Spike in Mass Torts Cases being filed
During 2016, according to court statistics, there has been an increase of 25% in successful Mass Torts cases being filed over the number filed in 2015. Much of this is due to increased courtroom efficiency, change in administrative processes, and several streamlined legal delineations meant to clean up courtroom process and procedures thereby making it easier to both file a mass torts case and potentially receive remuneration.
Many of the cases involved with this spike in filings deals with the drug Reglan. However, inventory of cases involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal is coming in at a close second. The Reglan cases are approximately 34% of the Mass Tort case inventory. The Risperdal cases comprise over 31% of the collective mass tort docket. Previously, in 2015, 43% of the cases involved Reglan and Risperdal cases were slightly more than 26%.
The blood thinner Xarelto also saw a large increase – 121% – from 2016 in comparison to 2015. Conversely, the largest decrease in mass torts filings was with the Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella program. One of the reasons for this may have been the $57 million settlement over claims that these contraceptive pills cause blood clots.
Legal Definition of Mass Torts
To qualify as a tortious charge in accordance with mass tort law, the basic legal definition is that a mass tort is a collective tort or injury to more than one person. The two instances of mass torts can be:
- Involve several victims with many lawyers, but a single common instrument; such as defective medicine or defective medical device.
- One source of injury at a given point in time, such as an air crash or airliner accident
Common types of Mass Torts cases
There are a wide variety of types of cases that qualify as mass torts. A comprehensive list includes:
Intentional Interference with a Person
Defenses to Intentional Interference with Persons
Negligence: Standard of Conduct
Owners & Occupiers
Survival & Wrongful Death
Compensation for Mass Torts cases
For tort cases, many times the victims will receive compensation of some kind; including monetary judgments. Some other types of recompense or case results may include the accused having to publicly admit guilt. In most jurisdictions, courts have placed limits or legal judgment ranges which depend on specific factors unique to each individual case. For many victims who sustain injuries, they will receive a judgment which maxes out regardless of how painful and permanent the injury is. However, courts can also award additional judgments in tandem with the award made for specific bodily injury.
When to file a Mass Torts case
Your mass tort case, like a class action, will involve a large group of individuals who have a claim against a company. The difference is that a mass tort case comprises a number of individual claims handled by one attorney or a number of lawyers who happen to be grouped together for a brief time – usually for reasons of discovery.
Many mass torts can be related to cases involving pharmaceuticals which have caused harm to many people. The injuries the plaintiffs sustain can vary – which is why filing a class action suit is both impractical and inappropriate. One sufferer may have developed long-lasting brain damage and another may simply experience periodic headaches.
Mass torts allow the lawyer or attorney(s) representing all the individual parties to investigate, pool information, and share discovery findings with each particular case. This allows a large number of cases to move more rapidly through the legal system.
What Should I Do if my case qualifies as a Mass Torts procedure?
To determine whether your case qualifies as a mass torts action or to determine your next steps, it is critical to remember that your individual case is subject to a statute of limitations. Depending on which state you are in, the clock begins to run down anytime after the injury first began or potentially when you first recognized the cause of your injury. Our qualified legal team can assist you in determining the relevant statute of limitations. We will help you file your claim well within the statute of limitations and far before the clock runs out.
Call our expert team of lawyers at Pittman, Dutton & Hellums for your free consultation today. Call (205) 900-4188 or simply fill out our form. We serve clients nationwide. Our highly qualified legal representatives will get you a fair and just settlement or determine whether to move your case to trial.