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The Difference Between Mass Tort & Class Action Cases

You’ve probably seen commercials about a faulty product or device that caused users to experience pain, develop a health condition, or succumb to fatal injuries. And, if you or a loved one fell victim to similar damages from one of those items, you may feel obligated to take legal action along with others who have been harmed.

Although you legally deserve financial reparations for your injuries or loss, you may be jeopardizing your case by taking the wrong course of action.

Depending on the severity of your injuries and those involved, you may be eligible to participate in a mass tort action or class action lawsuit.

These legal courses both involve a group of affected plaintiffs, but the outcome of each case varies greatly.

Mass Tort

A mass tort is a legal action that involves a number of plaintiffs, sometimes within the same geographic location. Typically, the plaintiffs are a group of people experiencing similar damages from the same incident or product, such as a prescription medication or medical device, and they are taking action against one or more defendants.

The degree of injuries can vary from plaintiff to plaintiff, but the damages must directly relate to the same defendant.

Although there are multiple plaintiffs in a mass tort action, they must report their claims and find representation individually. Plaintiffs file claims separately for the court to understand the severity of each individual’s injury or loss, which determines the level of compensation each person receives if the case goes to trial.

And if the mass tort action reaches a settlement instead, each plaintiff becomes eligible for a unique portion of the collective compensation.

Class Action

Similar to a mass tort action, a class action lawsuit involves multiple plaintiffs filing against the same defendant or group of defendants for the same damages.

However, the amount of plaintiffs in a class action suit is often larger and spread across the nation. And, rather than individually reporting their claims and having separate representation, one leading plaintiff represents the group of victims in a class action suit.

The leading plaintiff and their council are the only members of the affected party that need to be present during the proceeding, because the court acknowledges the plaintiffs as one group.

And, unlike a mass tort, each plaintiff of the action can sometimes receive the same amount of compensation upon settlement.

Expert Personal Injury Attorneys in The Villages

There are multiple ways to handle class action or mass tort cases that can maximize the financial support you deserve. At the BCN Law firm in The Villages, our seasoned personal injury attorneys can determine the best course of action for your case. For more information and a free consultation, call us today at 352-775-4739.