Mass torts are civil actions which involve many plaintiffs all pursuing cases against a defendant because all of those plaintiffs experienced a similar wrong. Mass torts frequently arise in North Carolina when a product is defective.
An example of a mass tort could occur when a drug is released that causes harmful unexpected side effects. All of the people hurt by the drug could all have a claim against the manufacturer. If each of those claims had to be decided individually before separate judges, time would be wasted and the court system would be clogged.
Mass torts create shortcuts for resolving cases where many people were hurt by the same failure of a company or entity.
There are actually different types of mass tort actions. People are most familiar with class actions, which involve a group of named plaintiffs bringing one big lawsuit on behalf of all of the parties who were wronged. There is also another option, called multidistrict litigation. With multidistrict litigation, plaintiffs keep their individual cases but all of the cases are moved before one judge who then rules on common issues relevant to all cases.
If you have been hurt by a defective product or by some other wrong which caused harm to many, you may be considering joining a class action or having your case become part of multidistrict litigation or other mass tort. Before you determine what your best course of action is, you should talk with a Charlotte lawyer who has experience with mass torts. Contact an attorney today for help.