In the city of San Luis Obispo, many people are affected by the same exposure to hazardous materials or defective products. These people may choose to ban together for mass tort litigation. This type of litigation is a civil action often confused with class action lawsuits.
There is a main difference between mass torts and class action lawsuits. In a mass tort, each plaintiff retains his or her individual legal rights. In a class action lawsuit, each claim is lumped together into a larger one.
Product liability cases are most commonly settled by mass tort litigation. One of the most recent mass torts arose after women who had received transvaginal mesh during procedures were harmed. Another case involved the blood thinner Xarelto. A mass tort is a group of collected lawsuits from around the country and are heard in a federal multi-district docket. A class action lawsuit is something that is typically joined after being advised that such a case exists.
Even though each plaintiff retains their own case and legal rights, a judge presiding over a mass tort can make a decision that affects all of the cases. For example, a judge may determine if a piece of evidence will be heard or dismissed, and that ruling could apply to all cases.
If you believe that you have been harmed or injured by a product, consult an attorney experienced in product liability law. An attorney can advise you whether or not you have the legal basis for a successful lawsuit.