Most people are familiar with the term class action, but have you ever heard of a mass tort? When a group of people suffer physical or financial harm due to corporate wrongdoing or negligence, they can file a class action or mass tort lawsuit to protect their rights and win compensation.
Class-action lawsuits and mass tort lawsuits can be easily confused. Both types of cases handle similar wrongdoings, and both refer to cases that represent a group of victims, not just one person. Below, learn about the differences between these two actions.
In both mass torts and class-action lawsuits, a group of people try to seek compensation from a company that is alleged to have wrongly or negligently acted.
Although they share many similarities, class-action lawsuits and mass torts are handled differently and may result in different outcomes. Still, whether you file a mass tort or a class-action lawsuit can affect the outcome of the case and the compensation you are entitled to receive.
If you have been injured or wronged and wish to file a claim against a person, company, or corporation, along with many other similar victims, you all become the plaintiffs in the legal case. The person or company that wronged the plaintiffs is called the defendant.
As plaintiffs, you can file either a mass tort or a class-action lawsuit against the defendant.
A mass tort lawsuit occurs when multiple, individual plaintiffs who suffered similar damages file claims against the same corporation or company that wronged them. Each plaintiff in the group will be considered individuals. This group of plaintiffs may all be from a certain geographical area.
Often, a mass tort began as a class action lawsuit, but the lawsuit did not meet the criteria for a class-action lawsuit. For instance, the plaintiffs in a mass tort case may have different individual circumstances that prevent them from qualifying as a “class.”
A class-action lawsuit occurs when a small group of people represents the interests of a much larger group. This means that a single claim is filed by only a few, but all the potential victims are represented. All victims are entitled to compensation for the injuries or injustices they suffered at the hands of the same defendant. Typically, the defendant is a large corporation. The plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit will be represented by a single plaintiff who is known as the “class representative.”