The Difference Between Mass Tort Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

Learn about the differences between mass tort law and class action lawsuits so you can make an informed decision about which type of legal action is best for your situation.

The Difference Between Mass Tort Lawsuits and Class Action Lawsuits

When it comes to legal action, there are two main types of lawsuits that are often confused and interchanged: class action lawsuits and mass torts. While both involve a large group of plaintiffs, they are actually quite different. Mass torts are closer to traditional injury lawsuits, in which each plaintiff is treated as an individual in the lawsuit. Class action lawsuits are generally broader than mass torts and include more plaintiffs.

The term tort simply refers to an injury lawsuit. Mass torts are exactly what they sound like: a lot of injuries at the same time.

Mass tort actions occur

when a lawyer files multiple lawsuits against the same defendant (or group of defendants) simultaneously. A mass tort is a legal action that several plaintiffs can bring against one or more guilty parties in civil court.

The claim involves similar complaints, and people who suffer physical or financial harm due to the negligence of a large company often file these types of claims. Individuals can file a massive grievance at the state and federal levels. Class actions are just one type of massive tort litigation. Mass tort lawsuits are groupings of a large group of plaintiffs who file similar lawsuits. While class actions require class certification, general collective grievances do not require it.

Some massive grievances will end in class actions where collective certification is possible, but many won't. The key difference between mass grievances and class action lawsuits has to do with the way in which, procedurally, the large group of plaintiffs are treated. It's also important to understand that hiring an attorney for your mass tort lawsuit can ensure that your claim is properly processed, following state or federal regulations, complying with the rules of civil procedure, and meeting all relevant legal criteria. Many complex considerations are taken to determine whether a case should be treated as a class action lawsuit or as a mass tort. For example, a class action for tort is often brought when each plaintiff in the group has so many individual and infrequent factual circumstances that exceed the common issues of fact and issues of law necessary to initiate a class action. Starr Austen & Miller has carried out a series of mass tort actions in which groups varied in size from 25 to 150 people. Whether you decide to file a mass tort lawsuit or a class action lawsuit, your first step should be to contact a lawyer who specializes in mass torts who can process your claim.

In their most basic form, both class actions and class tort litigation are procedural actions that help courts deal with a large number of similar cases quickly and efficiently. Mass torts often involve injuries to a different group of people who may reside in the same geographical area. The main difference between mass torts and class actions is that courts only consolidate mass torts for pre-trial proceedings. The MDL can result in a collective agreement for tort, but if the case does not result in compensation, plaintiffs can seek compensation for damages through individual lawsuits. At Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, we have a team of lawyers and lawyers specializing in mass torts ready to fight for you. Understanding the difference between mass tort law and class action lawsuits is essential when deciding which type of legal action is best for your situation.