Class Action Lawsuits & Mass Tort Claims
At Arnold & Itkin, we have experience handling individual cases, mass
torts, and class actions.
However, these are three very different lawsuits. Below all three are explained in detail.
Single Plaintiff Lawsuit
A single plaintiff lawsuit typical results when there is the only person injured. For example, if you were rear-ended on the highway and suffered head and neck injuries, Arnold & Itkin would file a single lawsuit on your behalf against the person or people responsible for the accident.
Mass Tort Litigation
In common law jurisdictions, a tort is simply defined as a personal injury caused by the irresponsible actions of another person. A mass tort, on the other hand, occurs when this person or company's actions affect a large number of people. A mass tort is something that causes serious injury or even death to a group of individuals. However, some mass tort cases may not be suited for "class" treatment, due to individual circumstances.
Mass torts usually result when a single incident injures several individuals. For example, if several people were injured by dangerous medicine, with each person suffering a different type of injury, a mass tort claim could be an option when pursuing compensation from responsible parties.
In a mass tort, several named plaintiffs join together in a single action. Parts of the case that apply to all plaintiffs would be worked on jointly in a single courtroom. However, parts of the case that were unique to each person (type and severity of injury) would be worked on separately. If victorious, each plaintiff would receive a unique verdict or settlement based on his or her own circumstances.
Class Action Lawsuits
When a large group of people is involved in any lawsuit, it is referred to as a class action.
Class actions can be taken by individuals who collectively decide to bring a claim to court on behalf of all persons involved. They may also be filed on behalf of a group (or class) of defendants that is being sued for the same issue or set of issues. Class actions are governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23 and 28 U.S.C.A. §1332(d). If the amount in controversy exceeds $5,000,000 and certain circumstances are met, then the federal districts courts will be awarded original jurisdiction over the civil action lawsuit that was filed.
In a class action suit, one or two named plaintiffs act as representatives for numerous unnamed parties.
To file a class action claim, everyone involved must be notified of said claim and must be given the option of either 1) partaking in the said claim or 2) opting out / finding their own attorney to assist with a said legal matter. It is also important to decide if seeking individual legal counsel would be as successful as joining in a class action claim or if it would be worth handling said legal problem on an individual basis.
The plaintiff acting on behalf of the class action group must have the ability to prove:
- His or her situation is typical of the damages of other class members
- He or she suffered a measurable loss
- The type of claim they are filing is the best way to hold the company/product liable
- The evidence is similar across all claimants involved
If the claim ends in a successful verdict or settlement, all named and unnamed claimants will be treated similarly.
Are Class Action & MDL Cases the Same?
While multidistrict litigation (MDL) cases appear quite similar to class action lawsuits, the two are different from one another. MDL is a way in which class actions can be consolidated for pre-trial purposes. When a particularly large lawsuit is brought before the federal courts, there is a great chance that it will be handled in multidistrict litigation first. However, cases vary and the only way to truly feel confident in the proceedings of your case will be by aligning yourself with an attorney who can help you tackle every aspect of your lawsuit.
Talk to Our Class Action Lawsuit & Mass Tort Litigation Attorneys Today
Due to size alone, class action lawsuits are often complex matters that can take time to pursue. The due process usually requires that there be mass notification of the case and its proceedings. From the first notice of legal action, all the way through to the end of your case, there is no telling what may arise along the way. Fortunately, for those in need of a superior class action law firm, there is help to be found at Arnold & Itkin.
With a thorough understanding of the law, particularly as it pertains to class action suits, there is no case too complicated for our firm to handle. We have successfully won billions of dollars for the damages and injuries from which they have wrongfully suffered. We know what it takes to represent our clients effectively.