Personal injury law focuses on injured individuals who suffer because of the negligence of another person or entity. Sometimes, numerous individuals are hurt by the actions or inactions of a person or company or those of companies that provide similar products or services. It is the latter situation that might warrant a mass tort lawsuit.
Perhaps you were injured by a piece of equipment, a car airbag, or by taking a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication. If several other individuals were also injured by similar products, you might have a mass tort case on your hands. Find out, by contacting the experienced Huntsville mass tort lawyers at Cloud, Ryan & Rouse, LLC. We have helped many clients take part in mass tort lawsuits to receive the justice they deserve for their injuries.
Characteristics of Mass Tort Cases
When many plaintiffs suffer similar injuries, allegedly caused by a single defendant or defendants in a related industry, a mass tort case might be warranted. A mass tort case always involves multiple plaintiffs who were injured by a service or product. The service or product can be offered by one company or several similar companies such as drug manufacturers.
Typically, the plaintiffs have sustained similar injuries under similar circumstances. Their injuries have caused damages and losses, such as economic hardships and physical and psychological pain. Huntsville mass tort attorneys are experienced in leading cases of this magnitude and helping to obtain justice for those involved.
The Efficiency of Mass Tort Lawsuits
Class action lawsuits have strength in numbers. In a mass tort lawsuit, it is common for one firm to have their Huntsville mass tort lawyers represent the multiple plaintiffs involved. Mass tort lawsuits are strengthened by the pooling of information and resources. If each plaintiff were to hire their own law firm, each law firm, along with their Huntsville mass tort attorneys, would need to investigate the injury claim, gather evidence, and file legal pleadings. When one law firm handles a mass tort case, their investigating and evidence gathering allows them to benefit many plaintiffs. It cuts down on the word load but can increase the effectiveness of the lawsuit at the same time.
In a mass tort lawsuit, attorneys from the same law firm or even multiple law firms working together on the mass tort case can represent numerous clients, even ones that are from different areas of the country. No matter how many firms are involved or where they are located, they all have a common goal of receiving the maximum compensation for their mass tort clients either by way of a fair settlement or a court award for their damages.
Another way these lawsuits can increase the efficiency of injury cases is that their similarities may allow them to be consolidated into one or just a few jurisdictions across our country. This consolidation also makes more efficient use of the resources of the American justice system and can also save time.
Types of Legal Claims that Could Give Rise to a Mass Tort Case
If you believe that you suffered an injury that may qualify for a mass tort lawsuit, discuss your circumstances with the seasoned Huntsville mass tort lawyers from our firm. Common legal claims that give rise to mass tort lawsuit include:
- Dangerous pharmaceutical drugs like Zantac, Ambien, and certain birth control pills
- Defective medical devices such as hernia mesh or hip replacements
- Environmental disasters, for example, oil spills, water pollution, pesticide poisoning
- Exposure to toxic chemicals, such as asbestos
- Other defective products like Johnson & Johnson’s talc baby powder
- Transportation disasters
Recent history reveals several substantial mass tort claims that have resulted in justice for injured individuals. From data breaches and prescription opioids to knee replacements and diabetic medications, those who suffered damages at the negligent hands of large companies or drug manufacturers have received compensation with the help of dedicated Huntsville mass tort attorneys.
Is a Mass Tort the Same as a Class Action Lawsuit?
Many people assume that a mass tort lawsuit is the same as a class-action lawsuit. Even though they share some of the same aspects, they are different. For example, a class-action lawsuit is one lawsuit filed against one defendant on behalf of a large group of people. A single plaintiff or a small group of plaintiffs represent all of the members of a class action lawsuit.
In these types of cases, each injured individual does not have to prove their damages. Instead, the representatives of the class set out to prove the liability of the defendant and the damages of the class members within a single suit. If the plaintiff receives a settlement or court award, it is divided among members of the class. In most class action lawsuits, the settlement or court award will have a provision to include attorneys’ fees and costs so that the single or handful of plaintiffs are not left footing the legal bills for the class alone.
If you are unsure whether your situation could benefit from a mass tort lawsuit or a class action lawsuit, schedule a consultation with one of our well-versed mass tort lawyers in Huntsville. They can determine if you have a legal claim and, if so, what the best course of legal action is going to be given the facts in the case.
How Does a Mass Tort Case Work?
If you and other individuals sustained an injury in a similar way or related to the same corporate misconduct, you should speak with our mass tort attorneys in Huntsville to pursue filing a mass tort claim. Although many are tried at the federal level, these legal claims can be filed in state or federal courts. The circumstances of your case will dictate whether it should be a federal or state case.
If your mass tort lawyers in Huntsville are aware that you are one of many plaintiffs that have already sued or plan to sue the same defendant or same type of defendant, your attorney might request permission from the court to file a mass tort claim. The court will consider the following factors when making their determination:
- How many plaintiffs the case involves
- Residence of the plaintiffs
- Whether the plaintiffs have incurred similar injuries
- If their claims arise from the same circumstances
- The location where the defendants are incorporated or do business
If the court decides to let your mass tort attorneys in Huntsville move forward with a mass tort claim, it will assign a judge to handle the mass tort cases. Even though there may be several other lawsuits, yours remains completely your own. Your mass tort lawyers in Huntsville will assist you in proving the facts of your case that can lead to a settlement or award. Your recovery is entirely your own.
Mass Tort Turned Multi-District Litigation
Sometimes, federal courts will decide that it is necessary to consolidate mass tort cases into a multi-district litigation (MDL). Courts use MDL as a way to process large amounts of complex cases more efficiently. The decision to add your case to the MDL is up to the MDL Judicial Panel. This panel will look to see if your case has the same factual or legal questions and will determine which federal district the cases will go to.
Before the case process can commence, it will need to be transferred to the district court, which will supervise discovery and pretrial proceedings for all of the consolidated cases. If your case is not dismissed or settled at this level, it will be sent back to the original court for a trial. While the case process for a mass tort claim can be confusing, your mass tort attorneys in Huntsville can explain it to you and let you know what is needed from you each step of the way. Our attorneys pride themselves in being available to their clients and providing them with open and honest communication.
Schedule Your Mass Tort Case Evaluation with Experienced Huntsville Mass Tort Lawyers
If you believe you were injured under similar circumstances as other individuals, now is the time to get help. Your legal rights are time-limited under Alabama law. If you do not act within this time limit, you may not be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Whether you have a personal injury case or a mass tort claim on your hands, we are here waiting to help. We know your injuries may cause a lot of pain, stress, and uncertainty in your life, and we do all that we can to make your life easier and seek justice on your behalf.
At Cloud, Ryan & Rouse, LLC, helping our clients achieve a favorable outcome in their case is our mission. We care about your legal burden and realize that resolution in your case not only reflects on our legal practice but impacts your life for many years to come. Let us begin helping you today. To schedule your mass tort case evaluation, call 256-801-1000 or use our online contact form.