Mass tort or class action, what is the difference between one and the other?

Mass tort

It is often thought that a Mass tort and a class action are the same, but this is not the case. Both are legal procedures through which a group of individuals claims compensation for their damage. But one is different from the other. 

It is essential to understand the differences to know which option a person should choose when faced with a situation that requires legal action. Of course, you should always seek the advice of professionals; however, this information is beneficial to understand what these procedures are about.

The objective in both cases, of course, is the same; a class action and a Mass Tort litigation seek to reach a fair settlement so that the injured parties obtain adequate compensation since, in most cases, the companies and businesses to be fought against are compelling, which makes it impossible for an individual on his own to defend himself.

Knowing where to start is often tricky, so it is essential to seek advice from one of the many litigation support services. In most cases, initial consultations are free of charge; so it is advisable that those looking forward to initiating a lawsuit contact experts.

What is a mass tort?

A tort is harm or injury that one party negligently causes to another party. A mass tort involves several people harmed by the same entity or company. 

Each of the plaintiffs may have different injuries, so each injured party takes action against the company that injured them. However, since several people are going through the same situation against the same company, the cases are grouped and presented before the same judge and court, which helps injured parties save time and resources.

Most mass tort litigation cases involve defective consumer products, claims against pharmaceuticals for harmful drugs, environmental problems, or catastrophes caused by companies.

What is a class action?

The principle is the same as a mass tort, but in this case, all the injured parties suffer the same type of damage. Therefore, they all request the same compensation.

This type of procedure serves to help several people who may be harmed by a company or corporation but whose compensation would not be large enough to act individually.

Typical class action cases include damages for a defective product, victims of misleading or manipulative advertising, defective products, or drugs that do not fully warn of side effects.

A lawsuit is a class action when it meets the following criteria: there must be a legal complaint against the defendant, the injured parties must be a large group suffering the same type of damages, there must be a lead plaintiff, and a plan developed by the attorneys representing all of the injured parties.

Individuals who wish to participate in the class action may choose to join the existing class that filed the plan in the case or seek a representative of their own. The compensation value may increase with the number of people participating in the same lawsuit. 

Main differences between the two litigation support services

The main difference is that the number of people involved in a massive tort is usually less than those in a class action. In addition, in an enormous tort, each person is treated individually and must present evidence. While all the plaintiffs usually offer the same damage, everyone will have to explicitly prove the damage they suffered since each person was affected differently. In these cases, compensation is based on the magnitude of each individual’s damage.

Main differences between the two litigation support services

On the other hand, in a class action, all participants are part of a “class” and are represented by an individual who is chosen as the “class representative.” In this case, all participants are treated as victims since they all suffered the same damage. Thus, the compensation is the same for everyone. 

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About the Author: Barry Lachey

Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources "Joe Joe." he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.