Difference Between Class Action Claim and Mass Tort Claim

You have probably heard of a class action lawsuit before. You may have even received something in the mail notifying you of your involvement in one. A class action lawsuit is a group of plaintiffs led by a class representative. Both the “class” and the representative have been wronged by the actions of the same defendant and begin the proceedings for a lawsuit.

Customers who bought merchandise with misleading labels, consumers who have been overcharged for items, and employees facing discrimination in the workplace are all examples of grounds for class action lawsuits.

Class Action v. Mass Tort

  • Damages
    • Class Action – Plaintiffs have a common defendant and must show common damages
    • Mass Tort – Plaintiffs have a common defendant but their damages differ
  • Individuality
    • Class Action – Plaintiffs bring suit as one “class” and are compensated as a group
    • Mass Tort – Plaintiffs’ claims are handled individually with specific damages and compensation
  • Structure
    • Class Action – Plaintiffs are led by class representative and usually one group of attorneys
    • Mass Tort – Plaintiffs can be represented by multiple attorneys or groups of attorneys

To illustrate a mass tort claim, a large pharmaceutical company releases a defective and harmful drug for over-the-counter consumption. The participants who bring the lawsuit will be unable to show the same damages because the defective drug will injure every person differently. The injured parties will bring a mass tort because of the difference in their claims.

Requirements for Class Action Lawsuits

The law requires certain criteria be met in order for a class action suit to be “certified” or allowed to proceed as a class action:

  • The plaintiffs must be able to show it would be impractical to pursue their claims individually
  • Every plaintiff must be able to show comparable damages with the rest of the group
  • The class representative must show similar damages and must be able to fairly represent the rest of the group

Mass Tort & Class Action Similarities

Mass tort lawsuits and class action lawsuits are very different both procedurally and in material. However, they do have some of the same characteristics:

  • There are multiple of plaintiffs
  • The same defendant has allegedly caused damages
  • The lawsuit has been merged into one action

Despite these intricacies, one aspect remains the same: A negligent party injured a large group of people. The experienced and established personal injury attorneys at Bergener Mirejovsky are able to navigate the waters of these complicated claims and guide you in the right direction.

Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-881-2021 if you feel you are among a group of people who have been injured this way. We will evaluate your claim and fight relentlessly to find you the care and compensation you deserve.

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That means we charge you nothing unless we reach a successful settlement of your claim. If we don’t get you compensated for your damages, you don’t pay us a dime.
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