Mass torts and Group Litigation

Mass Torts Lawyer Helping Injured Clients Fight For Compensation In Long Island, New York

In certain cases where more than one person gets injured due to negligent actions by the same defendant, a mass tort may be the most feasible way to receive compensation. Learn how mass torts work in the state of New York and how a mass tort attorney may be able to help you navigate this unique legal process to secure the positive outcome you deserve.

What Is A Mass Tort?

A tort is a single civil legal action in which a victim who was injured by another party’s negligent actions may seek compensation for their damages in a civil court. However, when multiple people are injured and the root cause of the injury or accident points to the same responsible party, filing a mass tort may be an easier route for plaintiffs to receive compensation rather than each injured party filing a separate lawsuit.

A common example of a situation that may lead to a mass tort is when several users of a product become injured due to a design or manufacturing defect that makes the product dangerous to use, even when under normal operating circumstances. So, if several children were injured by the same toy made by the same manufacturer, the guardians of those children may be able to initiate a mass tort along with other parents whose kids were also affected, cutting down on the number of lawsuits and enabling the courts to reach a conclusion in less time and award them the compensation they deserve.

How Is A Mass Tort Different From A Class Action Lawsuit?

A mass tort is somewhat similar to a class action lawsuit, but there are a few important distinctions between the two types of civil actions. First, a mass tort enables each plaintiff to seek recovery of specific damages rather than receiving a share of a single payout from a class action suit. Plaintiffs in a class action often have sustained different injuries and damages or have been affected by the same product in different ways – some may have suffered higher economic losses than others, for example, but all have been affected by the same defendant or tortfeasor.

A class action lawsuit requires the group of plaintiffs to have been certified, and the damages each plaintiff suffered must be very similar. If successful, a class action suit results in a lump sum settlement that is split up among the plaintiffs. For comparison, when a group of individuals suffers severe side effects from taking a certain medication, but each victim is affected in a different way by the same medication, a mass tort would be more feasible than a class action suit. However, if a group of customers all suffered similar damages due to the same product or responsible party – as was the case in 1998 when several tobacco manufacturers agreed to pay billions to victims who became ill due to smoking – a class action lawsuit may be the best route.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Mass Torts?

There are many types of mass torts, but some of the most common types include mass disaster torts, mass toxic torts, and product liability torts. Mass disaster torts can take place following a natural or man-made disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina or a massive oil spill.

A mass toxic tort can occur when a group of plaintiffs can prove they each have been exposed to a similarly toxic substance that caused them harm and resulted in damages. Those damages may be noticeable right away, or, in some cases, victims may continue being exposed to the toxic substance for an extended period before realizing they have been harmed. Among the most common categories of toxic torts are workplace exposure, home exposure, exposure due to environmental factors, exposure due to the use of pharmaceutical products, and exposure due to harmful consumer products. Plaintiffs in a mass toxic tort are often affected by substances such as lead-based paint, asbestos, pesticides, and other industrial chemicals.

A few active defective drug mass torts are:

Elmiron – Elmiron is the brand name for Pentosane Polysulfate Sodium.  Call us if you or someone you know took Elmiron and suffered maculopathy or other serious eye damage (3 months usage, Vision loss or other vision issues,or diagnosis of Pigmentary Maculopathy).

Proton Pump Inhibitors (Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium) – Call us if you or someone you know is under 76 years old, used a Brand name or Brand generic OTC, and was diagnosed in 2020 or later with Acute Interstitial Nephritis (AIN); Acute Kidney Injury (AKI); Chronic Interstitial Nephritis (CIN); Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Stage 4 or 5, or End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Valsartan – Call us if you or someone you know took Valsartan and was diagnosed with liver, intestine, colon or colorectal, stomach, esophageal, pancreatic, prostate, NHL or other blood cancers.

Xeljanz, Rinvoq and Olumiant – Call us if you or someone you know took Xeljanz and had a significant cardiovascular event requiring hospitalization while on the drug, was diagnosed with Cancer (excluding skin cancer or lung cancer if smoker), Pulmonary Embolism,  Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or blood clot, or died within one month of taking.

Zantac – Call us if you or someone you know took Zantac for one (1) year or more and was diagnosed with one of the following cancers: Pancreatic, Esophageal, Stomach/gastric, Liver or Bladder.

A few defective medical device mass torts that are active right now are:

Breast Implants – Call us if you know someone who received textured breast implants and subsequently was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Philips CPAP & BiPAP Recall – On June 14, 2021, Philips announced a voluntary recall for various Philips Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (Bi-Level PAP), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) &mechanical ventilator devices. Call us if you or someone you know is under age 75, first used a CPAP or BIPAP prior to 4/25/2021, used
it for 12+ months, was a nonsmoker during their time of use, and

  • Was diagnosed with one of the following cancers: Sinus; Nasopharynx; Nasal; Throat; Lung; Thyroid; Kidney; Lymphoma; Bladder; Liver; Leukemia; Multiplemyeloma;
    Malignant Tumors; Prostate (age 50 or under) or Breast (age 40 or under); OR
  • Was diagnosed with one of the following conditions: Acute Inhalation Injury; Chronic Asthma; Recurring Pneumonia (3+ times in 1 year);Chronic Bronchitis; Interstitial Lung Disease; Sarcoidosis; Pulmonary Fibrosis; Scarring of the lungs; Acute liver failure or Acute Kidney Injury.

Exactech – Knee, Ankle and Hip Insert Recall.  Call us if you or someone you know had an Exactech implant in 2004 or later and the Surgeon notified them of the recalled implant.

Hernia Mesh – Call us if you or someone you know received a hernia mesh and has experienced additional surgeries, infections, bowel obstruction, organ damage, and/or chronic pain (initial Mesh implant 2010 or later).

A few other dangerous products mass torts that are active now are:

JUUL Vape Pods – Call us if you or someone you know became addicted to nicotine as a result of using JUUL and is under 32 years of age, first used JUUL Vape Pods prior to August 10, 2018, has an addiction or addiction related injury, and/or had a nicotine overdose or poisoning.

Baby Formula – The Baby Formula lawsuits claim that premature or preterm babies who were fed Similac or Enfamil formula while in neonatal intensive care units are at an increased risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Call us if your infant was fed Similac or Enfamil formula while in a neonatal intensive care unit and subsequently developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Paraquat – Call us if you or someone you know was exposed to Paraquat after 1964 and received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease.

Finally, there are also mass product liability torts. In a mass product liability tort, plaintiffs need to prove that they sustained damages due to a defective product or by a product with missing, insufficient, or misleading instructions for use. Product liability torts may be commonly observed after a product is recalled by the manufacturer. If you believe you have a case and wish to enter a mass tort to receive compensation, speak to a Suffolk county mass tort attorney.

Why Should I Work With A Personal Point Of Contact Mass Tort Attorney?

Mass torts simplify the process of awarding compensation to many victims of the same product or responsible party. However, they are still a complex process for those unfamiliar with the steps required to win a mass tort. Working with a personal point of contact attorney is essential for your case, as the burden of proof falls on each plaintiff. In other words, even if you qualify to join a mass tort, you are responsible for gathering the proper evidence and building a solid argument to prove your case – and that is one of many tasks a mass tort attorney can help you accomplish.

The Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri, PLLC, has assisted many clients with the process of initiating a mass tort. If you have been injured and wish to discuss the possibility of starting or entering into a mass tort to receive compensation, contact the Law Office of Gina M. Pellettieri at 631-320-1493.

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