A tort is an action that caused harm to a person. The person or entity who caused the harm is called a tortfeasor. A mass tort is a civil lawsuit brought against one defendant by numerous plaintiffs in product liability cases. Fort Lauderdale mass torts lawyers may have extensive experience working these intricate mass tort product liability cases. If you want to know more about mass torts or are considering filing a claim, consult a compassionate and capable personal injury lawyer that can advocate for you.
Mass torts are similar to class action lawsuits but generally are more complex because they consist of a number of individual complaints rather than individuals joining a class. The harm committed and the circumstances are different for each plaintiff in dangerous drug or product defect cases.
Multiple Fort Lauderdale mass torts attorneys from various firms may work the case while representing their own claimant. They can share their ideas, exchange information, and combine resources. This arrangement can reduce the individual’s cost of legal representation.
Adjudicating mass torts diverts from standard court procedures. Although a mass tort case is assigned to a single judge, each claimant’s case is presented individually rather than a class action representing one case with many plaintiffs lumped together. The monetary amount of damages awarded to individuals may sometimes be greater in mass torts than in class actions.
A wrongful act in mass tort cases can fall under strict liability or negligence statutes. Strict liability can hold the maker of a product liable without proof of any negligence. In negligence based cases, the plaintiffs must prove the wrongful act was negligent.
Products that are dangerous because of a defect in design, manufacture, or marketing are strict liability issues. Typical cases involve consumer products with some kind of flaw that can cause harm, prescription drugs that have serious side effects, or environmental issues such as contaminated drinking water. Employee discrimination can be a mass tort case if loss of income happens to different employees.
A Fort Lauderdale mass torts lawyer can handle the following types of mass tort cases:
An attorney must ask the court for permission to bring a case as a mass tort. The court must consider several factors in granting permission, such as the number of plaintiffs, their locations, and distances from each other, if the harm caused was similar for the plaintiffs, and if the claims are from a common source. The court assigns a judge to a mass tort case, who may require the attorney to publicize the case so additional potential claimants may join.
Because the harm for each claimant is different, the damages pursued and awarded vary. Common recoverable damages are based on financial loss (economic) and personal harm (non-economic). Generally, damages include medical care and therapeutic treatments, loss of income both currently and in the future, disability, pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional trauma. In Florida, a person harmed in a product liability action has four years from the time of injury or when it is discovered to file a lawsuit with the court.
Those who think the cause of an injury could be a mass tort should contact a Fort Lauderdale mass torts lawyer at their earliest opportunity. An attorney can arrange a free consultation to review the circumstances of your injury and either begin a mass tort lawsuit or join an existing mass tort case. Call today to find out if a mass tort suit is in your best interests.