Have you ever heard of the phrase “class action lawsuit?” you probably have, but there is another term that’s important here too, and that’s called “mass tort.”
What’s the difference between them? Well, we’ll dive into this now, and what each different aspect of these types of cases brings to the table, and the different results of this.
The Types of Suits
A lot of suits usually involve people trying to make up for damages, but in both class action and mass tort, the plaintiffs are a group of people trying to address grievances. In both situations, the group does allege that there was harm that was caused by the defendant as well.
With both of these types of actions, the lawsuits are then consolidated together to address the problem. In both instances, they do come together to address different problems. The proceedings are done to cut down on the cases that come through the courts that arise when many are harmed by the same issue at hand.
The Biggest Difference
The biggest difference between both of these is how each group is treated as plaintiffs.
With mass torts, it’s oftentimes a group of individuals from one specific area. Because of that, they usually are a lot smaller in terms of groups, but tit’s all from a similar geographical area.
While the plaintiffs in mass torts are part of bigger groups, everyone’s treated like individuals, which means that every single plaintiff has certain facts, including how the person was hurt due to the defendant’s actions.
Class actions however are a bit different. In this type of situation, the group of plaintiffs are essentially one class together, and there is one person to represent the entire group.
This is called the class representative, and it stands in for this class and it treats everyone who is here as one specific plaintiff as well.
When are each of them used though?
Well, with class action, the people who are affected are thus notified of the lawsuit going on, and are given two options: opt out, or find a different counsel. Before this is established, there must be a motion filed for someone to be a plaintiff that benefits the whole class.
There are certain factors that go into this, and they include:
- The class is numerous that joining all of them is impracticable
- There are questions of law that’s common to the class mentioned
- The claims of the representative parties are usually similar to those made in that class
- The representative can protect the individuals in the class
In contrast, mass tort actions happen when the plaintiff that’s within the group have different circumstances, but there are issues within each part of the group.
Usually, this happens due to the factual circumstances that happened amongst the plaintiffs, but they’re too different for it to be a class action, so it’s a mass tort.
In most of these instances, they’re filed when consumers are injured on large scale by products or drugs, and usually, the reactions different, but they do fit into a singular class.
If you are someone who is asked to be a part of one or another, you should definitely get versed in this. Class action lawsuits also don’t’ always follow the standard types of procedures, and mass tort claims can be complicated.
That’s why getting a personal injury attorney to help you with this is imperative. They can help you get on track to start, and it can be good for you especially if you’re facing huge litigation for the issue.