Difference Between A Mass Tort And Class Action Lawsuit

published on: December 28, 2023 last updated on: January 3, 2024
Difference Between A Mass Tort And Class Action Lawsuit

Do you ever wonder what happens when a large number of people are harmed by a similar defendant or product? If you are one of the victims, you would ideally want to sue the responsible party for your injuries and damages.

Have you been confused about how to take legal action? You have two options: A mass tort and a class action lawsuit. Before taking any legal action, you should know what they are and how they differ.

If you’ve experienced any side effects from using any defective drugs, a mass tort lawyer will help you file a case against the drug manufacturer.

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the main difference between these two popular forms of lawsuits.

What Is A Mass Tort?

A mass atrocity or tort comes under personal injury law and involves multiple plaintiffs who have sustained different types or degrees of harm from the same defendant or product.

Under this, every plaintiff can file their claim against the negligent party based on the specific facts and circumstances of their case.

The following are some examples of mass torts:

  • Dangerous drugs
  • Defective products
  • Pollutions
  • Explosions
  • Commercial plane crashes
  • Groundwater contamination

What Is A Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit involves one or more representative plaintiffs who sue on behalf of a larger group of people who have sustained similar harm from the same defendant or product.

The representative plaintiffs are also known as lead plaintiffs or class representatives.

The lead plaintiff should be certified by the court, which means that the court should find that the plaintiff meets certain criteria, such as,

  • The class is so numerous that joining all members individually would be impractical
  • The class members share common questions of law or fact that predominate over any individual issues
  • The claims of the representative plaintiffs are typical of those of the class members
  • The representative plaintiffs will adequately protect the interests of the class

Some Examples Of Class Action Lawsuits

Difference Between Mass Tort And Class Action Lawsuit 

In a mass tort, each plaintiff has a lawsuit against the defendant. However, the lawsuits are grouped together for convenience and efficiency. This means that each plaintiff can have different injuries, damages, and evidence, and they will receive different amounts of compensation.

If a defective drug causes various side effects for different people, they can file a mass criminal case against the drug manufacturer.

In lawsuits like that of class action, one individual or a small collection of people represents the whole class of people. Further, they might experience harm by the defendant in the same way. This means that the class members have the same injuries, damages, and evidence. Additionally, they share the same outcome of the lawsuit.

For instance, if a company overcharges its customers for a service, they can file a class suit against the company.

What makes a mass atrocity and a class action lawsuit different is the level of control and individuality that every plaintiff has in the case. In mass tort cases, each plaintiff can decide whether to join or opt out of the lawsuit. Moreover, they can have their own attorney and settlement.

Whereas in a class action lawsuit, all the plaintiffs benefit equally from the lawsuit. This will save money, time, and effort for each plaintiff. In rare cases, the court will award extra compensation to the class representative for the extra effort and time they spent on the case.

Read Also: Financial Planning Post Car Accident: Medical and Legal Fees

Final Thoughts

By reading our article, you can understand the difference between a class action lawsuit and a mass tort. Now, you can easily take legal action that suits your circumstances.

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Mony Shah

With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing profound thoughts and opinions on finance, insurance and lifestyle niches.

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