When a large number of people sustain injuries from a single cause, such as a defective product, they may seek damages using the mass tort process of the law. Using a mass tort, all of those harmed have individual injuries and will individually sue the company that produced the product. All of those lawsuits are packaged into the mass tort, which is basically a collection of similar claims.
Each of the lawsuits in the collection will be settled or set for trial and tried separately. Because the people injured by the mass-produced product will live in various legal jurisdictions, mass torts are also called multi-jurisdictional trials.
If mass torts sound like class actions cases, that is because they are similar. However, the differences are that class actions have huge numbers of claimants, such as those harmed by a faulty automobile design. So, the damages award, although large, is divided among all the claimants. Because mass tort litigants have their own lawsuits they receive all of the damages achieved in a settlement or awarded by a jury. A West Palm Beach mass torts lawyer could work to help injured individuals recover the damages they deserve. A qualified attorney can advocate for litigants.
As mass torts are multi-jurisdictional, attorneys from various locations can work together with the aid of the media available today, each representing their own clients, but sharing information, evidence, ideas, and resources. This approach can lower the cost of suing to the individual claimant.
Because the claimants may be separated by distance, a West Palm Beach mass torts lawyer could use their own resources to search for others similarly situated to join the mass tort. The advent of social media has made it easier for those held together by only the cause of their injuries to be reached.
Other than defective products in automobiles and all other products, mass torts can arise from other circumstances.
Two other broad categories are hazardous substances (i.e., toxic chemicals contaminating a source of drinking water), and man-made disasters (i.e., atomic energy plants leaking radioactive steam or mass transportation wrecks). Sovereign immunity is a legal protection enjoyed by states, the federal government, and all agencies and departments therein. It means that damages are limited and the Statute of Limitations may vary.
Florida law waives its sovereign immunity to allow mass tort lawsuits. However, the amount of damages that can be claimed cannot include punitive damages (meaning to punish), and the cap for individuals generally suing Florida is $200,000. The legislature has to approve damages more than those amounts in special sessions.
Personal injury is the applicable law to sue for damages. The doctrines of strict liability and negligence are used to assign fault. Those suing under the strict liability doctrine do not have to prove liability. It is automatically applied to the defendant. The plaintiff basically needs to show that the defendant produced the product and is responsible for it. Negligence has to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence and the key is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the injured and breached it.
Potential clients can meet with the West Palm Beach mass torts lawyer in a free consultation, without any obligation to hire the attorney. The facts can be evaluated and the viability of the case assessed. Beginning a case does not require attorney fees. They will be paid by the damages awarded. If the lawsuit does not produce any damages, the lawyer does not receive a fee. This is standard among personal injury attorneys in Florida.
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