mass tort attorneys

Take a guess at the dollar amount of the largest litigation settlement in history. It’s not $100 million, or even $100 billion. The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement cost the defendants a whopping $246 billion.

A class action lawsuit is a powerful case against corporations with faulty products. But there exists another type of case with a large number of plaintiffs: mass tort cases. So what is the difference between mass tort vs. class action lawsuits?

Both types of lawsuits help to ensure large groups of people get compensation for damages. But both achieve this with slightly different strategies. Keep reading as we discuss everything you need to know about the two.

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit allows a large group of people to combine their grievances into one. Rather than each of them individually hiring a lawyer, they all rely on the same legal services. Class action lawsuits are best when everyone in the group has the same or similar grievances.

For example, everyone in the group had a faulty cell phone that died from the same issue. Since their problems are all identical, a class action lawsuit would be best. If they win the case, they split the compensation amongst themselves.

What Are Mass Tort Cases?

There is a subtle difference with mass tort. You still have a large number of plaintiffs all suing the same company for similar reasons. However, these reasons are all different enough that they each file their own individual case.

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A mass tort brings all of these individual claims to the court for the same case. These unique, individual (but similar) problems make the mass tort most effective. If they win the case, each individual gets a unique amount of compensation according to their specific case.

Mass Tort Vs. Class Action: What Is the Difference?

There are only two differences between these cases. They are small differences, but they result in very different outcomes:

  • In a class action lawsuit, all the plaintiffs filed together, while mass tort plaintiffs file separately
  • In a class action lawsuit, plaintiffs split their winnings, while mass tort plaintiffs receive unique compensation

So which one should you choose for your case? It depends. Let’s cover some examples of ideal situations for class action lawsuits:

  • All claims are identical or very, very similar (faulty electronic products, for example)
  • Plaintiffs do not want to attend court and just want some compensation for their loss

Here are some ideal situations for mass tort attorneys to file a case:

  • Each claim involves unique situations and circumstances (oil rig workers with work injuries, for example)
  • Each claim requires a unique analysis in court
  • Plaintiffs intend to fight their case in person in court
  • Plaintiffs want to receive the maximum payout possible

File the Correct Case Today

When it comes to mass tort vs. class action lawsuits, the only significant difference is how you file the case and how you get compensation. Class action lawsuits allow a very large number of plaintiffs under the same case, but less compensation. Mass tort cases are more complicated, with individual cases by different plaintiffs, but maximum compensation.

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