A mass tort is a legal structure in which many plaintiffs come together to sue one defendant. They are most often used in defective medical device cases or pharmaceutical cases. It is a way to streamline handling thousands of cases at once in a fair manner.
Joining a mass tort can be the easiest way to get compensation if you’ve been harmed medically, but you need to have the help of a mass tort lawyer. If a drug or medical device has harmed you, call White Law PLLC to speak with a Michigan mass torts lawyer.
Mass Torts We’re Involved In
While we can help you with any mass tort case, there are several cases as of this writing (Sept. 2022) that our firm is focused on. These include:
- Opioid cases
- Toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune
If you have another mass tort situation, like mesothelioma from asbestos exposure or the recent cases starting for the drug Elmiron for vision loss, we can still assist you. We will see if there is a mass tort case in progress, what the status is, and the requirements to qualify for joining.
Mass Torts vs. Class Actions
Both mass torts and class actions help many plaintiffs sue a single entity—usually a corporation. But there is an important difference. In a class action, courts assume everyone to be harmed the same amount. If the class wins their case, they evenly split the final award among themselves.
In mass tort situations, each plaintiff can make a case for the amount of harm they’ve suffered, and this is where a mass tort lawyer becomes especially useful. We will work to persuade the court to give you as much compensation as your injuries deserve.
Put simply, a mass tort lets each individual plaintiff file their own case, whereas a class action files a single case that everyone must accept.
How Long Do Mass Torts Take?
It depends on when you join the case. From start to finish, these cases can take years to resolve. Starting a mass tort is a long and difficult process. The major steps to start one include:
- Proving that a class of people was harmed for the same reason in the same way and that there are no inconsistencies between the plaintiff’s medical histories.
- Create a case that fits the broadest spectrum of plaintiffs. Sometimes, multiple cases must be prepared to account for differences in harm, such as age, duration of the injury, the severity of the injury, etc.
- Most mass torts are multi-state affairs, so the lawyer must present their cases in federal court and persuade them that a mass tort situation exists.
- The courts will try a few cases called bellwether trials, usually choosing the most serious victims with the highest potential damages. The outcome of these cases forms the foundation for trying all the other cases.
- By this point, if there is a strong chance the defendant will lose, they will settle out of court and come to an arrangement to pay victims based on the outcomes of the bellwether cases. However, some mass torts go through a full trial (and even appeals) before victims get paid.
If you join a mass tort after the bellwether cases are finished, and your condition makes it easy to qualify, it may not take too long to get compensation. If you’re just starting a case that you suspect could become a mass tort situation, you could be in for a very long wait.
Compared to everyone filing individual cases with the court, the mass tort process is still far faster. Our mass torts attorneys in Michigan will work hard to get your case processed as quickly as the courts will allow.
Compensation in Mass Tort Cases
You can receive compensation for many reasons in a mass tort case, including:
- Current and future medical bills
- Long-term care and physical therapy
- Disability costs
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- How your injuries have affected your relationships
- Mental and emotional damages
Because these cases are usually filed in federal court, you do not have to worry about damage caps. Michigan has a damage cap for non-economic damages in product liability cases, but that should not apply in a mass tort situation.
Hire White Law PLLC as Your Mass Tort Firm
Mass torts are among the most complicated of cases to try, but we have the outstanding legal services you need to start or join a mass tort case. We use the latest legal technologies and our proven experience to fight for the rights of victims suffering from corporate error and negligence.
Find out if your case qualifies to start or join a mass tort by contacting White Law PLLC for a free consultation. We have Michigan mass torts lawyers working right now for victims of the opioid crisis or who were exposed to chemicals at Camp Lejeune. Visit our pages on these cases for more information.