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How Class Action Lawsuits Differ from Mass Tort Cases

When we think of any trial or court case, we tend to imagine an individual seeking compensation for damages done by another, one-on-one. Both mass tort and class action cases are unique because they group “the individual” or the plaintiffs into one larger lawsuit against the second party.

Both are a combined group of people who share the same grievance. In both instances, the group of plaintiffs are claiming harm or wrongdoing and seeking compensation for those damages from that common defendant.

Class action and mass torts are consolidated into one case rather than separate lawsuits. These proceedings are designed to cut down on the number of court cases that arise when many people are harmed by the same problem.

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So, what’s the big difference?

  • The biggest separating factor is how the individuals in the group of plaintiffs are treated.
    • Mass torts often involve a group of distinct individuals sometimes from the same geographic area.
    • Because of this, mass tort cases typically consist of a smaller group of injured plaintiffs than a class action suit.
  • Although plaintiffs in a mass tort are part of a large group, each member is still treated as an individual.
    • This means that each plaintiff must prove certain facts, including how each person was injured by the defendant.
  • Class action suits are handled a little differently.
    • The group of plaintiffs, known as a class, is represented by an individual called a class representative.
    • The class representative stands as the speaker for the rest of the class and each member is treated as one plaintiff.
  • The process of the two are similar.
    • However, in a mass tort case, individuals will receive a payout based on the severity of their specific injuries rather than the equal piece awarded to the individuals of a class action.

Mass torts are generally more complicated than class action lawsuits because mass tort cases don’t necessarily follow standard legal procedure. Therefore, we always recommend seeking professional advice from our personal injury law firm with more than 75+ years of experience. If you think you have a mass tort claim, it can be hard to know where to begin. That's where we come in.

Bart Durham Injury Law has established a reputation for successful claims involving defective drugs, medical devices, product liability and other mass tort claims. Our consultations are always FREE and there’s no obligation to you.

If you believe you may have a mass tort claim or a class action lawsuit, contact the professionals at Bart Durham Injury Law right now!

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