When consumers purchase a product, take medication, or receive a medical device to help improve their quality of life, they expect these products to be dependable and harmless. Large companies responsible for designing, manufacturing, and distributing consumer products have a duty and an obligation to ensure public safety. If there are risks involved with any product, the dangers should be communicated to the community at large. However, defective goods, dangerous pharmaceutical products, and unsafe medical devices are often sold to customers who don’t know the risks.
As an individual, it can be extremely difficult to obtain compensation after being hurt by a large, well-funded company. However, the qualified, experienced attorneys at Chris Hudson & Associates will fight for you. We know how to handle complex cases and assist injured victims in making fair recoveries—even in complicated mass tort cases.
What Is a Mass Tort Case?The legal term “tort” refers to a wrongful injury, and the victim of a wrongful injury is allowed to seek financial compensation from the negligent party by suing for damages. If that negligent party is a big corporation whose defective product has caused injuries to a larger group of people, those people can pool their resources to hold the company accountable in a mass tort case. In other words, personal injury law allows the collective group to seek compensation through a single action, even though each lawsuit is handled individually. Mass tort litigation is complicated and often requires a “pattern of facts” that show enough similarity for the cases to be joined together.
You may hear the term “class action suit” and “mass tort” used interchangeably, and though similar, they’re not the same. For example, the number of plaintiffs in a mass tort is usually less than those in a class action suit because mass torts involve injuries to a specific group of people who customarily live in the same geographic area.
Additionally, in a class action lawsuit, many people are hurt by a defective or harmful product in the same way, and the class must share common characteristics. In a mass tort, many people may be hurt, but the injuries are not always similar—thus, it’s difficult to form “one class” to create a class action suit. So, these cases are handled as mass torts. Each plaintiff is considered as an individual in a mass tort but with a single legal action for those individuals. Additionally, the facts and details of each injury must be established separately for each plaintiff, including how the defendant harmed each plaintiff.
Mass Tort Advantages
Mass tort lawsuits have several advantages over individual personal injury cases and class action cases, including:
- Each plaintiff in a mass tort must file his own individual lawsuit, but claimants can choose a single firm or attorney to represent everyone.
- Plaintiffs can share in the evidence that’s gathered in pre-trial proceedings. Because one attorney or a group of attorneys is allowed to represent the injured parties in their individual lawsuits, all evidence is combined and shared. This accelerates the litigation process, is more efficient, and helps ensure that each plaintiff receives a fair settlement.
Do You Have a Mass Tort Case?
You may successfully pursue a mass tort case if you are injured because of a:
Design DefectIf the design of the product was flawed, and the company knew or should have known about the danger, the company may be liable if that defect caused your injury.
Manufacturing DefectThe design of a product may be reasonably safe. But if the product wasn’t manufactured according to specification or the manufacturer deviated from the approved design, it may contain a defect that can be dangerous when used.
Marketing Defect (Failure To Warn)Some products, including many pharmaceutical products, have known dangers. The company must warn the public of all of the possible side effects and risks associated with a product. The failure to provide appropriate warnings may be a marketing defect.
To prove that a design, manufacturing, or marketing defect caused your injury, you need strong evidence to bring a case against large and powerful companies like Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, Bayer, and 3M. Mass tort lawyers can help you collect the necessary evidence through the legal discovery process.
We Represent Clients in a Variety of Mass Tort Cases
We are committed to helping people who have been hurt by a large company’s negligence make a fair recovery. Currently, some of the mass tort cases we handle include:
- Dual-Ended Combat Arms Earplugs. Tinnitus and hearing loss are the most common service-related disabilities for United States military veterans. In an effort to prevent these injuries, the U.S. government issued 3M dual-ended Combat Arms™ Earplugs Version 2 to people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 – 2015. Unfortunately, these earplugs did not provide the promised protection, and service members suffered tinnitus and hearing loss as a result.
- Talcum Powder. For generations, Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder has been used to keep skin dry and to soothe irritations. In recent years, serious health concerns have been associated with talcum-based baby powder. These problems include respiratory issues and cancers. Lawsuits have been filed alleging that women who regularly used talcum powder on their genitals developed ovarian cancer.
- Roundup®. Over the last few decades, Roundup has been regularly used by farmers, landscapers, and property owners to control weeds and manage lawns. The main ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, and studies have linked glyphosate to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Injured parties have filed lawsuits against Roundup maker Monsanto to recover damages.
- IVC Filters. An IVC filter is a small metal device placed inside the body that is designed to catch blood clots. Blood clots in the legs or pelvis can occasionally travel to the lungs, where they could cause a pulmonary embolism or blockage. IVC filters have been linked to severe, potentially deadly injuries. These include hemorrhage, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. Lawsuits have already been filed and continue to move forward against IVC filter manufacturing companies.
- Hernia Mesh. Complications related to hernia repair with surgical mesh have been associated with recalled products that are no longer on the market. Pain, infection, obstruction, and perforation are common complications associated with hernia mesh patients. If you received a hernia mesh product and underwent additional surgeries to remove the mesh or repair damage you may be able to obtain a settlement.
- Truvada. This prescription medicine has been used to treat HIV patients in an effort to help improve their immune system. Some people who have taken Truvada have experienced serious side effects including kidney and liver failure. If you have been prescribed this drug and have experienced dangerous side effects you may be able to sue the manufacturer, Gilead Science.
How Our Georgia Mass Tort Lawyers Can Help YouIf you have been hurt by a defective product, medical device, or dangerous pharmaceutical drug, call Chris Hudson & Associates today. We would be happy to provide you a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss:
- Whether you should start or join a mass tort case
- How we can protect your claim while you focus on your physical recovery
- How we can make sure you are treated fairly in a mass tort action
- Damages you may recover in a mass tort action, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and punitive damages