What’s the Difference Between a Class Action and Mass Tort Lawsuit?

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: November 21, 2018

What’s the Difference Between a Class Action and Mass Tort Lawsuit?

A mass tort lawsuit involves several to many individuals harmed by a company, product, or event. Likewise, a class action lawsuit involves several to many individuals harmed by a company, product, or event.

In those ways, mass tort and class action suits are similar. So, what’s the difference? At the simplest level, there are two dissimilarities.

  1. Upon winning a judgment, monetary awards are distributed differently based on whether it’s a mass tort or class action suit.
  2. The types of injuries under the mass tort or class action lawsuit umbrella differ because of how degrees of injuries, circumstances, and events are considered person by person.

And while the difference between them may seem simple, the distinctions are important when it comes to procedural, litigious and equitable monetary outcomes.

The Differences: A Further Explanation:

Mass Tort Lawsuit: Though included as one of many plaintiffs participating in a “group” legal compensatory action, a victim’s specific injuries will be considered individually on a person by person, case-by-case basis. In mass tort lawsuits, an injured party will be compensated in direct respect to the degree and severity of their injury.

To explain with an example, let’s imagine a plane crash victim endures a facial laceration. The cut will heal, and she may be left with a scar. She is awarded, for the sake of this hypothetical example, a few thousand dollars for her injury. In the same plane crash, a different passenger is permanently paralyzed. The compensation requirement for such a dramatic life-altering injury and resultant lifetime expenses because of it, of course, demands a higher monetary settlement.

In a successful mass tort judgment, the paralyzed victim would receive a settlement commensurate with the severity of his injury. While the facial laceration victim would receive a lesser settlement commensurate with her more minor injury. A mass tort claim allows the injured victim to seek compensation in direct relation to his or her actual damages.

So, when a mass tort case is won against the defendant, financial remuneration will vary based on the severity of each individual’s injury.

Class Action Lawsuit :

A class action lawsuit may also be initiated when many people have suffered injuries from the same product or event. When the injuries are minor but still concerning and unfair, the pursuit of monetary compensation as an individual may not be worth the litigation and attorney expenses. But when the suit has many people in its group, pursuing compensation and restoration through a class action may be the more feasible means to monetary recovery.

Unlike a plaintiff in a mass tort lawsuit, a group of injured people who have sustained different types or degrees of injury, any money awards will be distributed exactly equally among all the participants.

Examples of events that may necessitate a class action lawsuit may be either or both physical and emotional injuries. Physical injuries to a group of people, for instance, may be caused by a toxic spill, prescribed medicine, faulty products, vehicles and the like. Non-physical injuries may be included in a class action lawsuit for events such as employee racial discrimination, security and financial fraud, and predatory lending.

How Do You Decide Whether to Pursue Suit or Not? Zanes Law Firm’s attorneys have the resources, financial capital, experience and support staff to see mass tort and class action suits through to settlement. To help you decide whether it makes sense for you to either initiate a mass tort or class action lawsuit, or participate in an existing one, you need to meet with an attorney to discuss the feasibility of your case.

Here’s What Zanes Law Firm Will Do For You: Our no worry guarantee is that we cover all the discovery, research, administrative, travel, witness interview, and court expenses whether you win or lose. Only when we win your case, will you pay a fee.

What You Should Do Next: Call or email now. Call us at (866)-499-8989. or email us using our contact form. Then, let’s schedule an appointment so we can review your options.

Also, if you need help with any immigration-related issue, don’t hesitate to visit our site immigrationinformation.org.

Difference Between a Class Action and Mass Tort Lawsuit

Doug Zanes
Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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