Mass torts are civil lawsuits that involve many plaintiffs suing one or more corporations to recover compensation for their injuries. Generally, a large number of claims may be brought based on a single product, device, or situation that caused the harm. The purpose of this type of litigation is to permit injured people to litigate their claims collectively and further the goals of efficiency and economy. Mass tort cases are typically brought with the assistance of injury attorneys in connection with dangerous products or manmade disasters. If you are one of many people hurt as a result of this type of situation, the Grand Rapids and Traverse City mass tort attorneys at the Neumann Law Group may be able to help you recover damages.Bringing a Lawsuit Based on a Mass Tort
In mass tort cases arising out of a defective product, product liability principles will apply. It may be possible to hold a manufacturer and others in the chain of distribution strictly liable for mass torts. This means that the plaintiffs will need to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the product was defective in design, manufacturing, or marketing and that it caused injuries to the plaintiffs.
However, mass torts also include environmental claims, such as claims arising out of oil spills, water contamination, or other disasters created by large corporations. In such cases, it is more likely that a plaintiff will need to establish negligence or negligence per se. If a safety regulation was not followed, and the failure to follow it caused injuries to many people, a company may be found negligent or negligent per se (negligent as a matter of law). For example, if a corporation failed to follow a rule about the safe handling of particular chemicals, and the result was an accident that contaminated the water supply for a city, everyone in the city who developed an illness due to the contamination would likely have standing to sue. Our mass tort lawyers can guide Traverse City and Grand Rapids residents through these complicated issues.
You might assume that a mass tort and a class action are the same thing because they both involve a large group of people who have been harmed. However, they are treated differently from a procedural standpoint. Mass torts do not require class certification, and a plaintiff's injuries may be more individualized and cover a broader range of harm.
A common type of mass tort is one involving defective medical devices. These devices may interact with different people's bodies differently, resulting in widely different injuries and resulting in a group of people whose claims are too heterogeneous to be handled through the use of a "representative plaintiff." With mass torts, the plaintiffs file separately. However, the plaintiff's firms that handle mass torts may join with multiple other firms to share ideas about how to make sure that the results are consistent and fair settlements are provided.
Not every personal injury attorney is qualified to pursue mass tort claims. These torts involve a massive scale, such that the costs of litigation are enormous. Moreover, it is important to retain an attorney who understands the nuances of personal injury law and has a high success rate before a jury. In many cases, corporations bury a plaintiff's firm in paper in order to avoid liability, and it is important for the plaintiff's legal representation to be able to handle the massive amount of paper and files, as well as the concealment of information that may happen in these cases.Contact a Mass Tort Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
If you have been a victim of a manmade disaster or a dangerous product, the Traverse City and Grand Rapids mass tort lawyers at the Neumann Law Group may be able to assist you. Our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an award-winning trial attorney. Our firm also represents people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and the Upper Peninsula. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free appointment with a product liability attorney or seek assistance with another type of personal injury claim.