The term tort simply refers to an injury lawsuit.
Mass tort actions occurwhen a lawyer files multiple lawsuits against the same defendant (or group of defendants) simultaneously. The main difference between mass torts and class action lawsuits is how the large group of plaintiffs are treated. In a mass tort, each plaintiff is treated as an individual in the lawsuit, while in a class action, each plaintiff has little participation in the management of the lawsuit.
Class actions are just one type of massive tort litigation, which can involve one or more defendants and seek compensation for similar physical or financial injuries that they all suffered as a result of the same event or events. The main difference between these two forms of lawsuits is the plaintiff's level of control over the case. 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 trade-off in these cases is that each individual plaintiff has little participation in the management of the lawsuit. Unlike a massive tort where compensation amounts vary depending on different injuries, in a class action lawsuit, all plaintiffs suffer the same injury and, therefore, the compensation amounts are the same. Each member of a mass tort is treated as an individual and must establish the facts to prove the damages caused by the defendant. At the end of the day, mass grievances and class actions seek justice from business owners, individuals and companies that might be too powerful for a single person to fight alone. A mass tort is a civil action involving several plaintiffs with varying degrees of injury from the negligent actions of one or more defendants.