1 - Definition - Mass tort is a civil action involving a number of plaintiffs who are suing one or more legal persons (companies). This civil litigation can take place in state and federal courts. The person(s) who commits the tort (the defendant) is held legally responsible for damage or injury done to the victim(s) (the plaintiffs). The typical mass tort case usually involves several plaintiffs and one defendant who has acted irresponsibly and negligently thus causing harm to the plaintiffs.
2 -Two main subcategories - There are two main subcategories of mass torts. ‘Single incident mass tort’ which entails several plaintiffs (victims) suffering injuries from a singular product or service produced or rendered by the defendant (e.g. a pharmaceutical company). ‘Dispersed mass tort’ means that the causes of damage or injury are more diverse and they vary from plaintiff to plaintiff.
3 - No company is protected from mass tort action – Although, filing a mass tort lawsuit against a corporate giant can be incredibly daunting, none of them are exempt from being sued in a mass tort action. Simply put, if their service or product has been proven to cause harm or injury, they should be held responsible. Sometimes, the case doesn’t even have to go to court and the parties can negotiate the settlement without litigation.
4 -Two most frequent mass tort claims - The two most frequent mass tort claims are the following:
Product claim / consumer product claim – this claim entails many plaintiffs suing a certain company together, and seeking a compensation for damages or injuries they have suffered by the company’s defective or dangerous products.
Pharmaceutical claims – as you probably know, these kind of legal claims have unfortunately become quite frequent. Often times, drugs that are supposed to improve our health, whether they are prescribed by a medical professional or bought over-the-counter, prove to be harmful, dangerous and even deadly.
5 - Statute of Limitations in the State of New York – Statute of Limitations denotes a period of time within the plaintiff(s) has to file a lawsuit or other civil action. Statute of Limitations differs from state to state but it usually ranges between one to six years.
Mass tort action is a very comprehensive and quite complex area of the law and the attorneys involved in mass tort cases have to be apt at handling several major cases at the same time which again requires substantial legal prowess, as well as financial means. In order to stand a good chance of winning in a mass tort action, you have to have legal representation, preferably an experienced one, well knowledgeable of state laws and able to efficiently deal with all the potential litigation problems while securing satisfactory compensatory damages for mass tort plaintiffs.
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