass torts and class actions are distinctly different legal actions, which are further explained below. Throughout the country, both mass torts and class actions are on the rise. Plaintiffs’ counsel increasingly use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to notify potential claimants of investigations and actions, and encourage participation in litigation.
In mass torts and class actions, attorney fees are typically on a contingency fee basis. If the legal action is not successful in recovering money, the plaintiffs typically owe nothing. The lawyers handling the claim are usually paid through a percentage of the settlement.
Class actions are common in consumer disputes, false advertising, and excess billing. In a class action lawsuit, an individual may seek financial relief for something that would be too expensive to pursue independently. In an example scenario, if 10,000 people were deceptively charged $50 in excessive fees for a service, the company that charged the $50 fee would profit $500,000. However, if each of the individuals harmed wanted to individually hire a lawyer and file a claim in court, this would cost them substantially more than they could ever recover in damages.
A class action lawsuit allows a group of individuals to jointly recover for their damages. Class actions protect consumers and hold companies and employers accountable. Trial courts must determine if proposed class action settlements are fair, adequate, and reasonable. In some cases, the time spent filling out a single claim may not seem worthwhile; however, it’s important to consider the strength of the group to hold a wrongdoer accountable. The more parties that join an action, the more viable a claim will be.
The Target data breach case is an example of a large class action lawsuit. During the 2013 holiday season, hackers stole personal information and credit and debit card data of millions of Target customers. Customers who provided proof of losses were later reimbursed for their losses.
Some of the class action lawsuits we are currently following or investigating include:
Mass tort cases are common actions for people who have been harmed by toxic contaminants, dangerous products, defective drugs, and harmful medical devices. Typically, they involve someone being physically injured. Well known mass tort cases over the years have involved the following:
Mass torts involve individual damage awards. For example, if 100 people were injured by a dangerous workout product, someone who suffered an ankle strain in their right ankle would most likely recover much less money than someone who broke both of their ankles.
In November 2020, the New York Times reported that 232,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses from 1999 through 2018. Pharmaceutical companies have been sued for manipulative marketing tactics and pushing doctors to prescribe drugs. Painkiller addiction has caused many people to become addicted to illegal opioids like heroin and the extremely dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl.
Below are some of the mass tort cases we are monitoring and following.
If you have questions about your eligibility for a mass tort lawsuit, contact us for a free consultation.
Although there are many benefits to class actions and mass torts, it is always advisable to speak with an attorney before joining a legal action. In some circumstances, giving up your right to pursue an individual claim may not be the best route. To speak to an attorney about your legal rights and options, call Shrader Mendez & O’Connell, to discuss your potential case.