We Fight for Consumers’ Rights in Multi-District Litigation
From pharmaceutical companies to chain stores, big corporations shape much of American life. That means when one of these companies makes a mistake or knowingly endangers consumers, the harm can be widespread. The best way to get justice in this type of case is often through a mass tort claim.
Ashcraft & Gerel is home to trusted mass tort lawyers who have served on leadership committees in consequential cases. We have taken part in major mass tort litigation including recent cases against Johnson & Johnson talcum powder and ParaGard IUDs. Our attorneys know how these large, complex issues unfold—and can represent you in your claim from start to finish.
Mass Tort Cases and How They Work
Personal injury law is based on the presumption that any negligent party, whether an individual, institution, or company, is responsible for any harm its actions cause others. When that harm is an individual matter, like a bad car accident, one lawsuit can help that person find justice. When an institution or corporation’s failures end up hurting multiple people, mass tort or class action lawsuits allow all the victims to find justice while avoiding the burden of hundreds or thousands of individual lawsuits being heard separately.
With a mass tort case (also known as multi-district litigation, or MDL), all individual claims are consolidated into one court somewhere in the nation. Each claimant still has their own lawsuit—but it will be heard in the same venue as every other lawsuit filed against the same defendant for the same act of negligence. This allows the judge overseeing these cases to decide procedural issues once rather than having to re-hear motions for each case and ensures evidence of wrongdoing is interpreted the same way every time.
In short, mass tort cases ensure the court system is identical for each claimant, so everyone receives justice on the same terms. In doing so, they also prevent a court from being backlogged due to a flurry of similar lawsuits.
What to Know If You’re Considering Filing a Mass Tort Claim
While each mass tort case arises out of a number of consumer lawsuits, no individual starts one of these claims. If you hear about an active mass tort lawsuit regarding an issue that has affected you, you can call up one of our lawyers and tell them you think you may be eligible to join the suit.
If you have a claim regarding a product or situation that may have affected many others but isn’t currently facing widespread litigation, your lawyer can’t automatically make your claim into a mass tort case. What they can do is help you file a lawsuit and keep an eye out for other similar cases. If multiple suits are filed due to the same issue or incident, they may be consolidated into a mass tort. It helps to have an experienced mass tort attorney on your side if you believe your claim may end up being heard alongside other similar cases.
Is My Claim a Mass Tort or Class Action?
Class action cases, in which multiple wronged parties come together to file a claim against a defendant, are similar to mass torts but not identical. The main difference is this: In a class action, every member of the class receives the exact same outcome. If there is a settlement, it will be divided evenly among the class, who are all members of the same lawsuit. In a mass tort or MDL case, by contrast, each plaintiff files their own lawsuit so their outcome can be determined based on their specific harms.
Mass torts are more fit for issues where several plaintiffs were wronged but suffered different amounts or types of harm. These cases are commonly filed in the fields of:
When reporting damages in such cases, claimants often sustain different injuries and/or require a variety of treatments to recover. It wouldn’t be fair if someone who just had to go to the ER received the same amount of compensation as someone who spent two weeks in the hospital and missed an additional month of work on top of that. Because each plaintiff presents their case individually in a mass tort case, a judge and jury can decide how much compensation is appropriate for their losses.
If you’re not sure whether your claim would be considered a mass tort or class action, you can ask one of our lawyers in a free consultation. We’re here to help you understand how these cases work and what you can expect if you file.
Call a Nationally Respected Mass Tort Lawyer Today
Ashcraft & Gerel has a strong mass torts and MDL practice section led by Attorney Michelle A. Parfitt, who has held leadership positions in some of the largest mass tort cases of the past few years. Our team has decades of combined experience, a record of success, and the resources to handle complex litigation against large corporations. We’ve taken high-profile cases to court before—and won.
More importantly, we’re dedicated to helping people find justice when they’ve been wronged by bad actors. Our team has been integral to monumental cases that changed industries and influenced laws. We are dedicated advocates for those who have been harmed, stopping at nothing to ensure their stories are heard.
If you are looking for a firm that will fully represent your interests and fight for you, ask Ashcraft & Gerel how we can help you find justice. We have been serving the seriously injured since 1953.