Mass Tort Case & Class Action Lawsuit: Differences

Sean T. Keith
Sean T. Keith

Personal Injury Lawyer for 30+ years. Nationally recognized Top 100 Trial Lawyer. Top Car Accident Lawyer & Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer in Arkansas.

The Differences Between Mass Tort Cases & Class Action Lawsuits

Most people have no idea what the differences are between a mass tort case and a class action lawsuit.

All they know is that both types of cases involve more than one plaintiff.

In fact, some people aren’t even aware that class action lawsuits and mass tort cases aren’t the same thing.

Many of our clients use the terms interchangeable.

Sometimes, we feel bad correcting them.

All they really want is a mass tort lawyer in Arkansas who can help them get compensation for their injuries.

However, it is important that our clients understand exactly what kind of case they’re getting involved in.

Since there will be numerous plaintiffs, they need to know how the cases are selected, how they’re filed, and how the settlement proceeds get divided.

If you believe you have a legitimate claim against a company or other entity, you should contact our office.

Chances are, if there are a lot of people in the same boat as you, you may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit or mass tort case.

It all depends on the facts of your case.

When you first meet with your Arkansas mass tort lawyer, they can let you know where you fit in the grand scheme of things.

They can also answer any questions you may have about your own claim.

We recommend that you call our office as soon as possible after your injury.

This gives you a chance to move forward with whatever type of case you need to file.

It can also ensure that you don’t miss the statute of limitations period in Arkansas.

mass tort case
Table of Contents

Your Arkansas Mass Tort Lawyer Must Convince a Judge that a Mass Tort Case is Warranted

A mass tort lawyer in Arkansas can’t just decide that they want to file a mass tort action.

Before anything like this can happen, your lawyer needs to convince the courts that the situation calls for mass tort litigation.

In order to do this, they’ll have to demonstrate the following four (4) things:

  • There are too many plaintiffs to have them all file separate lawsuits. For example, it may not be practicable to have six hundred plaintiffs file separate lawsuits. It’s easier for the court, the defendant and the plaintiffs to group it all into one mass tort case.
  • The plaintiff’s cases all arise out of the same question of fact or law. For example, an Arkansas mass tort lawyer may represent 40 plaintiffs. They are all suing an airline for a plane crash. They all suffered different injuries, but they all want to prove that the pilot was negligent. This would meet this second requirement.
  • All the plaintiffs share a similar claim. In the same plane crash example, you could show that all the plaintiffs intend to argue that the pilot fell asleep mid-flight.
  • The class representative will protect everybody else in the class. For example, your mass tort lawyer in Arkansas will need to show that they chose a lead case that involved substantial injuries.

If all the above characteristics are present, there’s a good chance the district court judge will approve the mass tort action.

Once this happens, your attorneys can consolidate then into something called, “Multi-District Litigation.”

This is just another way of saying that all the cases are being combined in one court.

Damages are Distributed Differently in Class Actions and Mass Tort Cases

One of the major differences between a class action lawsuit and mass tort case has to do with damages.

In a class action lawsuit, all the plaintiffs will share the same amount in damages.

In other words, if the settlement was $1 million, and there were 100 plaintiffs, they would all get the same amount – $10,000.

With a mass tort case, damages are distributed differently.

Instead of everyone getting the same amount, damages are divided based on injuries.

Each plaintiff will have to prove their specific damages.

If there isn’t enough to cover all the claims in full, each plaintiff will receive a pro-rata share of their total damages.

What are the Most Common Types of Mass Tort Cases?

Mass tort lawyers in Arkansas are familiar with the major types of mass tort cases.

If they aren’t, you may want to search for a different lawyer.

The most popular types of cases being tried in the United States include the following:

  • Dangerous product cases – There are three different types of dangerous product cases. These include manufacturing defect cases, dangerous design cases, and failure to warn cases.
  • Exposure to toxic materials – This could happen at work or an apartment building. For example, if a large apartment building is found to have black mold running throughout, the residents would have a potential mass tort claim.
  • Big catastrophes – One good example of this is a plane crash. All the plaintiffs are demanding damages for injuries sustained in the same event.
  • Defective or dangerous drugs/medical devices – You probably see a lot of these advertised on television. Some of the more common cases involve silicone breast implants, fertility drugs, and other dangerous medications.
  • Natural Disasters – It may seem strange that an entity could be held responsible for injuries sustained in a natural disaster. These cases usually involve an insurance company who refuses to pay out legitimate claims.

It’s a Good Idea to Meet with an Arkansas Mass Tort Lawyer Sooner Rather than Later

We always tell our clients that it’s in their best interest to contact an Arkansas mass tort lawyer as soon as possible after their injury.

The longer you wait to meet with an attorney, the harder it will be to include your case.

Whether you’re looking to join a mass tort action or have a simple personal injury case, we can help.

Our mass tort lawyers in Arkansas have been helping clients get the money they deserve for years.

They aren’t afraid of the big insurance companies and are keep abreast of all developments in major mass tort cases.

We suggest that you call our office as soon as possible.

You don’t have to make any final decisions right away.

But it makes sense to at least meet with an Arkansas mass tort lawyer.

If you decide not to proceed, that is your choice.

However, if the window to join a mass tort action is closing, you don’t want to waste any time.

Since the initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose.

You can be the defendant will have a team of lawyers working for them and you should too.

Choose Us For Your Personal Injury Case


We Will Fight For You!

Let Us Get The Compensation You Deserve