New York Consumer Class Action Lawsuit and Mass Tort Lawyers
Product manufacturers have an obligation to ensure all items they produce are reasonably safe. If a manufacturer, distributor or retailer sells a product that causes harm due to a flawed design, manufacturing defect or failure to warn, the responsible party may be held strictly liable for compensating victims for their injuries.
Often when a product causes injury, the product defect poses a risk to hundreds or even thousands of people. The victims of a defective product may file claims to recover compensation, but these claims are not usually processed individually.
Instead, cases may be considered mass tort claims and consolidated in various ways. Understanding consumer class actions and mass torts is important for all victims of defective products as you determine if joining your claim with others is the best way to get justice.
The experienced New York personal injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., offer free consultations to help you determine the best way to take legal action. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and provide answers to questions including:
- What are mass torts?
- What are class actions?
- How are mass torts and class actions different?
- Should I be part of a mass tort or class action?
Information About Mass Torts
Mass tort claims may be brought when multiple plaintiffs are harmed by a similar wrong. Typically, the individual cases of many plaintiffs are consolidated in one court or before one judge. Investigations related to the defective product are conducted just once by the group, rather than many times by each separate plaintiff.
Mass torts commonly arise related to:
- Defective drugs including Yaz, Yasmin, Lipitor, Topamax, SSRIs and other medications with unexpected side effects.
- Defective medical devices including transvaginal mesh and metal-on-metal hip implant products.
- Mesothelioma and asbestos exposure cases
- Auto defects, including tires with treads that separate or vehicles that are prone to roll over.
- Dangerous food or drink products such as energy drinks
- Toxic torts including exposure to lead paint or toxins in drinking water
Mass torts make it possible for plaintiffs to get justice in a more efficient manner and prevent hundreds of courts across the country from being tied up hearing variations of the same case.
Information About Class Actions
Class actions are a specific type of mass tort in which plaintiffs who suffered losses have their claims consolidated into one case, instead of each plaintiff making his or her own claim. A single lawsuit is filed that has many different plaintiffs – sometimes hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs.
For a class action to be formed, the plaintiffs must have all been harmed in similar ways by the same defective product. There are four classifications that need to be met for the federal courts to certify a class action:
- There must be so many cases that handling them individually isn’t practical.
- The cases all must have common questions of law and common questions of fact.
- Everyone must have similar claims and similar defenses must be available to the defendant for all claims.
- Each member of the class must have his interests protected and must be fairly represented.
Class actions make it possible to sue when it would not be cost effective or practical for each plaintiff to file a separate case.
How are Mass Torts and Class Actions Different?
All class actions are a type of mass tort, but there are also other types of mass torts in which plaintiffs retain independent cases.
In a multi-district litigation, for example, each plaintiff retains his or her own claim, but all of the related claims are grouped under one judge. That judge can decide issues that are common to all of the claims, such as whether a certain piece of evidence should be admitted at trial. The decision will apply to all individual cases, and each case could move forward separately but more quickly because the common issues are decided.
Resources for investigations are pooled in mass torts, but plaintiffs may have suffered different levels of harm or have different complaints arising from the same defective product. Since each plaintiff continues to have control over his or her case, each can get the appropriate compensation for each specific situation.
Should I Take Part in a Mass Tort or Class-Action Lawsuit?
Before joining a class action or before your case is consolidated as part of a mass tort, it is important to understand your rights.
An experienced at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., can provide you with information on how best to handle your product liability claim. Call or contact us online today to learn more about how we can help you.
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