Mass Torts & Class Actions
At times, an entire group of individuals sustains injuries or financial harm because of misconduct. The large scale nature of the matter may mean it’s appropriate to pursue victims’ rights through a class action suit or mass tort litigation. You’re probably familiar with high profile cases that make news headlines, but there are many other legal proceedings that don’t get as much media attention. Regardless of the specific type of case, it’s important to recognize that you have rights as a victim and you’ll need solid legal representation to protect them.
At the Law Offices of Julie A. Rice, our firm has the experience and knowledge to seek the compensation you deserve through a mass tort or class action lawsuit. We’re tough when dealing with corporate legal departments and insurance companies, and we’ll fight on your behalf in court proceedings. Though these cases may involve a multitude of claimants, we still deliver the personalized attention you expect. Please contact our firm to set up a free case evaluation with an Atlanta, GA mass torts and class action lawyer who can explain your legal remedies.
Liability in Mass Torts and Class Action Claims
Mass tort and class action claims arose out of the need for judicial economy. By joining cases together, that reduces the number of individual claims base upon the same facts, laws, injuries, and damages.
Both types of cases are based upon negligent, reckless, or intentional actions that cause harm to multiple victims. There’s no definite number of affected individuals necessary to bring a claim, but they must generally be similarly situated and share the same losses. Like other personal injury claims, there are a few essential elements you must prove to establish your right to compensation. In addition, Georgia law on class actions requires that:
- There must be a large group of affected victims, such that it’s not practical to have them each proceed individually;
- There must be questions of law or fact that are shared by all members of the group; and,
- The defenses or assertions by the defendants must be similar with respect to each claim.
Examples of Mass Torts and Class Action Cases in the News
To help illustrate the nature of cases based upon injuries and harm to a large group of individuals, it may be useful to review some of the top cases that have been in the news in recent years. You may recognize such mass torts and/or class action cases as:
- Vaginal mesh claims against American Medical Systems, Boston Serentic, Aris, Bard, Johnson & Johnson, and other manufacturers;
- Metal hip implants cases involving DePuy, Stryker, Bionet, Wright Medical, and Zimmer;
- Dangerous drug claims regarding use of Invokana, Xarelto, Eliquis, Viagra, Zofran, Lipitor, Januvia, Janumet, Byetta, Victoza, and related medications;
- Claims linking certain drugs or medical procedures to cancer, including uterine sarcoma, bladder cancer, pancreatic and thyroid cancer; and,
- Dangerous medical instruments or devices, such as injuries caused by IVC filters, bladder slings, TVT tape, knee implants.
How Compensation Works in Mass Torts and Class Action Claims
In a traditional personal injury case, you can recover for multiple types of damages if you’re successful in establishing your rights. The first and easiest to prove is your economic losses, such as medical costs, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses to treat your injuries. Another category of compensation is non-economic damages, which are more subjective in nature. This classification includes:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Diminished quality of life; and,
- Losses based upon how your injuries affect personal relationships.
In addition, if the conduct which led to your injuries was reckless or intentional, you may also be entitled to recover punitive damages. This category is designed to punish the responsible party for outrageous and egregious behavior that demonstrates a lack of concern for life and safety. Punitive damages can increase your amount of recovery considerably.
In a personal injury case involving a mass tort or class action, your right to compensation is the same – but the amount could be different. You’re one of a group of people who was affected by misconduct. Therefore, just as you share a role in seeking damages, you’ll also share in what you can recover. Plus, you’re responsible for attorneys’ fees, which are usually billed on a contingency basis. You don’t pay unless you recover monetary damages for your losses, and what you owe is typically a percentage of the total award to all claimants.
Reach Out to an Atlanta, GA Mass Torts and Class Action Attorney
Our team at the Law Offices of Julie A. Rice handles many class action and mass tort lawsuits on behalf of clients. However, we’re also committed to referring you to another respected firm that may be currently working on a suit that’s similar to yours. For more information about your legal options, please contact our office to schedule a no-cost consultation.